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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A new definition of a one car family


Ukraine, like so many other countries is broken. It's economy is on its knees and that's the least of its problems. 20% of the population suffer from some form of mental distress, it's population is rapidly declining and vodka is the best friend of too many. In too many places it's a bleak vision of industrial decay. Like many of its roads the nation has too many holes in its collective soul.

Amongst all this trouble are stories of hope. Igor is a pastor and a friend and recently he bought a car with a dollar loan. It's the only car in his church of 80 people and the first one they've had in the congregation in 9 years. Our congregation is slightly smaller but we probably have 30 times as many cars. It's a new definition of a one car family. Since the financial crisis his repayments have nearly doubled. The greed of bankers in London and New York is having a profound affect on this Ukrainian pastor.

Unable to make the repayments Igor has become a taxi driver. For four days each week taking home about £10-20 for a 12 hour day Pastor Igor ferries his passengers about. Passengers like 24 year-old Irina a prostitute, who offered herself to Igor for just 10 Grivna, or about £1. Her life and body had become virtually worthless. Igor pointed her to the one who thinks she is of great value and worth dying for.

What's our response to a pastor who works an 80 plus hour week because he lacks £100 a month car repayments? What would the apostle Paul urge me to consider? What is my response to a woman who values her life for less than a Saturday newspaper? What would your response be?

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