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Perspective: Who's watching out for the working poor?

Nikko Macaspac

I humbly serve as a pastor of a local small church. Last week I received at voicemail that grieved and challenged me. It’s not uncommon for people to call the church when they are in need, but this message was different. The communication was left by a man who is a father and husband. He had exhausted all other options and in a final ditch effort, he decided to call the church, which he and his family don’t even attend. The hours at his job had been reduced, he was seeking a part-time job, his wife was severely ill and unable to work, and they had fallen behind on their rent. The pain, anguish, and desperation were so clear in the recording, it pierced my ear and soul. As a father and husband, I empathized with the messenger and found myself fighting tears.

As I sat in my office in contemplation, so many thoughts ran through my mind. How many times did this family have to decide between spending funds on medical care or household expenses? Sickness is not something people can avoid, plan for, or always prevent. This family was not in this position because of laziness. This was a classic example of what the working poor in this nation face daily. Needless to say, I shared the message with our Outreach Coordinator, and we will be assisting this family.

According to the New York Times, the United States has spent $54 billion to aid Ukraine since Russia invaded in February. Yet, the funding for universal healthcare for taxpaying Americans can’t be found.

Maybe the Christian Church should march, rally, protest, and make political alliances for the born as much, if not more, as they do for the unborn.

Born in Buffalo, N.Y., George Joseph “Joe” Mitchell was raised in DeKalb, where he is the bi-vocational co-pastor of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church.