Turkey People

This year marks the 120th Annual YMCA Buffalo Turkey Trot. The 2015 edition of the YMCA Buffalo Niagara Turkey Trot will accept the first 14,000 entrants. Wow! Thats a lot of runners! But that's not what is meant by the term "Turkey People." 

Did you know that much of the well intentioned help that goes out during the holidays for the inner city, and more impoverished areas of the Greater Buffalo Region has begun to carry the cynical term of "Turkey People" within the very communities that receive assistance? Why? Because those are the turkey people. The ones who show up with a turkey and we don't hear from them again until next year. Isn't there something the matter with that?

in his book When Helping Hurts, Steve Corbett writes "While poor people mention having a lack of material things, they tend to describe their condition in far more psychological and social terms than the outsiders who are assisting them. The poor typically talk in terms of shame, inferiority, powerlessness, humiliation, fear, hopelessness, depression, social isolation, and voicelessness."

Some of you will offer assistance, some will open your home this year, and others will provide a meal to someone in need. Be encouraged to consider that until we embrace our mutual brokenness and spiritual inferiority before a Holy God, our work with low-income people is likely to do far more harm than good. To what extent do you embrace the message of the cross: God Almighty died for you while you were still His "enemy"? How worthy are you of God's love expressed through Jesus Christ? 

Don't be "Turkey People."
Milo Wilson


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