“When I fed the hungry, they called me a saint. When I asked why people are hungry, they called me a communist.”

Don Helder Camara

I like the contrast of the statement above with my job as a PC volunteer for one of the most capitalist countries in the world.

Truth is, I’ve been accused of being a communist before, by my college roommate, but here I am spreading the gospel of capitalism to poor people who are poor at least in part because rich people brought capitalism into their society in the first place.

During my first few weeks in Cameroun, I went to church, Notra Dame in Bangante, a catholic church, and remarked on how people are sitting –outside- the church just to be in the vicinity of the church. What they are there seeking is the hope that spirituality gives us, and all they have is hope. Almost everyone there was poor not just by American standard, but by Camerounean standards.

I contrast this experience with the many times I’ve been welcome in to the houses (or mud brick boxes) of some of these people and how they have cooked for me or given me the best seat at their table, or let me have the biggest piece of meat.

In this, I see the hope that I’ve been reading about in the Bible. It turns out the Bible is not lying when it talks about the Kingdom of God belonging to the poor, and the last being first. I am seeing love.


at host family in Bangante for the Christmas charity. The guy in the blue shirt is a neighbor who just showed up and was given a plate of food right away.