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  • so..preparing isnt important huh????

    Despair in Once-Proud Argentina
    After Economic Collapse, Deep Poverty Makes Dignity a Casualty
    By Anthony Faiola
    Washington Post Foreign Service
    Tuesday, August 6, 2002; Page A01


    ROSARIO, Argentina -- Word spread fast through the vast urban slums ringing Rosario. There was food on the freeway -- and it was still alive.
    A cattle truck had overturned near this rusting industrial city, spilling 22 head of prime Angus beef across the wind-swept highway. Some were dead. Most were injured. A few were fine.
    A mob moved out from Las Flores, a shantytown of trash heaps and metal shacks boiling over with refugees from the financial collapse of what was once Latin America's wealthiest nation. Within minutes, 600 hungry residents arrived on the scene, wielding machetes and carving knives. Suddenly, according to accounts from some of those present on that March day, a cry went up.
    "Kill the cows!" someone yelled. "Take what you can!"
    Cattle company workers attempting a salvage operation backed off. And the slaughter began. The scent of blood, death and fresh meat filled the highway. Cows bellowed as they were sloppily diced by groups of men, women and children. Fights broke out for pieces of flesh in bloody tugs of war.
    "I looked around at people dragging off cow legs, heads and organs, and I couldn't believe my eyes," said Alberto Banrel, 43, who worked on construction jobs until last January, when the bottom fell out of the economy after Argentina suffered the world's largest debt default ever and a massive currency devaluation.
    "And yet there I was, with my own bloody knife and piece of meat," Banrel said. "I felt like we had become a pack of wild animals . . . like piranhas on the Discovery Channel. Our situation has turned us into this."
    The desolation of that day, neighbor vs. neighbor over hunks of meat, suggested how profoundly the collapse has altered Argentina. Traditionally proud, Argentines have begun to despair. Talk today is of vanished dignity, of a nation diminished in ways not previously imaginable.
    Argentines have a legacy of chaos and division. In search of their "workers' paradise," Juan and Eva Peron declared war on the rich. During the "dirty war" of the 1970s, military rulers arrested tens of thousands of people, 15,000 of whom never resurfaced. And when then-President Carlos Menem touted New Capitalism in the 1990s, the rich got richer -- many illegally -- while the poor got poorer.
    Yet some things here never really changed. Until last year, Argentines were part of the richest, best-educated and most cultured nation in Latin America. Luciano Pavarotti still performed at the Teatro Colon. Buenos Aires cafe society thrived, with intellectuals debating passages from Jorge Luis Borges over croissants and espresso. The poor here lived with more dignity than their equals anywhere else in the region. Argentina was, as the Argentines liked to say, very civilized.
    Not anymore.
    Argentines have watched, horrified, as the meltdown dissolved more than their pocketbooks. Even the rich have been affected in their own way. The tragedy has struck hardest, however, among the middle class, the urban poor and the dirt farmers. Their parts of this once-proud society appear to have collapsed -- a cave-in so complete as to leave Argentines inhabiting a barely recognizable landscape.
    With government statistics showing 11,200 people a day falling into poverty -- earning less than $3 daily -- Buenos Aires, a city once compared to Paris, has become the dominion of scavengers and thieves at night. Newly impoverished homeless people emerge from abandoned buildings and rail cars, rummaging through trash in declining middle- and upper-class neighborhoods. People from the disappearing middle class, such as Vicente Pitasi, 60 and jobless, have turned to pawn shops to sell their wedding rings.
    "I have seen a lot happen in Argentina in my day, but I never lost hope until now," Pitasi said. "There is nothing left here, not even our pride."
    Wages Fall, Prices Rise
    Late last month, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Eva Peron's death, thieves swiped the head of a new statue of her. Nothing, really, is sacred here anymore. Ads by concerned citizens appear on television, asking Argentines to look inward at a culture of tax evasion, incivility and corruption. But nobody seems to be listening.
    Food manufacturers and grocery stores are raising prices even as earning power has taken a historic tumble. A large factor in both the price rises and the slump in real wages is a 70 percent devaluation of the peso over the last six months. But the price of flour has soared 166 percent, canned tomatoes 118 percent -- even though both are local products that have had little real increases in production costs.
    Severe hunger and malnutrition have emerged in the rural interior -- something almost never seen in a country famous for great slabs of beef and undulating fields of wheat. In search of someone to blame, Argentines have attacked the homes of local politicians and foreign banks. Many of the banks have installed steel walls and armed guards around branch offices, and replaced glass windows decorated with ads portraying happy clients from another era.
    Economists and politicians differ on the causes of the brutal crisis. Some experts blame globalization and faulty policies imposed by the International Monetary Fund. But just as many blame the Argentine government for runaway spending and systematic corruption. The one thing everyone agrees on, however, is that there is no easy fix.
    Statistically, it is easy to see why. Before 1999, when this country of 36 million inhabitants slipped into recession, Argentina's per capita income was $8,909 -- double Mexico's and three times that of Poland. Today, per capita income has sunk to $2,500, roughly on a par with Jamaica and Belarus.
    The economy is projected to shrink by 15 percent this year, putting the decline at 21 percent since 1999. In the Great Depression years of 1930-33, the Argentine economy shrank by 14 percent.
    What had been a snowball of poverty and unemployment has turned into an avalanche since January's default and devaluation. A record number of Argentines, more than half, live below the official poverty line. More than one in five no longer have jobs.
    "We've had our highs and lows, but in statistical and human terms, this nation has never faced anything like this," said Artemio Lopez, an economist with Equis Research. "Our economic problems of the past pale to what we're going through now. It's like the nation is dissolving."
    The Suffering Middle Class
    Every Argentine, no matter the social class, has a crisis story. Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat, 80, one of the country's richest women, was forced to offer up paintings by Gauguin, Degas, Miro and Matisse at a Sotheby's auction in May. For many of Argentina's well-to-do, the sale was the ultimate humbler, a symbol of decline in international stature.
    Those suffering most, however, are the ones who had less to begin with.
    On the morning of her 59th birthday, Norma Gonzalez woke up in her middle-class Buenos Aires home, kissed her husband on the cheek and caught a bus to the bank. There, before a stunned teller, the portly redhead, known by her family and friends mostly for her fiery temper and homemade meat pies, doused herself with rubbing alcohol, lit a match and set herself ablaze.
    That was in April. Today, Rodolfo Gonzalez, 61, her husband, keeps a daily vigil at the burn center where his wife is still receiving skin grafts on the 40 percent of her body that sustained third-degree burns. She had no previous record of mental illness, according to her family and doctors, and has spoken only once about that morning.
    "She just looked up at me from her hospital bed and said, 'I felt so helpless, I just couldn't take it anymore,' " Gonzalez said. "I can't understand what she did. It just wasn't Norma. But I suppose I can understand what drove her to it. It's this country. We're all going crazy."
    Argentina long had the largest middle class, proportionally, in Latin America, and one of the continent's most equitable distributions of wealth. Much of that changed over the last decade as millions of middle managers, salaried factory workers and state employees lost their jobs during the sell-off of state-run industries and the collapse of local companies flooded by cheap imports.
    Initially, Rodolfo Gonzalez was one of the lucky ones. An engineer for the state power company, he survived the early rounds of layoffs in the early 1990s when the company was sold to a Spanish utility giant. His luck changed when the company forced him out in a round of early retirements in 2000.
    He was 59 and had worked for the same company for 38 years. Yet he landed a part-time job, and with his severance pay safely in the bank, he and his wife thought they could bridge the gap until Gonzalez became eligible for social security in 2004.
    Then came "El Corralito."
    Literally translated, that means "the little corral." But there is nothing little about it. On Dec. 1, Domingo Cavallo, then the economy minister, froze bank accounts in an attempt to stem a flood of panicked depositors pulling out cash.
    Most banks here are subsidiaries of major U.S. and European financial giants that arrived with promises of providing stability and safety to the local banking system. But many Argentines who did not get their money out in time -- more than 7 million, mostly middle-class depositors, did not -- faced a bitter reality: Their life savings in those institutions, despite names such as Citibank and BankBoston, were practically wiped out.
    Virtually all had kept their savings in U.S. dollar-denominated accounts. But when the government devalued the peso, it gave troubled banks the right to convert those dollar deposits into pesos. So the Gonzalez family's $42,000 nest egg, now converted into pesos, is worth less than $11,600.
    As the family had trouble covering basic costs, Norma Gonzalez would go to the bank almost every week to argue with tellers and demand to see a manager, who would never appear. As prices rose and the couple could not draw on their savings, their lifestyle suffered. First went shows in the Buenos Aires theater district and dinners on Saturday night with friends. Then, in March, they cut cable TV.
    Around the same time, the Gonzalezes' daughter, Paula, 30, lost her convenience store. Separated and with two children, she turned to her parents for support.
    The Gonzalezes had been planning for 18 months to take Norma's dream vacation, to Chicago to visit a childhood friend. After the trip was shelved as too expensive, she seemed to break.
    "I can't explain it, and maybe I never will be able to," Rodolfo Gonzalez said. He added: "But maybe you can start to figure out why. You have to wonder: Is all this really happening? Are our politicians so corrupt? Are we now really so poor? Have the banks really stolen our money? And the answers are yes, yes, yes and yes."
    Scavenging Urban Trash

    "There is not enough trash to go around for everyone," said Banrel, one of the participants in the cattle massacre. Rail-thin, he normally passes his days combing the garbage-strewn roads around the Las Flores slums in Rosario, a city of 1.3 million residents 200 miles northwest of Buenos Aires and long known as "the Chicago of Argentina."
    If Banrel finds enough discarded plastic bottles and aluminum cans -- about 300 -- he can make about $3 a day. But the pickings are slim because competition is fierce. The misery villages, as shantytowns such as Las Flores are called, are becoming overcrowded with the arrival of people fleeing desperate rural areas where starvation has set in. About 150 new families arrive each month, according to Roman Catholic Church authorities.
    With more people in the slums, there are fewer plastic bottles to go around. Banrel said he was getting desperate that day when he joined the mob on the highway.
    His family of three -- his wife is pregnant with their second child -- had been surviving on a bowl of watery soup and a piece of bread each day. He earned at least $40 to $60 a week last year working construction. With that gone, and with food getting more expensive, he said, "You can't miss an opportunity, not around here."
    "Am I proud of what we did?" he added. "No, of course not. Would I do it again? Yes, of course. You start to live by different rules."
    Reality of Rural Hunger

    For some rural families, the crisis has gone further. It has generated something rarely seen in Argentina: hunger. In the province of Tucuman, an agricultural zone of 1.3 million people, health workers say cases of malnutrition have risen 20 percent to 30 percent over the previous year.
    "I wish they would cry," whispered Beatriz Orresta, 20, looking at her two young sons in a depressed Tucuman sugar cane town in the shadow of the Andes. "I would feel much better if they cried."
    Jonatan, 2, resting on the dirt floor behind the family's wooden shack, and Santiago, the 7-month-old she cradled in her arms, lay listlessly.
    "They don't act it, but they're hungry. I know they are," she said.
    Orresta can tell. Jonatan is lethargic. His lustrous brown hair has turned a sickly carrot color. Clumps of it sometimes fall out at night as Orresta strokes him to sleep. Santiago hardly seems to mind that Orresta, weak and malnourished herself, stopped lactating months ago. The infant, sucking on a bottle of boiled herbal tea, stares blankly with sunken eyes.
    Six months ago, the boys were the loudest complainers when their regular meals stopped. Orresta's husband, Hector Ariel, 21, had his $100 monthly salary as a sugar cane cutter slashed almost in half when candy companies and other sugar manufacturers in the rural enclave of Rio Chico, 700 miles northwest of Buenos Aires, were stung by dried-up credit and a massive drop in national consumption.
    Ariel now earns just over $1.50 a day, not enough for the family to survive. The peso's plunge has generated inflation of more than 33 percent during the first seven months of the year, more than double the government's projection for the entire year.
    Goods not in high demand, such as new clothing, have not gone up significantly in price, but staples that families need for daily subsistence have doubled or tripled. The last time inflation hit Argentina -- in the late 1980s, when it rose to a high of 5,000 percent -- the unemployment rate was half the current 21.5 percent and most salaries were indexed to inflation. Today, there are no such safety nets.
    "I could buy rice for 30 cents a kilo last year," Orresta said. "It's more than one peso 50 now."
    "At least we will eat tonight, that's the important thing," she said, stirring an improvised soup.
    The concoction, water mixed with the dried bones of a long-dead cow her husband found in an abandoned field, had been simmering for two days. The couple had not eaten in that time. It had been 24 hours since the children ate.
    Orresta, like most mothers in her village, started trimming costs by returning to cloth diapers for her two young boys when the price of disposable ones doubled with inflation. But then she could no longer afford the soap to wash them, and resorted to reusing the same detergent four or five times. The children began to get leg rashes.
    By late January, the family could no longer afford daily meals. A month later, Jonatan's hair began turning reddish and, later, falling out. Although he has just turned 2, Jonatan still cannot walk and has trouble focusing his eyes.
    Orresta stopped lactating in April. But the price of powdered milk had almost tripled by then, from three pesos for an 800-gram box to more than eight pesos. At those prices, the family can afford 11 days of milk a month. The rest of the time, Santiago drinks boiled maté, a tea that also serves as an appetite suppressant.
    "You know, we're not used to this, not having enough food," said Orresta, with a hint of embarrassment in her voice.
    She paused, and began to weep.
    "You can't know what it's like to see your children hungry and feel helpless to stop it," she said. "The food is there, in the grocery store, but you just can't afford to buy it anymore. My husband keeps working, but he keeps bringing home less and less. We never had much, but we always had food, no matter how bad things got. But these are not normal times."
    Dragonfighter1
    Vivo est Ministro

  • #2
    We've got to help them somehow. It's just dead amazing how that happens. Is there a way to help them? Will it always fall into the wrong hands?


    I don't know about you but I'm more concerned about feeding and clothing these poor people than stocking up and hogging resources for myself.

    good post but let's be proactive.

    Comment


    • #3
      DF,

      Excellent post.
      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * ** * * * ** * *** * * * * ***** * * * * ** * * * * ** ** * *
      ~ * You get 10 'reps' to bless others with each day... don't log off until you have used them up......
      ....Live your life the same way.... ~ *

      Please pray for the 'Persecuted Church'.


      Bible Forums Vision: "To be a community of believers who are actively engaged in pursuing the truth of God as revealed in His Son Jesus Christ by way of studying the Scriptures diligently in order to discover this truth."


      Comment


      • #4
        I think it's a bit late to think of helping those people ... the dateline of the article is 2002.

        Of course there are people starving in a great many places right now. Jesus said that the poor are always with us and we can always to good for them.

        Mk 14:7
        7 For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good;
        NKJV
        Blessings,

        Road Warrior


        Proverbs 4:23
        23 Guard your heart above all else,
        for it determines the course of your life.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by RoadWarrior View Post
          I think it's a bit late to think of helping those people ... the dateline of the article is 2002.

          Of course there are people starving in a great many places right now. Jesus said that the poor are always with us and we can always to good for them.

          Mk 14:7
          7 For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good;
          NKJV

          Yes you are correct.

          My point was that in the end times type discussions many come on saying "the lord will provide" Yet we can see quite clearly that, while they still need to trust God, they ALSO MUST PREPARE BETTER THEMSELVES.

          When turmoil comes upon America do we really think the rest of the world is going feed us. When the whole world is in turmoil and people are looting any food stores to be found, then there will be a need to defend our selves and share what food resources we have intelligently... else they will be stolen or consumed. I get tired of the ols saw "Just trust God" because just as faith without works is dead.. so is trust without action.

          Sorry if I sound loud or angry, I'm not that...just frustrated with the pious platitudes that pop up with regularity.

          DF
          Dragonfighter1
          Vivo est Ministro

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Dragonfighter1 View Post
            Yes you are correct.

            My point was that in the end times type discussions many come on saying "the lord will provide" Yet we can see quite clearly that, while they still need to trust God, they ALSO MUST PREPARE BETTER THEMSELVES.
            ...

            Sorry if I sound loud or angry, I'm not that...just frustrated with the pious platitudes that pop up with regularity.

            DF
            I hear you. Your desire to teach and to encourage sound practices is commendable. It is quite likely that hard times are ahead of us.

            The article is interesting. It shows how human beings can behave in times of stress. It is not pretty, is it?

            Can you give us an update on how long the Argentinans had to endure? Did good times come back to that country? That would be useful.
            Blessings,

            Road Warrior


            Proverbs 4:23
            23 Guard your heart above all else,
            for it determines the course of your life.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by RoadWarrior View Post
              I hear you. Your desire to teach and to encourage sound practices is commendable. It is quite likely that hard times are ahead of us.

              The article is interesting. It shows how human beings can behave in times of stress. It is not pretty, is it?

              Can you give us an update on how long the Argentinans had to endure? Did good times come back to that country? That would be useful.
              Better times did indeed return after a few tough years... CIA factbook online says.,..
              Dragonfighter1
              Vivo est Ministro

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Dragonfighter1 View Post
                Yes you are correct.

                My point was that in the end times type discussions many come on saying "the lord will provide" Yet we can see quite clearly that, while they still need to trust God, they ALSO MUST PREPARE BETTER THEMSELVES.

                When turmoil comes upon America do we really think the rest of the world is going feed us. When the whole world is in turmoil and people are looting any food stores to be found, then there will be a need to defend our selves and share what food resources we have intelligently... else they will be stolen or consumed. I get tired of the ols saw "Just trust God" because just as faith without works is dead.. so is trust without action.

                Sorry if I sound loud or angry, I'm not that...just frustrated with the pious platitudes that pop up with regularity.

                DF
                It's not just a pious platitude. Having seen what the crowd did to the cows in the road, it's wishful thinking to think that the same crowd wouldn't do something equally drastic to anyone who was discovered to have a hoard of food.

                Most people don't want to hear of hard times around the corner. My own view is that hard times are coming to most of us (western developed nations included), but even if you have stockpiled food you'll have a hard time keeping it a secret. If all around you are malnourished and you aren't, it's pretty obvious to all that you've got a stash somewhere. If you share it with the hungry crowd it disappears faster than you can imagine, and if you don't then you have to live with yourself knowing people are dying all around you while you do nothing to save them.

                Unless you plan to run and hide somewhere, which brings all sorts of complications of its own, it's not as easy as saying "prepare".
                24 August 2013 - I've decided to take a break from a number of internet forums, including this one, for my own reasons.
                I expect to be back at some time in the future, although at present don't know when that will be.
                I've been here just a few days shy of six years, and those six years have been greatly blessed.

                ---

                1Jn 4:1 NKJV Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
                1Th 5:21-22 NKJV Test all things; hold fast what is good. (22) Abstain from every form of evil.



                Comment


                • #9
                  good post above. i was just going to mention that.

                  I actually have a few boxes of food stored up...it's not much, but enough for meager rations for about 6 months.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dragonfighter1 View Post
                    Yes you are correct.

                    My point was that in the end times type discussions many come on saying "the lord will provide" Yet we can see quite clearly that, while they still need to trust God, they ALSO MUST PREPARE BETTER THEMSELVES.

                    When turmoil comes upon America do we really think the rest of the world is going feed us. When the whole world is in turmoil and people are looting any food stores to be found, then there will be a need to defend our selves and share what food resources we have intelligently... else they will be stolen or consumed. I get tired of the ols saw "Just trust God" because just as faith without works is dead.. so is trust without action.

                    Sorry if I sound loud or angry, I'm not that...just frustrated with the pious platitudes that pop up with regularity.
                    Here's my deal. I'm not trusting God to make me comfortable. I'm trusting God to do whatsoever He wills with me, which presumably may include starving to death... or refusing the mark while they skin my wife and children alive.

                    While the story above is heart wrenching, what preparations would you have suggested for the Argentinians prior to their economic collapse? How do you know there weren't many who prepared well and live in that turmoil anyway? According to this story, even the most prepared (the wealthy) are struggling.

                    As frustrated as you are with the old saw "Just trust God", its equally frustrating to hear the tune "you don't have faith unless you're stockpiling". Provisions MAY make my situation more comfortable for a short while... but I'd need a warehouse to store enough non-perishable food for years. Then I'd need armed men to protect it, which means I need a bigger warehouse to store food for them and their families too.

                    Bottom line is there's no physical safety net you can knit in your spare time that will save you from calamity. Prepare as best you see fit, but in my mind there is no better preparation than being SPIRITUALLY ready to face trouble.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think it would be useful to stock up on seeds. Had all those people had seeds they could have grown their own food. Neighbors could share seeds with one another and no one would steal from their neighbors gardens cuz they would be growing their own. Seeds are cheap or free, I don't understand why governemnts don't distribute them in hard economic times.
                      Thus says YHWH, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls.
                      -Jeremiah 6:16

                      Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. - Matthew 11:29

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by diffangle View Post
                        I think it would be useful to stock up on seeds. Had all those people had seeds they could have grown their own food. Neighbors could share seeds with one another and no one would steal from their neighbors gardens cuz they would be growing their own. Seeds are cheap or free, I don't understand why governemnts don't distribute them in hard economic times.
                        May work for some rural areas.

                        If I used every scrap of bare ground on my landlord's property to plant wheat, I'd get one growing season, and maybe enough grain to make a few loafs.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by HisLeast View Post
                          May work for some rural areas.

                          If I used every scrap of bare ground on my landlord's property to plant wheat, I'd get one growing season, and maybe enough grain to make a few loafs.
                          You can grow things other than grain and it can be done on city lots(I'm an example of that). If you don't have alot of ground, you can grow upward on trellises.
                          Thus says YHWH, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls.
                          -Jeremiah 6:16

                          Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. - Matthew 11:29

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            When we have come to the end of our own resources, the end of our 'stockpiles', the end of our abilities, THEN, when we have nowhere else to turn, we will look to the Lord. THEN we will learn to trust Him.
                            Of course we are to do what we can, and will. But to relegate trust in God to a second position is not wise. Do what we can WHILE trusting in God. Learn and practice trusting Him now, so when the time comes, and it will, you will already know how to put your trust in Him.
                            He is able to feed 5000 with two loaves and fishes. He IS the Almighty God.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by tango View Post
                              It's not just a pious platitude. Having seen what the crowd did to the cows in the road, it's wishful thinking to think that the same crowd wouldn't do something equally drastic to anyone who was discovered to have a hoard of food.

                              Most people don't want to hear of hard times around the corner. My own view is that hard times are coming to most of us (western developed nations included), but even if you have stockpiled food you'll have a hard time keeping it a secret. If all around you are malnourished and you aren't, it's pretty obvious to all that you've got a stash somewhere. If you share it with the hungry crowd it disappears faster than you can imagine, and if you don't then you have to live with yourself knowing people are dying all around you while you do nothing to save them.

                              Unless you plan to run and hide somewhere, which brings all sorts of complications of its own, it's not as easy as saying "prepare".
                              I agree...the situation in stock piling just isn't realistic...I really don't want to be butchered alive like those cows for what little food I could stock pile. (I don't have the money to buy extra food anyway)

                              As far as seeds...I planted a garden this past summer...I got little out of it due to disease and bugs. I was able to get some green beans but frankly they taste terrible... I think I have two baggies in the freezer of them...and one container of tomatoes....a couple of meals and those are gone. My corn simply didn't develop...the few that did were eaten by bugs or got moldy...ewwww. The turpits were uneatable...the radish were ok. It was alot of work for very little given back...and now its winter and I can't grow anything outside at all, of course. Plus when it was summer I had to rely on the city to provide the water to my garden...if everything is to fall apart...I don't think the city worrying about everyone getting water will be high on the to do list...

                              And something not mentioned in this article...did these people believe in God? Did they look to God at all for help? The bible does tell us God will provide for us...it doesn't say He will provide for nonbelievers though.

                              If you notice the poorest countries...the ones where people are starving or suffering from disease...drought, famine, wars...tend to be ones where they have a different religion. those countries also seem to suffer more natural disasters too....earthquakes, tidal waves and so forth. Kind of interesting when you think about it...

                              God bless
                              "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

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