Poverty Day

Well today I officially went into poverty. Not for real but I changed identities and became Albert Aber. I was married and had 2 kids. This was a simulation in Leadership Amarillo Canyon but it hit me hard. Things were so hard. I had no job, unemployment benefits had run out, my wife didn’t work and we had $125 in the bank that we couldn’t use because the bank would only use it to get us partly caught back up on a loan due to them. Let me tell you, this was hard. We couldn’t find a jobs to pay the bills, had 1 kid who got kicked out of school and spent time in jail. We didn’t even have enough money to eat. So at the end, our utilities were turned off, we were evicted from our house, we sold everything and we were hungry.

It showed me the roadblocks that people face when they have nothing and how desperate they’ll get to get anything. We saw it all. People stealing from each other and selling themselves to get money to pay for food for their kids. It happens folks and there are times we just need God to slap us with a day like this to remind us. Our comfort at times is taken for granted and this made each of us stretch out and see how it feels to stand in food lines, fill out government forms and be treated well, like hell by people because you have nothing.

It also showed me is that I’m blessed beyond belief. I couldn’t help but just get totally heart broken for people. There are tons of people in Amarillo tonight without a warm house, with no food, basically having nothing. During this simulation, I couldn’t help but stop and pray. I prayed for my simulation and real family and just thank God for what I have and how blessed we as a family really are.

So, during this Christmas season, pray for each other. We don’t know exactly what other families are going through but even in a town as small as Amarillo, there are thousands of families struggling with where their next everything will come from. Just don’t pray for them but search your heart and see how you can help them. Show God’s love to people and let him work with you and them to help everyone.

Love you all!


  1. Sonja Gross · December 12, 2008

    I didn’t think the Equine Therapy Day could be topped. Just two days ago I was whining about all the Christmas “hand outs” being publicized in the news and snapped that if people want something in their stocking, they can work their butts’ off like me – who, despite working my butt off, will probably only get coal.

    Yesterday’s simulation was a real eye opener. I’ve never had to apply for food stamps but I did lose a job once through no fault of my own and I remember the runaround I got from the Department of Labor. I still believe a lot of people use the system but for those who truly need it, I think it’s a shame the runaround they get.

    Poverty day struck me more personally than that though in that it really made me look at myself. I didn’t like what I saw. Other people saw it. They prayed over me, they befriended me. It’s a day I will always cherish and never forget.

    Have a blessed day Dennis!

  2. Natalie Lowe · December 12, 2008

    It is different when you are faced with foreclosure or your lights being turned off, or your water or gas. Or no groceries. As I sat the other day waiting at the Workforce Commission and looking around. Just looking at people and visiting with Tiko who sat down beside me, I am thankful for what we have. I’m also mindful, that there are a lot of people out there who are a paycheck away from being homeless. It’s way to real. Way tooo real. It’s real for me. It’s real for you. An illness, a wreck, a job loss can change your life very quickly. My mom was listening to the radio the other day and a pastor was talking about his daughter who had stopped by a home right here in Amarillo recently. There were three children there trying to get a can of porknbeans open with a butter knife because they were hungry and that’s all they had. Can you even imagine your children so hungry they are trying to open a can of beans with a butter knife??? Heartbreaking…. We are indeed blessed………..

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