Over these past years one matter which has caused me great concern and which I have attempted to address is CORRUPTION.
When driving into Bethlehem leading a Pilgrimage I asked the Arab ‘Palestinian’ driver where all these new luxury houses came from and he replied - “From Gaza money". And yet, the European Union and other Donor Agencies continue to give Aid in cash to Gaza and West Bank communities - where corruption is excessive - and to other nations too where sums of money appear to disappear!
Having investigated the financial sources for the luxurious new homes in Bethlehem and on the Gaza waterfront - and knowing that certain concerned leaders have requested that Aid be given in the form of materials for particular projects, such as drains - it will take someone with true grit and courage to say, “This is now what is going to happen. "
Morals affect morale much more than is realised.
Some years ago when twenty-two billion dollars were unaccounted for in Russia, financial advisers in Moscow appealed to the International Monetary Fund and The World Bank not to send more money.
I have written to The World Bank and The International Monetary Fund regarding this very matter and received bland replies.
But government agencies continue to send financial aid to areas where they know it will be squandered.
When someone comes to my door asking for money for a meal, I never hand over cash. If the caller thinks my cheese sandwiches and coffee are insufficient, I have an arrangement with a local restaurant, where the hungry man can have a substantial nourishing meal. I go and pay the bill the following day.
When a man asks for money for the train or bus to travel home following his relative's funeral, I take the man to the train or bus station and buy the ticket. Surprisingly, the desire to travel frequently disappears.
No - I have seen money make its way to the nearest supplier of alcohol. I learned that lesson fast.
If such a simple convention can be applied in mini-micro-economics, why not in macro-economic dealings? Now - do not tell me it cannot be done - it can!
If there is anyone reading this short article who is able to do something practical about this most serious issue please arise, stand up, and raise this matter, so that the poor are no longer abused and so that the corrupt ‘leaders’ will no longer be able to line their very deep pockets and fill their ample bank accounts with money which should have been used in other ways.
Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentary at http://www.studylight.org entitled “Word from Scotland" on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.
His M. A. and B. D.degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical fitness.