A tale of two cities.
That common phrase has been used in recent years to describe Rochester and how its neighborhoods are divided by income.
But the phrase also describes how I felt after my polar opposite experiences last weekend.
On Friday, I dropped off my oldest at Cornell University. It was a bittersweet experience full of laughter and tears. I could not be more proud of her.
But there we were, moving her into an air-conditioned townhouse for four girls with a kitchenette, two floors and parents meeting all their needs.
Two days later at St. Mary Church’s Dugan Center, I covered a presentation by Kuc Majak and his wife, Achay Dau, about their fundraising work to operate a vocational school in South Sudan. They call their homeland the poorest place on earth.
As journalists, we are supposed to remain objective. But something got to me when Majak played a video about the street children — who have nothing — being fed and treated medically by a church group. Some children’s wounds were so infected that they contained maggots.
Dau talked about how people there often turn a blind eye to the children because there are so many of them. If you offer food to some, many more children will surround you.
She does what she can, but the mother of four cries often thinking of the suffering children in her native village.
It should pain us all. I know there are children in need everywhere — in our own country, in our own back yards.
During this Year of Mercy, however, I pray that we all can be like Majak and Dau and do whatever we can to answer Jesus’ call to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless wherever they may be.
God bless this amazing couple.