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Text Illustrations
YOU BE THE JUDGE?

"A money belt is one thing you just can’t do without," my

friend told me. ’Make sure you take travelers’ checks with you

and maybe a few twenties, and tuck them in your money belt

before you leave. And don’t ... DON’T go pawing through your

money when you’re out on the street. You just can’t trust

anyone."


Soon after that conversation, I found myself sitting

sandwiched between two people on a commuter bus. I had just

arrived in Manila, Philippines, for a two-week missions trip,

and this was my first bus ride. So far, there’d been no

problems, but as we neared our destination, I began looking

for dollar bills to pay the driver. That’s when I realized --

I didn’t have any cash handy. It was all in my belt.


The bus was now pulling up to the curb. Everyone rose, and I

figured in the confusion I’d slip out my money belt long

enough to get what I needed. Counting the change, I swayed

forward with the press, and then slipped my shirt back over

the belt. That wasn’t so dangerous, after all, I thought.


Then I felt a tap on my shoulder. Turning around, I saw a kid

probably no older than sixteen in tattered clothes staring at

me with wide eyes. I wondered what he wanted —- until I looked

down at what he was offering me: a wad of $100 bills. I hadn’t

been as careful with my money as I thought!


According to UNICEF, the average annual income for an American

family is $34,260; in the Philippines, it’s *$1,040. This teen

was handing me several months of a grown man’s wages. And they

told me not to trust anyone!

*http://www.unicef.org/statis/Country_1Page138.html


YOU BE THE JUDGE?

"A money belt is one thing you just can’t do without," my

friend told me. ’Make sure you take travelers’ checks with you

and maybe a few twenties, and tuck them in your money belt

before you leave. And don’t ... DON’T go pawing through your

money when you’re out on the street. You just can’t trust

anyone."


Soon after that conversation, I found myself sitting

sandwiched between two people on a commuter bus. I had just

arrived in Manila, Philippines, for a two-week missions trip,

and this was my first bus ride. So far, there’d been no

problems, but as we neared our destination, I began looking

for dollar bills to pay the driver. That’s when I realized --

I didn’t have any cash handy. It was all in my belt.


The bus was now pulling up to the curb. Everyone rose, and I

figured in the confusion I’d slip out my money belt long

enough to get what I needed. Counting the change, I swayed

forward with the press, and then slipped my shirt back over

the belt. That wasn’t so dangerous, after all, I thought.


Then I felt a tap on my shoulder. Turning around, I saw a kid

probably no older than sixteen in tattered clothes staring at

me with wide eyes. I wondered what he wanted —- until I looked

down at what he was offering me: a wad of $100 bills. I hadn’t

been as careful with my money as I thought!


According to UNICEF, the average annual income for an American

family is $34,260; in the Philippines, it’s *$1,040. This teen

was handing me several months of a grown man’s wages. And they

told me not to trust anyone!

*http://www.unicef.org/statis/Country_1Page138.html


By Steve Gertz

Online Editorial Coordinator


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