‘Grounded’ in compassion

Can a secular government be more compassionate than a Christian ministry? Knowing televangelists like we do, apparently so. Malawi’s new president, Joyce Banda, recently cut her own salary by 30 percent, pledged to sell off 35 Mercedes Benz cars used by her cabinet, and sold the presidential jet for $15 million to help feed the 1.5 million people suffering from chronic food shortages, as reported by Associated Baptist Press (ABP). The Dassault Falcon 900EX jet was purchased by the late Malawi President Bingu wan Mutharika in 2009. In addition to the actual cost of the jet, its maintenance and upkeep cost Malawi roughly US $300,000 a year, according to a government official.  We appreciate ABP’s tongue-in-cheek tag line: “It takes self-sacrifice to minister among the people whom Jesus called ‘the least of these,’ and sometimes it just takes being grounded.”