Friday, January 15, 2010

What is Poverty?

Perhaps you are like me. You want to help but hear warnings about not giving to the homeless guy on the street corner because they'll just buy alcohol. Or drugs. Yet to do nothing seems wrong too. Perhaps you want to give but be assured that it's being used in the best possible way. Perhaps it's easy in the area I live in to think that those that are homeless or poor are "deserving' of their plight and it's best to send money overseas to the people that are truly poor and don't deserve the poverty they were born in.

I've been faced with many questions this week as I pray for my church family in Togo, Africa, visiting our Compassion International sponsor children. They finally were able to send a tweet and a blog from there and it sounds like they are having an amazing time. You can read my pastor's blog HERE and in the next few days I'm sure my friend MAXINE will also post on her blog as well. I'm excited to read their accounts of what God is doing in the country of Togo.

When I'm faced with many questions I tend to want to ask someone that I think has all the answers. Unfortunately, I can be very annoying by asking my questions. I also read books on the subject but the books generally just fuel more questions! Which in turn makes me more annoying as I search and ask for answers to my questions.

In my search on what is poverty and what I can do about it, I have just started reading a book called When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor and Yourself. I'm only on the second chapter but it's been very insightful and, like I said, fuels me with more questions (so far) than answers.

I could go and address this but instead I want to ask you a few questions that the book posed at the end of chapter 1.

* Why did Jesus come to earth?

* What is the primary task of the church?

* What do you think is poverty?

I'd love to hear your answers.

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