Don pastors in one of the poorest counties in Michigan. I pastor in one of the poorer neighborhoods of Fort Wayne. Don's church has done some great work with area churches to care for the poor. Anchor has hired a Community Connections Director to help care for the poor and low-income families in our church and neighborhood and city.
But still the question remains: what's the best way to help?
I'm hoping this book will help Don and I move forward, to help our churches blossom even more in providing really good help to the men and women and children God brings to us in response to their prayers for help.
Here's a quote from the opening chapter that was convicting to me:
First, North American Christians are simply not doing enough. We are the richest people ever to walk the face of the earth. Period.
Yet most of us live as though there is nothing terribly wrong in the world. We attend our kid's soccer games, pursue our careers, and take beach vacations while 40 percent of the world's inhabitants struggle just to eat every day.
And in our own backyards, the homeless, those residing in ghettos, and a wave of immigrants live in a world outside the economic and social mainstream of North America.
We do not necessarily need to feel guilty about our wealth. But we do need to get up every morning with a deep sense that something is terribly wrong with the world and yearn and strive to do something about it. There is simply not enough yearning and striving going on.
Second, many observers believe that when North American Christians do attempt to alleviate poverty, the methods used often do considerable harm to both the materially poor and the materially non-poor. ...these methods are wasting human, spiritual, financial, and organizational resources, [and] these methods are actually exacerbating the very problems they are trying to solve.