Sunday Worship Gathering 11 AM @ North Community Lutheran Church
114 Morse Road Columbus, OH 43214 (Map)
While having a meal with children from KP-4 (the home that Scarlet City and Vista are supporting) I was reminded of the question: what is poverty?
Many blessed to be born and live above the poverty line view poverty as simply the lack of material needs such as food, money, and shelter. As a result, many churches and organizations aim to address poverty by providing these basic needs, but unfortunately little lasting change or impact results. In a ground breaking study, the World Bank interviewed over sixty-thousand poor people from sixty low-income countries asking the simple question: “What is poverty?” The results altered the way many approach caring for the poor and were published in a three-volume set titled Voices of the Poor.
Here is a small sample of responses recorded in When Helping Hurts.
“For a poor person everything is terrible—illness, humiliation, shame. We are cripples; we are afraid of everything; we depend on everyone. No one needs us. We are like garbage that everyone wants to get rid of.” - Moldova
“When one is poor, she has no say in public, she feels inferior. She has no food, so there is famine in her house; no clothing, and no progress in her family. – Uganda
“If you are hungry, you will always be hungry; if you are poor, you will always be poor.” – Vietnam
The study revealed that poor people view their condition through a more emotional and psychological lens. When they talked about poverty they equated the lack of material goods with feelings of shame, powerlessness, fear, humiliation, and hopelessness. Therefore, in order for churches and organizations to better meet the needs of the poor they had to minister to the entire person not just their material needs.
So why was I reminded of this while enjoying a meal with the kids from KP-4? In spending time with these children it is obvious that not only are their physical needs, such as food and shelter, being provided but also their emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs are being addressed too! Many of these children couldn’t smile months ago. They couldn’t smile because there was nothing to smile about. Now, you can’t get them to stop smiling! These kids aren’t just provided for but they are loved. They aren’t just fed but they are empowered. These are children who are growing to believe they have a future, and thus have hope. It will be a joy to see these children grow up. In the process, I expect God will do just as much of work in our hearts as we are reminded where true love and hope are found.
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