“The Challenge of Global Poverty
“We are called to a loving and generous concern for the poor. Yet for many of us with a heart for the poor, the statistics are almost overwhelming. More than a billion people live on less than $1.25 a day. Every year, millions of men, women and children die from AIDS, malaria and other preventable diseases. Tens of millions lack clean water and go to bed hungry.
“There is, however, reason for hope. Although we cannot create heaven on earth, we know what it takes for the poor to be able to create new wealth for themselves and rise out of poverty. Indeed, there exist powerful tools that could allow us to make enormous strides in creating prosperous societies. It is time to rethink poverty. It is time to put the person, made in the image of God, at the center of the economy. It is time to help unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of the developing world.”
When it comes to poverty, there is a strong voice rising up from sacred and secular alike. It sounds something like “the free market,” “economics,” and “entrepreneurship.” It’s a movement away from charity and aid as a means of transformation, and towards empowering the poor with education, business opportunities, and dignity. In the words of Poverty Cure, we need to move “from seeing the poor as consumers or burdens to seeing them as creators; from viewing the poor as recipients of charity to acknowledging them as agents of change with dignity, capacity, and creativity.”
If this is true, then it means we can be connected to the battle against poverty in a very real and strategic way. It means that making those changes in our lives to purchase products with wisdom and also to give with wisdom (more on that later), are a crucial component to making a difference. It’s also intimidating, because that wisdom is exactly the thing that many of us lack. And we won’t figure it out overnight. But to me, pursuing wisdom in these areas is about much more than justice. It’s a pursuit of God, a way to worship Him. It’s a way to say, I want to love what you love, and I want to partner with you to make transformation possible for the people you love that are hurting. So while I’m daily intimidated by this journey, I will take one more step. What can I learn today?
I appreciate the Poverty Cure website. It has an overwhelming amount of material for understanding the economic and entrepreneurial “solution” to poverty, all grounded in a Christian perspective of the imperfections of human nature and the need for the transformation of the Gospel. Do a little surfing on their website, and you can’t fail to come away having learned something valuable about combatting poverty. Click Here.