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How Can I Fight Poverty?

Posted By Amber Van Schooneveld On June 4, 2008 @ 1:58 am In Advocacy | 8 Comments

How can I help fight poverty? What in the world can I do? The problems are just so big, and I’m just so small. I want to be used by you, God, but I just don’t know what to do.

I’ve thought and prayed these things many times. When viewing this world with its huge statistics of dread that loom over us (one BILLION people living in poverty), have you ever just felt stuck? Paralyzed? Anaesthetized? Confused? Helpless? Hopeless?

I’ve felt all those things. Usually when I’m looking at two things:

  • The enormous earth, jam-packed with dreadful statistics, and
  • Me

They both seem like depressing prospects.

Thank God this is not about me or you. Thank God for His grace. When the Lord called out looking for someone to be his messenger, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6:8, NIV), He didn’t say “Whom shall I send who has a doctorate degree? Who will go for us who’s a super-swell, smart, sophisticated, experienced guy?”

No, God doesn’t put the same prerequisites on his servants that we put on ourselves. He seems quite eager to use each one of us as his servants, just the way he made us.

fight-poverty-hope-lives [3]I recently wrote a book about responding to poverty, Hope Lives [3], and between you and me, this is a bit crazy. Don’t tell anyone (especially my marketers), but I’m just a goofball from Colorado who loves donuts and reality television. But I’m a goofball who (quite audaciously) called out to God, “Here am I, send me!”

And you know what? God (quite audaciously, in my opinion), said “OK.” I’m tempted to think He might need a stricter HR department, but those are just the lies of the enemy. God wants to use each one of us (I mean you) to reach out and help His hurting world, no matter how insufficient we think we are.

We might not all be missionaries or nurses or have doctorate degrees in poverty, but God did plant a little seed, a little talent, in each of us that He wants to use and grow. There’s a guy who works here at Compassion whom God gave the talent of rapping. Yes, rapping [4]. And he’s using it to speak out against poverty. There’s a woman who loves to write letters, and she’s using this gift to write letters of encouragement and hope to dozens of children in poverty.

Maybe you can’t write or rap, but what can you do to serve others? Bake? Fix cars? Persuade? Sew? Tap Dance?

No matter how small (or random) our talent seems, God can use it. He can multiply our offering that seems so measly and make it into something incredible, just like the little boy with the two bitty fish that God used to feed 5,000 (John 6 [5]). God gave me the gift of writing.

The small step of faith I took in this has now been multiplied by God, through Hope Lives church kits [6] which guide churches through a five-week journey of exploring how God wants us to respond to poverty. Now how crazy is that?

I believe God is waiting for each one of us to look past the looming, seemingly impossible statistics, forget ourselves and our own insufficiencies, and simply say: “Here I am God, send me.” And I bet we’ll be flat-out flabbergasted by what he does.


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URLs in this post:

[1] subscribe to our blog: http://feeds.feedburner.com/CompassionBlogPosts

[2] Amber Van Schooneveld: https://plus.google.com/116586360569835548943/

[3] Image: http://store.grouppublishing.com/OA_HTML/ibeCCtpItmDspRte.jsp?item=1564190&section=18242

[4] rapping: http://blog.compassion.com/share-your-umbrella/

[5] John 6: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john%206:1-14;&version=31;

[6] Hope Lives church kits: http://www.group.com/hopelives/

[7] Image: http://blog.compassion.com/eliminate-poverty-is-it-just-a-matter-of-interpretation/

[8] Image: http://blog.compassion.com/eliminate-poverty-can-we-do-it-or-not/

[9] Image: http://blog.compassion.com/eliminate-poverty-just-a-matter-of-priorities/

[10] Image: http://blog.compassion.com/eliminate-poverty-fewer-children-are-dying/

[11] Image: http://blog.compassion.com/will-eliminating-extreme-poverty-require-a-miracle/

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