A survey conducted in Niger by the Office of the Prime Minister asked the poor of that country to describe poverty. Their answers included: dependence, marginalization, scarcity, incapacity and restrictions on rights and freedoms.Continue Reading ›
Fasting isn’t an instrument to get God to hear our prayers or to help us master a primordial impulse or to accomplish anything. It’s something you do when circumstances are bad enough that you don’t want to eat and it would seem wrong to do so.Continue Reading ›
A major success in a poverty-reduction goal for the new millennium — halving the proportion of people whose income is less than $1.25 per day — was probably reached three years ago.
Recently, I read about how the poor in Haiti have to mix mud in their food to make it go further. Mud. They mix it with flour to make a few more biscuits or simply fry it up with cooking oil or lard and salt to give it a bit of taste. Imagine a mother having to scoop up mud just to have something to feed her hungry children.
If you finished high school, you might as well be “Dr. Jones” to those who have no chance of getting an education. If you eat three full meals a day, Jones. Jones. Jones.
During a party at Simon the Leper’s, Jesus says to Judas Iscariot, “The poor you will always have with you” (Matthew 26:11). The misinterpretation of this statement has justified a fatalistic belief that, by divine decree, the world will always have poor people.
The absence of a clear definition is a serious problem for organizations whose missions are to eradicate poverty or, in our case, to release children from poverty.
Tell us how you understand and define poverty, and then in future blog posts we’ll explain the basis of our holistic approach to ministry and what our definition and understanding of the problem is.
How does Isaiah 58 relate to extreme poverty? How does it relate to oppression and corruption? Does Isaiah 58 have anything to do with these topics?
How about its relevance to how we serve the Lord today? What are your thoughts?
How big is the problem of extreme poverty? Three billion people worldwide and 1 billion children deep. But despite the size of those numbers, many people at Compassion believe that we can eliminate extreme poverty in our generation, that we can remove or utterly destroy it.
You might think we’re “drunk on the spirit,” that our goal is unrealistic, completely irrational or even not Biblical, and I will be honest with you, I thought it was out of I thought of it as an impossible task, too.
The Church’s ability to eliminate extreme poverty is just a matter choosing to do so. We used to say that 40,000 children under age 5 die every day of hunger or preventable diseases. Today, that number is 24,000. These statistics show that in 20 years the number of children who die every day of hunger or preventable diseases has been cut in half. Yet, the birth rate is actually going up. The population is increasing.
Is our ability to eliminate poverty just a matter of how we interpret the Bible? John 12:7-8 is the verse that has captured our thoughts as we think about the poor. The verse that is now the most remembered about the poor.
And yet, when Jesus spoke, he was not talking to us. His use of “you” was not intended to be directed at us. This reference, this statement, was very specifically directed at Judas.