Why Hope Triumphs Over Poverty

If people are a nation’s greatest resource, why are so many countries in Africa poor, yet the birthrate in Africa is the highest in the world?

smiling woman with arm around smiling girl

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. –Romans 12:2, NIV

Why is the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) far poorer than the Netherlands even though, when we compare the natural resources of the two nations, the Netherlands would not even be a contender against the DRC?

As an African, these very questions – and many similar ones – used to profoundly bother me.

But the last ten years working in this ministry have turned my mourning into joy.

Holistic child development is – at its core – a powerfully transforming process. It helps poverty-stricken children rediscover the powerful story of God’s redeeming work spiritually, socially, physically and cognitively.

large group of children running and laughing

When the children rediscover for themselves the real story of the God Who loves them and Who has empowered them to realize their full, God-given potential, everything changes. Children begin to have a new story about themselves and their circumstances.

Their perspectives move from hopelessness to having hope. Christian hope is powerfully transforming. It is an assurance rather than just mere expectation. Hope sustains identity and confidence. Hope triumphs over poverty, because where there is hope, there is dominion rather than domination.

It has been said that the difference between astronomy and astrology is one word: domination. One seeks to dominate stars by studying them while one is dominated by the stars.

stars in night sky

Astronomy believes that one can use knowledge to study the stars and open new doors of possibility. Astrology believes that one is ruled and under the authority of the stars – casualties of circumstance.

What is the difference between the DRC and the Netherlands? The Netherlands majored in astronomy while the DRC majored in astrology, if you will.

The hope for Africa lies not in its vaunted natural resources but in a transformed generation that will major in astronomy rather than astrology.

Currently over 450,000 children across eight countries in Africa are hearing a different story about themselves and their potential. Their minds are getting renewed, and they are beginning to discover that God’s good, perfect and pleasing will for them is not poverty but power to change their circumstances and poverty.

6 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Vicki August 28, 2012

    I need a Like button under each Comment!

    1. Mallory August 30, 2012

      YES !

  2. Lisa Miles August 28, 2012

    What has kept Africa down? 1) WAR. If you’re looking specifically at the Democractic Republic of the Congo — the Second Congo War that started in 1998 gutted that country. Millions dead. Despite the fact that a peace accord was signed in 2003, fighting continues to this day in some parts of the country. 2) CORRUPTION IN GOVERNMENT. Too many examples to even go into. “If you attack corruption, it’s the best way to attack poverty.” That’s a quote from Nuhu Ribadu former head of Nigeria’s anti-corruption committee. And I agree with him 100%.

    What I’m looking forward to is our Compassion kids getting out of the program and going into government. I believe that’s where the next generation has the potential to make the most impact. Pastors, doctors, social workers, etc. are all great. But government is where it’s at.

    1. Sidney August 29, 2012

      Lisa – I very much agree with your comment about what has kept Africa down. However, as an African, I think war and corruption are symptoms of a deeper malaise – a wrong worldview. It is this worldview which needs to be tackled. Do not forget that the majority of African leaders are educated – and in most part in the West. President Mugabe in Zimbabwe, for example, is said to have seven earned degrees…but look where Zim is at today. Compassion’s holistic programs tackle what I believe is the problem of Africa – worldview, and a biblically shaped worldview at that. It is worldview which forms the basis for values of a people. And values are critical in undergirding and supporting sustainable and equitable development, strong and democratic institutions and the rule of law. Without these values, we will simply be sending clever thieves and petty warlords into government and repeating the sad story all over again.

      1. Lisa Miles August 29, 2012

        In all fairness to Africa, I worry about the same things in the United States. I worry that war and political corruption will ultimately be our downfall, as well. I think what has saved the U.S., so far, is the fact that the wars we wage haven’t been fought on our own soil and so we avoid many of the side effects.

        Mr. Muisyo, excellent points and so beautifully put! As Vicki said, if there was a “Like” button, I’d like your comment. It is a vicious cycle — corruption/war/displacement/rape/disease/loss of income/loss of education/loss of hope, etc. I agree that Compassion is an excellent program to disrupt that negative cycle. And I thank you for all you do.

        I hope you find time to write more on the blog. This was an excellent post.

  3. Peter Caligiuri August 28, 2012

    I love your thoughts on hope. I have traveled a bit and seen some of the poverty in North India and Nepal and what you say about hope absolutely rings true to my heart and my experience. God gives such great hope through Jesus Christ. Thank you for your thoughts and ministry!

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