Today I’m going back to one of the most basic lessons about poverty–one that everyone needs to understand but very few people actually get. It’s the infamous issue of dependency. Listen to this 20-minute episode to become an instant expert on the topic… or at least to get started with what you need to know.
I also took some time to address the question that everyone seems to ask: What should I do instead? It’s not hard to avoid dependency—it’s really not!—after you grasp a few basic concepts.
Let me know what you think of this episode. What else would you add?
Many college students have big dreams about how they’ll use their university degrees to change the world. But for many of us, real life sets in shortly after we graduate. There are loans to pay back, rent to cover, salaries that draw us in, love interests that anchor us to a particular city. Many times, life just doesn’t work out in the idealistic way we expect.
But what happens to those who really do follow through? In this episode, I sat down with Mesha Smith, who served with Food for the Hungry for four years in Peru. She talked about her experiences living cross-culturally–about the changes she saw happen in the communities where she served, and about the changes that God brought about in her own life through the experience.
Mesha Smith received her degree in Journalism and Mass Communication at New Mexico State University. She joined Food for the Hungry in 2006 and served for four years in Lima, Peru through the Hunger Corps program. Mesha worked as Communication Coordinator and Community Development Promoter. She took photos, wrote stories, designed literature, and created videos about the work of FH in Peru. Mesha now lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she works with InFaith, a mission organization that ministers within the United States. She works in their Communication Department and is helping to form an intentional community of believers who live together in order to minister to their Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood.
Is there a positive purpose to poverty? Marty Martin shares his thoughts on the purpose of the poor, which he says is “the elevation of all humanity.”
The story of Lazarus and the rich man, told by Jesus in Luke 16:19-31, illuminates the idea that the opportunity to respond to people in poverty is actually an invitation from God.
Marty also responds to these other common questions.
- Can we use the story of Lazarus and the rich man to determine who is going to heaven?
- Are rich people forbidden from going to heaven?
- How are the poor elevated through their poverty?
Marty Martin serves with Food for the Hungry as Chief Operating Officer for the Global Service Center, Phoenix. Marty has over 30 years of experience in pastoral ministry, relief and development operations, and corporate management in Africa, Asia and North America. Trained as an Air Force pilot he also possesses a Masters degree from Covenant Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Humanities degree from Colorado Christian University. Marty has been with Food for the Hungry since 2005.
In the message, Marty challenges listeners to become involved with Food for the Hungry. Check out some of the opportunities for involvement: church partnerships, sponsoring a child, running with FH World Sports, Hunger Corps (long-term service), and careers.
An interview with Amanda Cox, coordinator for the Faith to Action Initiative. Amanda focuses on best practices in orphan care, emphasizing that God’s plan for children involves families. She discusses times when orphanage care is a necessary option, and other times when family-based options for orphans can be found.
Mentioned in this episode:
- Download From Faith to Action and Journeys of Faith.
- Order print copies of From Faith to Action and Journeys of Faith.
- Together for Adoption Conference, October 21-22, 2011 in Phoenix, AZ
When we walk with people living in poverty, communicating God’s love is one of the most important messages we bear. For those who feel forgotten by God and devalued by the world, the truth of God’s love can transform everything.
A beautiful truth about mankind is that God made us in His image. Genesis 1:26-27 puts it simply.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Being made in the image of God is good news! It’s a profound statement of the value of each person, and of God’s love for each of us.
In this episode, we explore what it means to be made in God’s image. Listen and find unexpected ways to say “I love you”–and surprising ways we might be undermining the message.
Is clean water the solution to poverty? Or is it health care? Education, perhaps?
Journey with Wendy as she unpacks what it means to “consider the poor.” (Psalm 41:1) God’s solution to poverty just might surprise you.
Items mentioned in this episode
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Mission trips can be unpredictable, but following a few simple guidelines can take the guesswork out of the experience. In this interview, Heidi Hatch shares seven standards that every short-term team leader needs to know. These principles apply to any Christian mission team, whether they are planning a building project, medical mission, service team, or vision trip.
The Standards of Excellence in Short-term Mission are a set of seven guidelines for organizations, churches, and individuals. Over 75 organizations are provisional or covenant members adhering to the standards. Food for the Hungry is a covenant member.
Heidi Hatch is a Field Liaison for Food for the Hungry (FH). Her ministry team facilitates approximately 80 short-term teams each year to Africa, Asia and Latin America. Churches interested in sending a team with FH may learn more on the church partnerships page.
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Listeners– Happy New Year! Here’s a repost of a New Year’s episode that you might have missed the first time around.
Incorporate the end of world poverty into your list of New Year’s resolutions. Here are three New Year’s resolutions you can make that will change the world. Click the play button above to listen.
- Get involved with one family in poverty around you. (Proverbs 19:17)
- Get to know God by defending the cause of the poor and needy. (Jeremiah 22:13-16)
- Advocate for the poor. (Proverbs 31:8, 9)
Did you know that the United Nations, Food for the Hungry and organizations around the world have New Year’s Resolutions too? They’re called the Millennium Development Goals. They’re actually more like “New Millennium Resolutions,” I suppose.
Bonus material in this episode: How to keep your New Year’s resolutions!
- Make a declaration on paper
- Set a deadline
- Ask someone to keep you accountable
World AIDS Day is December 1, 2010. In this audio episode, Kim Buttonow answers questions about progress made towards preventing and treating HIV/AIDS. Kim Buttonow is HIV/AIDS Programs Coordinator for Food for the Hungry.
Action steps mentioned on today’s show:
- Learn. Check out our global calendar for World AIDS Day events.
- Urge your Senators and Representative to support the Global Fund
- Share this episode on Facebook
- Give. Make a donation to commemorate World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day is so much more than a time to dwell on what hasn’t been accomplished yet. It is a chance to look back and see how much has been achieved. In the last 5 years, in Ethiopia, Uganda, Mozambique, Kenya, Rwanda and Haiti, Food for the Hungry has reached over 1.5 million youth and adults with messages of prevention and has provided care for over 5,000 orphans and vulnerable children. FH has started treatment centers where there had been little access. Through the efforts of governments, donors and other organizations like FH, treatment has increased nearly 6 times since 2004. Innovations that were once just a dream are nearing real-world usability, and strides are being made in vaccine development.
December 1 is a day to celebrate what God has done through us, with us, and around us. Let us rejoice in all that God has done! See how FH is celebrating World AIDS Day.
Also mentioned on today’s show: Request the free four-week Poverty Unlocked curriculum for churches and small groups.
In Zeway, Ethiopia, over 100 orphans have lost both of their parents. With no social safety net for children, orphans are often left to care for themselves. They feel alone and forgotten. But God has not forgotten them.
In this interview, recorded at the Together for Adoption Conference, Matt and Julie Kouri and Dawit Kassaye Woldeyohannes share a new solution to the orphan crisis in Ethiopia.
It’s not an orphanage, and it’s not international adoption. Curious? Listen to the interview.
Three ways to learn more about this partnership…
- Read The Hope in Zeway blog
- Make a donation on behalf of the orphans
- Contact Matt and Julie through our contact form
All too often, women are the face of poverty and injustice. More women and girls have been killed in the last 50 years by the hands of gender-injustice than men were killed in military battles in the last 100 years. At least one in every three women globally has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime.
In this episode, Jayme Cloninger, Public Policy Consultant for FH, shares about the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA).
Anne Brown reveals the invisible causes of poverty: ideas. Examples from Guatemala, Zimbabwe, and India show the transformational effects that biblical ideas can have on impoverished communities—and the tragic consequences of destructive ideas.
Anne Brown is Regional Manager of Global Engagement at Food for the Hungry. If you enjoyed this episode, listen to Anne share the benefits of having personal relationships with the poor.
Also mentioned in this episode! Audio from Summit 2010: The Truth about Poverty is now online. Check out the workshops below.
The Truth about Child Sponsorship with Jewel Anita Hendrix
The Truth about Physical Poverty with Victor Cortez
The Truth about the Human Soul with Paul Wilson
The Truth about Serving with Steve Corbett
The Truth about Prayer with Darryl Delhousaye
International Staff Panel with FH field staff
Why do people remain poor?
This episode addresses six obstacles to positive change for people living in poverty. When all six of these obstacles are lifted, the change process can occur.
- Lack of education
- Lack of resources
- Human sinfulness
- Satanic deception
- Lack of supportive people
- Presence of opposition
When I explained this lesson to my 5- and 6-year-old daughters, here’s the language they understood for describing the six obstacles.
- No school
- No money
- Nobody helping
- Mean people
Many of you have asked about Food for the Hungry’s response in Haiti. Yes, our Emergency Response Unit is on the ground and working in Port-au-Prince! We need your help in giving and telling others. Read more on our relief blog or on the Food for the Hungry web site.
Thank you for your support.