PU 039: When Helping Hurts

I had the opportunity to interview Brian Fikkert, co-author of When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor… And Yourself.

In this conversation, Fikkert discusses…

  • Diagnosing the causes of poverty
  • How Western materialism has infected Christians’ work among the poor
  • How Christians can use their gifts to do meaningful ministry
  • Ministering out of brokenness

Dr. Brian Fikkert is Associate Professor of Economics and the founder and Executive Director of the Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant College.

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PU 038: Ideas Matter (Laying the Foundation #3)

In this third foundational episode, we look at the roots of poverty. If we provide food, health, and education to people living in poverty, will we solve the problem? Or does poverty run deeper?

Key thoughts:

  1. Our understanding of how life works must be defined by God. (Romans 12:2)
  2. When we don’t listen to what God says about how life works, poverty happens somewhere. (Matthew 12:33-35)
  3. Our quality of life is based on the behaviors of ourselves and those around us, and those behaviors are ultimately rooted in beliefs and values.
  4. We must address the root causes of poverty—beliefs and values—in order to make lasting change.
  5. Before pointing fingers, American Christians should examine our own alignment to biblical values.

Mentioned in this episode:

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PU 037: New Heaven and New Earth

Our daily life is influenced by the way we understand heaven and God’s kingdom. In this interview, Beth Allen shares insight gained from reading Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright. Beth applies an understanding of the new heaven and new earth to cross-cultural work, the local church, and Christians’ circles of influence.

Beth Allen is Placement Services Manager at Food for the Hungry. She served in the Hunger Corps program as Special Projects Coordinator in Bolivia for four years.

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PU 036: Church Partnerships

Alisa Schmitz answers questions about church partnerships. When a church in the U.S. partners with a community in the developing world, life change occurs on both sides of the relationship. The overseas community can be released from poverty, and the U.S. church can also learn and grow. Ultimately, church partnerships exist to bring about the Kingdom of God.

In this episode…

  1. The goal of long-term church partnerships
  2. Preparation for short-term mission trips and ongoing relationships (Matthew 10:9-10)
  3. Honoring the people we are serving (Ruth 2:15-16)
  4. Keys to ongoing, vibrant relationships

Learn more about Community-2-Community partnerships – long-term relationships between American churches and communities in the developing world.

Alisa Schmitz is Senior Director of Global Engagement at Food for the Hungry.

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PU 031: Surviving an Economic Downturn

People who live in poverty are experts on how to get through tough economic times. Here are some tips learned from people who live on less than two dollars a day.

Mentioned in this episode: Rooftop and Urban Gardening, a resource from ECHO

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PU 025: Raising Children with God’s Heart for the Poor

Ideas for getting past selfishness and self-absorption with our children.

God wants His people to “do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with (their) God.” (Micah 6:8) These principles are the opposite of our culture’s reality, where value is placed on possessions and exalting oneself. This episode offers principles and practical ideas for training up children with God’s heart for the poor.

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PU 004: Ideas Have Consequences

Worldview is the key for solving poverty. What is worldview? Explore resources available from Disciple Nations Alliance. In this episode we talk about Gnosticism and Animism,  HIV/AIDS, the American myth of being happy, and symptoms of poverty vs. causes of poverty.

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Ready for the next episode in the Theology of Poverty series? Go to the menu here.