Seeing Dignity Instead of Misery Among the Poor

by Amy Straub I used to assume that life must be joyless for those without all the material comforts that were commonplace to me. When I considered people who had only the clothes on their backs and just enough food for each day, my first and strongest reaction was pity. I felt it often in … Continue reading Seeing Dignity Instead of Misery Among the Poor

This Pandemic Can Help Us to Identify With the World’s Poor

I was always blown away by the number of funerals. During the years our househelper in Tanzania worked for us, I lost count of how many times she asked for time off to attend a funeral for a family member. She was my age, but during those years she lost her mother. Her mother-in-law. A … Continue reading This Pandemic Can Help Us to Identify With the World’s Poor

One question to help you evaluate ministry among the poor

I learnt the hard way what NOT to do in poor communities. When I first came to Cambodia 22 years ago, the place was a mess. People were poor. Dirt poor. Frankly, you’d have had to be a heartless zombie not to respond. And the missionaries came flooding in. We were full of compassion and … Continue reading One question to help you evaluate ministry among the poor

There’s no such thing as the “deserving poor”

My neighbors were evicted. I came home to find their worldly belongings – a couple of dirty sheets, a filthy pink pillow and assorted clothing – piled in a puddle outside my front door. They had previously been living crammed together in one of the tiny, windowless rooms that line our alleyway. Apparently our landlord … Continue reading There’s no such thing as the “deserving poor”

How to partner with a poor church without screwing everything up

Partnering directly with poor churches is a promising way to do mission for affluent churches. Skip the middleman and Go Direct is the mantra of this internet age. I personally like the idea of this approach because of the possibility it holds for real, long-term, mutual relationships to emerge between rich and poor. But if you’ve … Continue reading How to partner with a poor church without screwing everything up

Please Don’t Say, “They Are Poor But They’re Happy.”

noble poor

Katherine Boo talks about the western ‘conceit that poverty is ennobling.’ Tracy Kidder, in his book Mountains Beyond Mountains, quotes Paul Farmer, “There’s a WL (white liberal) line – the ‘They’re poor but they’re happy’ line.’ They do have nice smiles and good senses of humor, but that’s entirely different.” I am of the opinion … Continue reading Please Don’t Say, “They Are Poor But They’re Happy.”

What I Learned After Visiting Scotland

My last name may not scream an ethnicity to you. Unless you are Chinese, and then when you see my pale face, sturdy bones, and slightly curly hair, the response comes from an ancient script passed down from generation to generation. Eyes widen, “You are not Chinese.” Yes, I know that. Growing up I latched … Continue reading What I Learned After Visiting Scotland

Following Jesus to Unlikely Places

I never thought I would write a book. At least not until I was old and retired and had actually “done something with my life.” But then a few years ago, a conversation with my parents spurred me on to start writing—and I wrote my first book, Beyond Our Walls: Finding Jesus in the Slums … Continue reading Following Jesus to Unlikely Places

Dear Betrayed Missionary Spouse

Dear betrayed missionary spouse, I hope this letter finds you in a room that feels familiar, comforting even. I’m writing because I want you to have the letter I wish I’d had on our Discovery/Disclosure day (D-Day). I want you to feel seen and less alone.  I was a missionary wife. Perhaps like you, I’d … Continue reading Dear Betrayed Missionary Spouse

Discerning God’s Call (unpacking the spiritual factors that affect the decision to leave the field)

by Andrea Sears The mission field is a place of tremendous opportunities for spiritual growth. We learn to depend on the Lord so much more when we have our normal comforts and culture stripped away. We see God doing amazing things in the lives of others, even miracles, that strengthen our faith. We see Him … Continue reading Discerning God’s Call (unpacking the spiritual factors that affect the decision to leave the field)