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
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
by Rachel K. Zimmerman I was sitting at a table for four at one of the more exclusive country clubs in Florida. My friend and I were in fancy dresses, trying to enjoy a nice dinner with some relatives. I was headed back overseas a few days later. My anxiety always peaked a few days … Continue reading Are You 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
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”
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
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.”
We had been in India for two months when we discovered we were going to be parents. This was not an “oops.” I don’t know why we chose that particular time to start a family. Maybe it’s because our new, Himalayan-ringed world seemed so full of possibility. Maybe it’s because we had recently read the … Continue reading What Happened When I Gave God My Overseas Birth Plan
Can Christians fire people? Can pastors fire people? Can churches fire people? What about missionaries? Can they fire people? I’m sure this question has been asked before, but it is worth asking again because my guess is that there are some individuals or teams out there who might be wrestling with this right now. So, … Continue reading Can Missionaries Fire People?
by Yosiah In the last couple of years, the film series The Chosen has become quite popular. The episode at the end of season two portrays Jesus preparing for what will become the Sermon on the Mount. In the show, Jesus is accompanied by one of his disciples, Matthew. Jesus is preparing the words for … Continue reading What Did Jesus Mean When He Said “Blessed”?
by Beth Barthelemy “My mom lives near where your Grandma lives,” my friend told my youngest, who looked up at her with her head tilted to one side. “No,” my two-year-old daughter said, “my grandma lives in the iPad.” My friend looked at me, tears filling her eyes, because she lives motherless on this continent … Continue reading You Can’t Cross the Ocean on an iPad
I was 16 when I first sensed the Lord calling me to full-time ministry — and more specifically to serve sacrificially in areas where there was a great need of the gospel. The Lord gave me faith to respond almost immediately, “Yes, Lord, I will go wherever you lead.” I am Dominican, and at the … Continue reading Missionaries were sent to serve my country. God sent me somewhere else.