Poverty – It's our responsibility to help

By glblguy

This article is just one of more than 10,000 blog articles being published on the internet today as part of Blog Action Day. Our efforts will reach an estimated 10.9 million people. The entire M-Network is participating and writing articles to participate in this incredible effort to have a positive impact on poverty.

Poverty (also called penury) is deprivation of common necessities that determine the quality of life, including food, clothing, shelter and safe drinking water, and may also include the deprivation of opportunities to learn, to obtain better employment to escape poverty, and/or to enjoy the respect of fellow citizens – Wikipedia

Around the world, more than 1/2 of the human population lives in poverty conditions. World Bank defines extreme poverty as living on less than a dollar a day and moderate poverty under two dollars per day. World Bank estimates that in 2001, 1.1 billion people had consumption levels below $1 a day and 2.7 billion lived on less than $2 a day. That’s 3.8 billion people in the world living in moderate poverty or below…3.8 billion.

Our responsibility

Regardless of their situations, regardless of their reasons, it’s our responsibility to help. Too many times people look to government programs to assist with things like food stamps. It’s not enough. We need to help. Here are just a few of the many Bible versus that encourages Christians to to make a difference:

  • “Jesus answered, If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.'” – Matthew 19:21
  • “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” – Matthew 25:35
  • “On the contrary: If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.'” – Romans 12:20
  • “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John 3:17-18

What can we do?

The options are almost limitless and only limited by your ability and self restrictions. We met some people in Guatemala that literally sold their home, quit their jobs, sold all of their possessions and came to live in Guatemala to help families in need. They literally followed the instructions given by Jesus in Matthew 19:21. On the other hand you can give money to reputable charity organizations.

Shanty town next to the city dump in Guatemala City

Shanty town in the Guatemala City dump

The worst thing you can do is to struggle with what to do and take months to make a decision. Don’t think, don’t wait, just act. Allocate a category in your budget to giving and give. Personally, we give through our church who through missionary programs helps families, children, and charitable organizations throughout the world. While in Guatemala, we gave away far much of the money we brought with us. Many times I just couldn’t say no, the conditions we saw we heart wrenching. My wife and I still think and talk of moving to Guatemala once our children are grown and starting a home for children.

Here are just a few of the many small things you can do to make a difference:

  • Give to your local Church. Most churches have missionary programs that support and fund that have positive impacts on poverty stricken and needy people all over the world.  Not sure if your church does this? Ask.
  • Give through organizations. Not the church going type? There are many many different organizations throughout the world that focus on helping with poverty. Here is just one list. Doing a Google search for poverty organizations yields more than 20 million results! Do your homework though, not all of these do what they say they do.
  • Sponsor a child. Chelsey wrote a guest post for me about a child she sponsors named Lisbet. Sponsoring a child is an awesome way to make a positive difference in a child’s life. The great thing about his program is that you get to develop a personal relationship with that child as well. You can see the difference you are making. We are in the process of sponsering two children, a boy and a girl thanks to Chelsey’s article. I’ll post about it as soon as I know more.
  • Adopt a child. We did this in 2006. We adopted a little girl from Guatemala who’s mother couldn’t afford to support her. We not only potentially saved her life, but she has made a significant positive impact on ours. Honestly, I’m not sure sometimes who got the better end of the deal…most of the time, I’m pretty convinced it was us.
  • Go on a missionary trip – Our church routinely has missionary trips. Primarily to Haiti but to other countries such as Spain, Guatemala, and Mexico to name a few. These trips have very clearly defined goals, like building homes, repairing homes, fixing churches or building mission buildings. I’ve seen the pictures from these trips and the impact is huge.

Again, these are just a few of the many many different things you can do. Want to make a difference, pick one like sponsoring a child and just make it happen.

“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John 3:18

I’d encourage you to make a commitment today to make a difference. I’ve heard it said that by putting something down in writing, you’re far more likely to do it. How about adding a comment and in it making your commitment on what you will do to make a difference. Have a great idea for helping out with poverty or know of an organization you really like? Add it in a comment. I’d like this article and your comments to be a beneficial source for people searching for what they can do to help others. Add to the value and add a comment!

Links to other M-Network member’s blog action day articles:

Other blogs from my blogroll participating:

17 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Poverty – It's our responsibility to help”

  1. plonkee Says:

    Awesome. Although I’m not sure people should be encouraged to adopt on a whim ;) .

    If everyone did something it would be amazing. That’s not going to happen unless at least each person reading this comment does something. I’d prefer it if you did it now without thinking too much – you’re all rich and you can afford to.

  2. Chelsey @ Brown Eyed Basics Says:

    GLBL, I just want to thank you so much for sponsoring two kids. I am so humbled that God would use the article I wrote to soften your heart toward that. I know that God will use your family to bless those two children so much, and I can’t wait to hear about your experience.

  3. Curious Cat Investment Blog Says:

    Great post. I really like helping by providing a helping hand to people to let them improve their lives. Two of my favorite tools for helping that progress along are Kiva, Trickle Up and many other great microfinancing organizations help too.

  4. Objectivist Says:

    Before you allow altruism and our society’s skewed value system to place upon you an obligation to others based upon their need, please take some time and read the book that is the most life changing book in America, second only to the Bible: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

    Have a great day!

  5. glblguy Says:

    @Objectivist – Neither altruism nor “society’s skewed value system” place any obligation on me…God does through his Word and spirit.

  6. Glen barker Says:

    Thank you so much for this Blog. I believe we are of like mind. The organization I work with is making incredible strides towards sponsoring children and villages in war torn and impoverished countries. Send me an email and I will send anyone who wants it a video of what we are doing.

    Thanks again,

    Glen Barker

  7. ohio doc Says:

    Absolutely is… there are so many tan gentles to poverty. Privatized medicine for one is literally driving physicians out of business and down to the local food line. PM will crush all of us ultimately. Everyday I have 15 reps knocking at my door…and 15 families with no insurance…i slam the door on the reps and welcome the families in but there is really only so much on Doctor in a small midwest ohio town can do…we need help from the feds, and soon.

  8. The Debt Helper Says:

    great to see a christian perspective on poverty and the versus you mention are a good reference point. Some people believe that just talking about povertyacheives little, but I take a broader view, because in my opinion it raises people’s consciousness about the matter which means that they are little to consider it more fully when faced with situations and images of poverty and respond more warmly to it.

  9. twink Says:

    so much on Doctor in a small midwest ohio town can do…

  10. Kaci Rothgery Says:

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