Poverty is a result of injustice.
Poverty is a complex, multifaceted problem that is
often misunderstood as simply “a lack of material things”.
While material needs are part of the equation, poverty, at its core,
is a much more evil force that attacks and affects
the very foundation of a person.
The nature of poverty is relational,
while the root of poverty is spiritual.
Poverty is about relationships that don’t work, that isolate,
that abandon or devalue. Poverty breaks relationships with God,
with others and with creation. Sin is what distorts these relationships.
Sin is the root of deception, distortion and domination.
Poverty lies to the poor by telling them that they are god-forsaken.
It perverts identity, destroys dignity, hides one’s true purpose
and steals the ability to dream, stripping away all hope.
Poverty works against human life at every level:
spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially and psychologically.
Poverty is everywhere.
It’s important to acknowledge that poverty is not restricted solely to the materially poor. Everyone is poor in God’s world, and all are in need of transformation. The reach of poverty extends to all corners of the earth, affecting the poor and the non-poor equally but in different ways. The non-poor have a different set of problems to be sure, not the least of which is that God hates idolatry, injustice, oppression, and any attempt to play God’s role in the life of anyone else. The need to fight against injustice and for transformation extends to all humanity.
“Referring to people by a label is always dangerous. We may forget that the poor are not a abstraction, but rather a group of human beings who have names, who are made in the image of God for whom Jesus died. The people who live in poverty are as valued, as important, as loved as whose who do not. Whenever we reduce the poor from people with names to abstractions, we add to their poverty and impoverish ourselves.”
Articulating our understanding of how poverty works against all aspects of life is important Our knowledge of the problems caused by poverty guide how we respond.
We believe poverty attacks an individual in five fundamental areas.
OUR RESPONSE TO POVERTY IS TRANSFORMATIONAL DEVELOPMENT.
This approach involves both the proclamation and demonstration of the gospel,
which empowers the poor to break poverty’s chains and become architects of change
in their communities.