Rethinking how to help
Those who have read When Helping Hurts and Toxic Charity seek ways to “help” and not “harm”. It isn’t easy as most of us have lived our lives trying to help in ways that focus on charity and giving to the “poor”. Ever since I dared to read “When Helping Hurts” I have asked myself if what I am doing is helping. I feared reading it as I didn’t want to know that what I was doing was harming.
My friend Chip and I have walked this journey together. We meet and discuss what it means to help. We challenge each other on what we are doing in the world to try to help without harming. Chip sent me the following article and I wanted to share it with you. It gives some very practical ways to fight poverty – things we can do in our everyday lives.
I would be very interested in you sharing books, videos and articles that discuss this topic of how to help without harming the very people we are trying to help.
When I was in Marsabit we interviewed Pastor Hirbo. One of the questions we asked him is how can we as Americans help him in his work to reach the unreached, to help the very materially poor and marginalized people. He told us that it is important to continue to work through him. He told us that if we come and give out the water packs, the soccer balls, the shoes the people will look to us as their “hope”. When we give out things it is charity. When he gives to those in need it is ministry. When he gives the things to help the people they see God through him. They see hope in Pastor Hirbo who comes to help them. The people don’t need charity – they need hope.
I am grateful for all of you who help us help Pastor Hirbo reach those in Marsabit.