Our Responsibility: Help Break the Cycle of Poverty – ChristianityToday.com

With Seven Saves, you can change the future of suffering children and families.
With Seven Saves, you can change the future of suffering children and families.
When Laurie Hartner visited a women’s prison in Haiti to distribute toiletries and share words of hope, she felt distant from the women. Many of their faces were weary and wary.
But when Hartner and her mission companions began singing the Easter hymn “Halle, Halle, Hallelujah!”, the energy in the room was transformed.
“When we stopped singing, the women in the prison had picked up exactly where we left off,” Hartner said. “They began singing and clapping, echoing down the halls. They were raising their hands up in praise. We had connected through God's amazing and most wonderful grace. We were sharing joy.”
“The power of an encounter? For me, it's in the poorest country, in the darkest place there,” Hartner said. “Joy can erupt and fill that place and take over and then how much more can joy fill my darkest places, my poorest places. Joy can reside in me no matter what.”
When Brooke Engelbrekssten and ten other students were getting ready to leave for a mission trip to Haiti as part of a college ministry program at Church of the Nativity in Burke, Virginia, she reflected on her decision to take part in the mission.
“Everyone that goes to Haiti comes back changed,” Engelbrekssten said. “This change is visible in many ways. People can go out and start an organization, they can choose to waste less water every day, or they can choose to simply lead a life more dedicated to God.
“My mother was one of these changed people. When she returned from her trip, she recounted the shock she experienced when she would look around the Haitian villages and see the majority of men and women not in underwear. She felt called to do everything in her power to help clothe the Haitians who lived every day without something we take for granted.”
As a result of her encounter in Haiti, Engelbrekssten saw her mother send endless emails, make countless phone calls, until finally, one man said yes. She still remembers as a fourth-grader, documenting their journey to North Carolina where Hanes was generously sending a sea container full of donated underwear to Haiti, all thanks to her mother’s dedication to clothing the Haitians in what should be considered a human right.
“My mother was truly an inspiration for me,” she said. “One trip, one person, and one decision to make a change has benefited hundreds of thousands of people. From the moment I saw the pallets filled with underwear, I wanted to go on every Haiti trip I heard about because I wanted to make a change too.”
The Gospel teaches us to love our neighbor. This requires coming together as the body of Christ. Food For The Poor provides the opportunity for a mission, for a community, a parish to come together to do God's work.
Forty years ago, our shared journey began. We’re dedicated to living out the gospel and helping those living in extreme poverty in the Caribbean and Latin America. Through the generosity of our donors, children whose bodies ache with hunger are fed. Families stay healthy because they can drink clean water. And entire communities are uplifted from the grips of poverty. But there are so many more who need help.
In the abundant grace of Jesus, we are led to reach children and families in the most desperate situations with basic essentials, the tools for a new future, and the boundless glory of God’s love.
You can change the future for suffering children and families right now.
Your congregation's gift will help build homes for families in desperate need of safe, secure shelter. This fresh start will give them a chance to break the cycle of poverty and will share the hope and joy of the Gospel.
This spring, Food For The Poor announced a new program, Seven Saves. It’s a grassroots program for church communities that puts faith into action among your congregation, helping individuals engage with the problem of extreme poverty. Seven Saves is good for the poor but also makes good things happen in your church like the shared goals that build community and keep your congregation working together and actively invested in outcomes.
This robust new initiative provides you with planning, resources, and church-wide elements with no commitment of the church budget.
Take this opportunity to learn more about how lasting positive change is possible in the developing world and how your church family can join the mission to break the cycle of poverty.
Learn more about how your church can get involved at SevenSaves.org.
Posted May 3, 2022


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