Ever thought about the impact of short-term missions to third world countries, or even to the poorer areas of your city? When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert causes you to consider the tough questions when working to alleviate poverty. Their book is the subject of our latest review.
How do you know if you’re actually hurting those you’re aiming to serve and trying to get out of poverty? I think many in the U.S. and other wealthy countries believe that those in poverty are simply the people living in third world countries who don’t have access to a lot of the things and necessities of life – clean water, food, job opportunities, medical care, possessions, etc. That line of thinking can lead to disastrous results when coming up with a strategy to alleviate poverty. It can give a God complex and make those in poverty feel even more ashamed and hopeless. It can strip people of their dignity and worth because we think we have all the answers. This book exposes those problems and gives a paradigm shift when thinking about poverty. We are all broken and in poverty in some aspect of our lives. Building relationships with the poor and working for true development is a much more worthy goal than accomplishing short-lived tasks while in-country for a few days or weeks.
Simply put, this book gave words to the experiences and lessons learned we’ve accumulated over many years of serving in Haiti. It’s how we at Espwa want to operate and it’s formed a large part of our strategy moving forward. We hope you’ll read this one to get an idea of how we intend to serve and we hope it makes as big of an impact on you as it did on us.