When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself  -     By: Steve Corbett, Brian Fikkert
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When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself

Moody Publishers / 2013 / Paperback

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Product Description

With millions living on $2.00 a day, American Christians are answering God's call to serve the poor. But are we doing more harm than good? Corbett and Fikkert discuss why all poverty isn't created equal; expose the problem of cultural bias; and show how to do short-term missions without doing long-term damage. 288 pages, softcover from Moody.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 288
Vendor: Moody Publishers
Publication Date: 2013
Dimensions: 9 X 6 X .63 (inches)
ISBN: 0802409989
ISBN-13: 9780802409980
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

With more than 225,000 copies sold, When Helping Hurts is a paradigm-forming contemporary classic on the subject of poverty alleviation and ministry to those in need. Emphasizing the poverty of both heart and society, this book exposes the need that every person has and how it can be filled. The reader is brought to understand that poverty is much more than simply a lack of financial or material resources and that it takes much more than donations and handouts to solve the problem of poverty.

While this book exposes past and current development efforts that churches have engaged in which unintentionally undermine the people they're trying to help, its central point is to provide proven strategies that challenge Christians to help the poor empower themselves. Focusing on both North American and Majority World contexts, When Helping Hurts catalyzes the idea that sustainable change for people living in poverty comes not from the outside-in, but from the inside-out. 

 

Author Bio

STEVE CORBETT is the Community Development Specialist for the Chalmers Center at Covenant College and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics and Community Development at Covenant College.

DR. BRIAN FIKKERT is the Founder and Executive Director of the Chalmers Center at Covenant College, as well as a Professor of Economics and Community Development at Covenant College.

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  1. dgreegor
    MI
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Help the Poor...but don't hurt them
    February 26, 2014
    dgreegor
    MI
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    *I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

    When I heard about this book from a review by a friend I thought it would be a great resource to have. I was right. This book is a great tool on how to properly use aid when dealing with the poor. The solution is not to throw money at the problem but rather find out what is causing the poverty.

    Corbett and Fikkert do an excellent job of giving their foundation for helping the hurting: Jesus. Jesus came to earth and helped the hurting. By His example we should do the same. However, there is a way to do so without making this worse than before.

    The first thing is find out what type of poverty it is. Is it poverty by tragedy (hurricane, tsunami, medical reasons), economic environment (low income job, high cost of living) or lack of initiative? What the authors have done is show that each situation is not the same. It is the proverbial feed a man to fish, but make sure that there is a river in which to fish.

    What was addressed, that never dawned on me, was the mental and psychological battering that the poor are assaulted with that a middle income earner does not face. Thoughts of worthlessness, stupidity, hopelessness, and others plague the poor. These items must be addressed but the solution is not always to give financial aid. What then is the proper response? That depends on the cause.

    Sometimes the proper response is to give money but that such situations needs to be examined carefully. It may only be a one time need (i.e. car trouble, damages because of natural disasters, etc) and such needs may be solved by money. However, what about the situations like poor education, loss of a job, etc.? Giving money will not fix these problems but it is often used because it is one of the easiest.

    This gets to the heart of the book: overcoming poverty requires a long term approach. It demands time, energy, relationships, and perseverance. It requires getting to know the people who make up the poor, understanding their fears, dreams, thoughts, and worldviews. This is how to help without hurting: empowerment.

    This is a great book and should be on the shelf of anyone involved in ministering to those in impoverished environments. I highly recommend that every pastor, homeless shelter director, and missions organization get a copy. In fact, get more than one so you can lend out a copy or two. It will be well worth it.
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