This eminently practical book shows how ordinary people can help fight poverty around the world. Focusing on proven initiatives such as microfinance and employment-based solutions, the authors outline specific steps we can take in leading the charge against spiritual and physical poverty. Also includes photographs by award-winning photographer Jeremy Cowart (www.jeremycowart.com).
It’s unusual to discover an engaging, detailed and affecting manual delineating a Christian approach to alleviating global poverty. That’s what Greer and Smith have given readers in this resource-rich guide to how individuals, businesses, churches and denominational groups can use the basics of microfinance—the provision of financial services to the poor—to partner with communities and find “employment-based solutions with proven results for effectively reducing poverty and extending the kingdom of God.” Greer, president of the Christian relief organization HOPE International, and Smith, a retired businessman and philanthropist, are enthusiastic realists, aware of the challenges facing those who are severely poor; the difficulties, new skills and patience required in churches that want to be catalysts for change; and the complexities of partnering with corporations that may have other, sometimes conflicting, agendas. The book works in large part because of the real-life experience, passion and dedication that both men, who write different chapters, bring to the table. Their biggest achievement may be helping to push skeptical readers off the fence about the potential of religiously funded microfinance—and giving interested parties plenty of practical tools to get started. (Nov.)