Alleviating Poverty through
Biblically Based Business

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The sheer brutal facts concerning death and misery in the Developing World are monstrous in their proportions, and yet we very rarely hear them reported.  Why?  Because, as a population, we do not want them reported!  I regret to say that, in general, we do not want to be reminded of our responsibilities in an area we feel almost powerless to address and, as a nation, we would rather watch programmes that make us feel good about ourselves, and read newspaper stories which illustrate how bad ‘everybody else’ is, and elect governments which promise to make our lives better.  Let’s face it, we live in a market economy, if we wanted anything else – that is what we would get.  We prefer to not see our personal role in the suffering of so many people. 

It is true that we in the UK do try to salve our consciences a bit; we give to charities (although any of you who have been involved in counting local envelope collections will realise that ‘give’ is somewhat of a loose term here) and we sign petitions for others to ‘do something about it’.  But we maintain this approach even though somewhere at the back of our minds we realise it cannot conceivably be enough.  Even though we know that after decades of pouring billions into Africa in the form of charity, it remains largely unaffected.   

And let us be frank here, before God who can see into our souls, although I have used ‘we’ in a pejorative sense for the entire populous, it is not just those around us, ... it is ‘you’, and it is ‘me’ – at some level, we are the same.  Even in many of our Churches our discussions have lost their perspective; we will set up well-meaning structures and invest resources and time in policies to protect our children and ourselves (the latter mainly against litigation it seems these days), with little evidence on the real efficiency and efficacy of the same, and with hardly a thought on what proven impact the same investment could make for God’s children in other countries.  Are our own children somehow thousands of times more valuable than theirs?  Is that how God sees it?  And while we may pray for the needs of the world, and support projects and missionary partners in far flung places, we rarely do so to the point of sacrifice, and we rarely seek channels outside of those that are presented to us.  We are the same really.  Or perhaps more accurately, we may not be sufficiently different. 

But we are different – because we want to change.  Somewhere in the back of our minds is a sense of ‘this is not right’; a real disappointment with the situation and with our part in it.  That is why you are reading this, and why, in one respect, I wrote it.  And that is why we are going to do something about it



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