“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
One of the pre-conference sessions was Brian Fikkert, author of “When Helping Hurts.” Most Westerners tend to define poverty in materials terms (a lack of…) so solutions tend to focus on the material. Brian challenged us to rethink our definition of poverty to being a result of broken relationships with God, ourselves and our community. So who are the poor if poverty is about broken relationships? We are ALL poor. Until we embrace our own poverty, our attempts to help the materially poor are likely to hurt them and ourselves. The first step in poverty alleviation is our own repentance. You can hear more from this engaging speaker and author when he comes to Baltimore on May 18, 2013. Watch for more information about this event.
Another session was from our Cambodia travel partner, Kim Yim, as she shared her own journey of getting involved in the anti-trafficking movement. Her powerful presentation encouraged us each to do what ever we can, where ever we are, be it telling others, contacting local and national government representatives, being mindful of the impact of your purchases (Check out slaveryfootprint.org) and most importantly, praying. You can read her story and the next steps you can take, by reading her book “Refuse To Do Nothing.”
The conference continues tomorrow, with speakers such as Eugene Cho, co-founder of One Day’s Wages; Gary Haugen, founder of IJM; Stephan Bauman, President of World Relief; and Sheryl WuDunn, co-author of “Half the Sky.”