Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Church Planting In The Poorest Places

Jasper Speaks:

Over the past five years, God has taught me a lot about poverty. I grew up in the inner city of North St. Louis. My father was a pastor. In the late 1980's we lived on his salary of $75 a week and the generosity of others. Thankfully, God provided our home through an apartment above the church. I knew American poverty. I lived American poverty. We used food stamps because we had to. I usually don't like talking about those things because in this country the poor come with a prejudice that is often denied but nonetheless exists. I thought I knew poverty but God showed me something else.

In 2011, I took my first trip to Ghana. Working in the region of the capital city of Accra, known as Nima, I saw what poverty looks like in a third world country. I was overwhelmed. I saw what happens in a country that cannot support its poor. I saw families of five or more living in a room the size of my small church office. There were no beds. There were simple furnishings but not anything that you would see even in the most modest homes in the US. I saw a place where the cooking was done outside in community fire pits. I saw children in clothes that had been used several times over and hung from their bodies, stained by the dirt and overuse. I saw people without shoes or any hope of them. I began to understand the difference between global poverty and American poverty.

I found myself suddenly taking offense at the Facebook statuses of "friends" who would complain about sending aid to foreign countries when our own people had needs. I started to sense a call to be a global Christian. That call has resulted in four other trips to Ghana and plans to go for my sixth time this summer. That call brought us to the adoption journey in Uganda. All this happened because of one six day trip into the third world.

For a few months I have been following a ministry called Living Bread on Twitter. I have recently started learning what they are doing in the poorest parts of our world. They see that humanitarian aid is not enough to help the poor. They need the light of Christ to provide hope. Their ministry started in Brazil, in very low income areas. They plant churches to shine the light of Christ in these desolate locations. I think they are a worthy ministry.

You can find out how you can help by going to:
http://www.livingbread.org/

Here is a video to tell you a bit more about them:

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