Friday, December 11

Most Eye-Opening Book of 2009

The Poor Will Be Glad:
Joining the Revolution to Lift the World Out of Poverty

by Peter Greet and Phil Smith
Zondervan / Hardback
$13.59 on Amazon.com

I came across The Poor Will Be Glad because an Amazon algorithm drove me to it. Otherwise, I'm not sure that it would have come up on my radar screen. This title by Peter Greer and Phil smith is my "Most Eye-Opening Book of 2009."

Here's a quick rundown on the details:
Realistic introduction to microenterprise, microfinance, business as mission, and entrepreneurship as Christian mission.
Alternative to the dehumanizing dependency that American churches have unintentionally created through mission-trips and sponsorships of various projects abroad.

• Basically they argue that we can make a major dent (but not totally alleviate) poverty by helping provide people with secure ways of saving money and access to affordable credit.

• The authors don't belittle the good intentions of what we've done in the past. That is, the tone is positive.

Must read for every globally focused Christian, every church planning a mission trip, and every mission committee.

• Beautiful book -- almost a coffee table piece -- incredible photos by Jeremy Cowart -- easy to read.

Very practical. This is not just somebody's theory but these principles are already in use around the world.

Sample quote: "If people are always given things, they begin to expect the things, thereby negating personal dreams or aspirations of climbing out of their current condition. Always being on the receiving end encourages indigenous believers to see themselves as incompetent, unable to learn even if they did decide they wanted to learn." p. 68
I have on several occasions this year rolled my eyes at decisions made by Zondervan. This book shows that they are still serious players in the evangelical publishing game.
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