Presentation on theme: "When Helping Hurts On the Ground. When Helping Hurts – Welcome! Text – When Helping Hurts – Corbett & Fikkert Goal #1 – Understanding the Poor Goal #2."— Presentation transcript:
When Helping Hurts On the Ground
When Helping Hurts – Welcome! Text – When Helping Hurts – Corbett & Fikkert Goal #1 – Understanding the Poor Goal #2 – Better how to help effectively Goal #3 – Compassionate Realism
Why Understand? People of means can sometimes despise people less fortunate People of means can sometimes indulge people less fortunate People of means often simply cannot understand how anyone could be poor in America There are lots of misconceptions out there.
Why Learn to Help? People of means don’t always know what people really need. People of means can hurt more than help and not know it People of means can be used by the less fortunate in pursuit of wrong goals
Intended Audience Evangelical Christians who are people of means: Who live in communities of means Who attend churches of means For whom poverty just does not make sense. But who want to make a difference in a way that really helps and not hurts like so many poverty alleviation approaches & programs
Compassion with Realism? Blind Side Helped – Michael Oher Helpers – The Tuohy’s (Leigh Anne) Place – Home and Briarcrest Christian School Action – adoption, tutors, advocacy Results – graduation, college & pro football Blind Sided Helped – Michael Burrell Helpers – The O’Connors, Jones, Groffs, Mortons Place – Home, WPC, WSM, McCaskey, Oregon Dairy Action – temp adoption, academic support, job, counseling Results - Released
Plight of the Poor Poor people typically talk in terms of shame, inferiority, powerlessness, humiliation, fear, hopelessness, depression, social isolation and voicelessness. Middle and upper class North Americans tend to emphasize food, money, clean water, medicine, housing, jobs, etc. pg 53
Plight of the Poor “In addition, the seeming intractability of their situation, caused in large part by the lack of well- paying jobs and the persistence of racial discrimination, has engendered deep-seated bitterness and anger in many of the most desperate and poorest blacks, especially the young people.” ( Elijah Anderson Code of the Street pg 46)
Plight of the Poor However the underlying diseases behind those symptoms are not always very apparent and can differ from person to person. A trial and error process may be necessary before a proper diagnosis can be reached. Like all of us, poor people are not fully aware of all that is affecting their lives and like all of us, poor people are not always completely honest with themselves or with others. And even after a sound diagnosis is made, it may take years to help people overcome their problems. Pg 56 It may require spending yourself. “and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” – Isa 58:10
Four Foundational Relationships Relationship with God – Glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Relationship with Self – Created in the image of God giving worth and dignity Relationship to Others – Created to dwell in loving relationships, fulfill callings Relationship with Rest of Creation – Cultural Mandate (subdue and steward)
Others Rest of Creation Self Economic System Political System Religious System Social System God
God Others Rest of Creation Self Economic System Political System Religious System Social System Poverty of Being Poverty of Stewardship Poverty of Community Poverty of Spiritual Intimacy
Immediate Causation in the Book? Society crams historically oppressed, uneducated, unemployed, and relatively young human beings into high-rise buildings, takes away their leaders, provides them with inferior education, health care and employment systems that pays them not to work? (92) Is it surprising that we see out of wedlock births, broken families, violent crimes, drugs and end up with nihilism? Broken systems do serious damage to people’s worldviews. (92) Trying to help individualists see systemic causation.
Alisa Collins Before (75) – Missing? Context (or culture) – Chicago Projects Widespread drug abuse Failing schools High unemployment Rampant violence Teenage pregnancy Role models absent Personal Set-up Pregnant – 16 years old Drop out of high school – by 16 Welfare Checks By book time – 5 children by 3 different men, no support Obstacles (made your bed sleep in it or victim in need of social redemption?) Few Skills No Husband Limited social network Can’t find or keep regular work Lack of decent paying jobs for Drop outs Welfare system deducts any funds earned (penalized) Jobs/Vocational program bureaucrats (condescending) Inadequate child care Emotions Feelings of inferiority and inadequacy (rather than shame) Lacks confidence in job hunting or vo- tech training Feels trapped in the ghetto. ? Cultural Values Taught or Caught Subsistence or Street Values Habits passed down from social network.
The Line? Personal Responsibility Socially Determined AbleDisable ? Social Determinism – personal choices are causes by some antecedent force such that a person is not free to choose otherwise. Hence the choice is not right or wrong, for they do not have the power to do otherwise. The choice just is.
Poverty of Being 1 (Dignity/Pride) “A major premise of this book is that until we embrace our mutual brokenness, our work with low- income people is likely to do far more harm than good.” - Pg 64-author Italics The poor suffer from a sense in inferiority because the have failed materially. (inferiority complex) (64) The rich suffer from a sense of superiority because they have succeeded materially (god-complex). (65)
Material Definition of Poverty God-complexes of Materially Non-Poor Feelings of Inferiority of Materially Poor Harm to Both Materially Poor and Non-Poor ++ = Poverty of Being 1 (67)
Poverty of Being 1 - Answers 1. Mutual brokenness and respect 2. Repent of health and wealth gospel
How do we understand this? Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! - Phil 2:5-8 Serve as one among not as one from above, laying aside our greatness and status; whether one as advantaged by social standing and access or one advantaged by high moral ground.
Poverty of Being 1 The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business. James 1:9-11
Poverty of Being 2 (Guilt/Blame) Guilt – Subtle, unconscious sense of guilt that makes people feel apologetic about being civilized, educated, and productive when others are barbaric, uneducated, and parasitic. (Helpers) Blame – Subtle, unconscious sense of resentment that makes people feel their poverty is caused by society, particularly the civilized, educated and non-poor. (Helpees)
Poverty of Being 2 (Guilt/Blame) The real hurt is when the actions of the survivor (subsistence) or the street (criminal) poor person perpetuate choices, lifestyles and habit patterns that are known to lead to various levels of poverty as a consequence. Hence, while blaming others, we are less likely to make the fundamental changes in our own lives that could lift ourselves up from poverty.
Again, Answer to Helpers Serve as one Among not as one Above. Jesus never apologized for his divinity or his perfection or suggested that maybe humanity is better than divinity (Avatar). But he shed his glory so that He could serve incarnationally.
Ministry Avoid Dependency Helpee Humility Mutual Brokenness See Beyond Faults Trust God To Helper Transparency Vulnerability Trust God Through Preserve Dignity Empowerment Hurts: Inferiority Enabling Helps: Dignity Empowerment
Participation (110) Ensure participation of affected person or population from assessment to implementation. Conduct application process Respond to need if needs cannot be meant by local agents. (We are the local agents.) Aid workers must be called and trained (Deacons and Deaconesses)
Participation–International Scene For aid to be effective, it must be linked to broad reforms aimed at building strong institutions, rule of law and sound government free of corruption. In short an “enabling environment” for entrepreneurship. - (Eberly 64, 72) Other factors include “good harbors, close contact with the rich world, favorable climates, adequate energy sources, and freedom from epidemic disease.” – Jeffrey Sach. (Eberly-70) The West must acknowledge their role in excluding the poor from the world trading system through trade barriers and national subsidies. - (Eberly 72)
Participation (115) Avoid Paternalism – Do not do things for people that they can do for themselves. Types of Paternalism Resource Paternalism – We got the Funds Spiritual Paternalism - We got the Word Knowledge Paternalism - We got the Know-How Labor Paternalism - We got the Muscle Managerial Paternalism - We can git ‘er Done
Particularity of Resources Jesus Christ came to the world through the Jews. The Gospel came to the Gentiles through the Jews. Japan came into the modern world through the West. Africa was re-evangelized through white missionaries. Certain aspects of cultural capital came to black folks through white folks. Cultural capital then comes to Shanana through Condi
Particularity of Resources Shanana asks: Why I got to be like her? Why must we learn from them? The issue is: 1. God uses some to pass on to others what they need. 2. Takes what is commonly required to make life (faith in OT & NT) but disregard what is culturally peculiar (circumcision for OT only).
Ministry Ensure Participation Helpee Humility Know much but not all Servant whose received. Helper Know some, but needs more Student to receive. Accept Particularity Increased Understanding Among All