Poverty is much more than just material poverty. The authors talk about four types of poverty that people can experience:
1) Spiritual poverty
2) Poverty of being, which is a wrong view of who we really are. For westerners, that wrong view is often a belief that we are the saviors of the poor. For the poor, that wrong view is often deep rooted sense of shame and a belief that they can accomplish nothing themselves.
3) Poverty of community, that is a poverty of healthy loving relationships with others.
4) Material poverty
The authors say that sometimes westerners are afflicted with as much or more of the first three types of poverty as those whom they are trying to help and that we have much to learn from them. I wholeheartedly agree!
The authors also explore how we can find ways to alleviate material poverty without creating shame and dependency in those we are trying to help. Giving the poor dignity, he says, includes not only appropriate relief of material poverty, but the much more difficult task of Difficult or not, this is what we strive for and pray for in Haiti Share.
written by Dr. Betty Jean Harmsen, Executive Director
See earlier executive corner articles