Poverty Revolution Learnings
The following write up is submitted by Dawna Morey who attended the Poverty Revolution sessions here at CrossRoads in February. We have heard so many good things about that weekend — it was informative, a great time to connect with others, and most importantly, heart changing. Thank you Dawna for sharing your learnings with us.
“I was asked if I would be interested in sharing a bit of my experience with the Poverty Revolution Boot Camp held recently at Crossroads Church. When reflecting about the weekend, I realized that the experience has had an impact on me and I believe that is what God wants me to share.
I worked in the field of education, primarily with at-risk youth for many years and have since that time worked many more in the non-profit sector and so have had an opportunity to be involved in a lot of discussions and initiatives that speak to the area of POVERTY. Because of that, I was interested to see first what myths or assumptions I personally held but more interestingly I wanted to see, hear and learn about this thing we call POVERTY through Scripture and through the words of Jesus Christ.
WOW! Where to start? Well there was certainly a great group of people to experience this journey with, many that I felt probably had a better understanding of Scripture than me so that in itself was exciting and I knew right away that this was going to be a learning opportunity that I was going to enjoy. My very first “Aha” moment was listening to some of the stats that our facilitators shared and to realize that even today there is enough food and material “stuff” to go around, and that indeed there is no need for POVERTY in our world. The second point that became crystal clear was my realization of how we (primarily North Americans) define POVERTY. The fact is that one can have the physical and material needs and still be poor – spiritually poor. All that God created has been according to His plan. It is about relationships, our relationship with God, each other, our environment and ourselves.
The Bible has over 2000 references to poverty and the poor. The most exciting part of the workshop for me was having an opportunity to look at poverty through a biblical perspective, to look at just a few of those Scriptures and discuss them with the group. To see how God’s word is true today as it was in the beginning.
As I reflect back over the weekend, two particular Scriptures speak to me.
Matthew 25:34-40 (NIV) says:
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
POVERTY is about the breakdown in those relationships. Where am I in those relationships? In an increasingly commercial/materialistic society, how can I have a deeper impact in people’s lives? God is calling me to walk alongside people.
John 17:20-24 (NIV) says:
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”
God wants us to be in a relationship with him. God wants us to love others as He loves us! So what does that mean to me? What now? Well I know I will never again contribute to a fundraiser for poverty relief without considering how I can actively come along side people and share God’s desire for us to love each other. I also have a deeper desire to read and understand the Scriptures. To that point I was so pleased to receive an email from Melissa, our facilitator, inviting me to grow deeper in my understanding by participating in a 5-day devotional, challenging me to look at some specific principles in Jesus’ walk with the vulnerable.”