Since 2009 I have been working part-time as a donor relations person with World Renew. I love what this organization does all over the world. I love its approach to poverty reduction, an approach which seeks the input of the local community along with its resources, gifts, and talents. It avoids building an unhealthy dependence.
When I started there were definitely gaps in my knowledge of what World Renew does. I knew about its disaster response and its community development in the majority of the world. What I did not know was that World Renew does not engage in community development in North America. I am not totally sure why this is.
Recently I read When Helping Hurts by Corbett and Fikkert and Just Generosity by Ron Sider. Two statements one from each book caught my eye.
Corbett and Fikkert say "In summary, poor people in North America can benefit from all of the following: 1) the ability to work at jobs with living wages, 2) the capacity to manage their money, 3) the opportunity to accumulate wealth, and 4) a greater supply of education, housing, and health care at affordable rates." (p. 189-190)
Ron Sider says "Widespread poverty in the richest nation on earth is unnecessary. Tolerating this tragedy contradicts biblical teaching.The right mix of social policies could produce dramatic change." (p. 95)
If these assessments are correct then it seems to me that the CRCNA through World Renew needs to become engaged in community development in North America. What do you think?