When Helping Hurts
This book comes at the right time, as many North American Christians and churches have a growing interest in helping low-income people. The authors do a fantastic job of appropriately directing this zeal by providing insight on how good intentions can actually make matters worse for those in poverty.
Some of the questions asked in this book are: What kind of relief is needed, who can offer the best help, and what should our attitudes be in helping? If you are experienced with helping the poor, you may believe that you already know the answers to these questions. But this book may force you to reconsider those notions and inspire you to think wisely and practically about helping the poor.
The term for this process is Christian development, and while it may sound like new age, hippie fluff, it is actually Biblically based. All one has to do is look at the Old Testament story about Nehemiah as a role model for community transformation and renewal. The book of Nehemiah is, in essence, the memoirs of an urban developer who transformed a decaying city into a place of security and vitality. Placing Nehemiah's story in juxtaposition with contemporary realities offers encouragement and concrete models for how our own cities can be revitalized. Nehemiah's example offers guidance and hope for all who would seek the welfare of their cities. (By the way, if you’re not familiar with the story, don’t worry, we’re going to talk about it as an intro to our book review)
Cason has always excelled at the desire to serve those in need, but I’m not sure if the results were helpful or hurtful. My time in Waco, along with the directed study I am doing for my final project in Seminary has really opened my eyes to how we can make a difference in a truly lasting, uplifting and developmental way.
Please join me during Lent for this walk the When Helping Hurts, and be part of the important discussion about how we as Christians and Casonites can make a real, positive, God inspired difference.
Thank you for taking on this study. I would suggest asking C. Ron to attend and the people he honored last night at "Black Excellence" awards ceremony. particularly the recently retired Police Chief. Had a fairly long talk with him and he's now reengaging in the community. I will be happy to invite them personally and buy books for them.