Essential reading for any Christian, church leader or NGO worker in the field of aid and development. Written from a (necessarily) North American perspective, this book breaks the hard news that much of what we think helps in fact hurts – both the materially poor and ourselves, the materially rich.
Grounded in a good Biblical theology which most orthodox Christians (should) struggle to disagree with, this lays out the case for a longer-term view and commitment. The concepts and practical tools offered can be applied in a variety of settings – from dealing with the caller at the door for food and money to addressing areas of need in the local community to connecting with overseas aid and development. The call of the book is one to repentance and rethinking; to deep relationship with those we might keep at a distance; increased giving of money, time and prayer, and much else beside.
For those of us in a developing context – such as urban South Africa – there’s a need for further material here. There’s another layer of complexity and thinking needed in a context that complex. Like the rest of the book, the challenge lies with us.
I rated this book 5/5 on goodreads.com