Sunday, April 22, 2012

Change that Changes

The coins jangled in Brad’s pocket—their value less than $1. But their worth? Given by a young son of some friends of ours to our ministry, their worth rattled in our hearts. Their worth measured in a sense of generosity, of being supported , of change in all its meanings.

The change seems small—but represent a heart that wants to change others and maybe himself. Brad and I have been reading a book called “Helping Without Hurting: Alleviating Poverty without Hurting the Poor or Yourself.” First recommended by a friend on my blog, it was also required reading for Brad's latest master's course.

And it has changed us.

Are you a giver? Are you living overseas? Do you want to move overseas? Do you want to be part of big things? Are you bothered by poverty? Both across the world and in your own backyard?

This book gives some practical, realistic things that we can all do, wherever we are. Not just to alleviate our own guilt (by slipping some cash to the beggar at the corner when maybe he needs something else—something more). But to actually make a difference—in the lives of others and ourselves.

Not just to put a bandaid over a gaping wound. But to be part of stopping the causes of the pain.

With great discussion questions and exercises, read it as a family, as a group of friends, as a parent trying to teach your kids about giving. Read it if you’re overseas and trying to figure out what to do with all the hurt around you. Read it if you plan to go on a short-term missions trip. Or care about your own community. Or maybe, you’ve stopped caring because the problems seem too big, and you feel too small. 

Read it. Then reach into your heart—to use your change to change the world.

If you end up reading this book, email me at to tell me what you’ve learned.

photo credit, royryap


  1. I have read it (as you know) and like you, it changed my life. Or should I say God's quiet voice through it changed my life. Thanks for sharing it on here; I too believe that Christians across the globe should read it. Blessings!

  2. Thanks so much for recommending it, Tiffany! I wish I'd read it years ago. So life-changing!

  3. I've read it and it's shattering. Not an easy read and something that I think I will have to read again because it's too much to take it all in the first time.


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