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When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves Paperback – 1 Jul 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Moody Press,U.S. (1 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802457053
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802457059
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 615,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Drwatts on 26 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
When Helping Hurts is an excellent and thought provoking look at how Christians should tackle community povery both at home and overseas.So many Christian missions and Churches try to help the poor in a patronizing and insensitve fashion with negative results and much waste of effort and money .

This book takes us in to where so much has gone wrong and how Christians can start to get it right .A key area is that Christians rightly give aid as welfare in a crisis e.g handing over food,clothes,clean water at a time of flood or acute hunger but then do the same when it comes to recovery and development where the aid agency should be working sensitively with the poor and help them mobilize their resources .Western groups are too often not working with the cultural grain of the people they are trying to help with disastrous results .Corbett and Fikkert give lots of excellent examples of how to be really effective

Though written for the US market this book is full of valuable ideas and insights for any Christians from the west engaged in mission and relief.Good pirce and some helpful illustrations with some scope for follow on in study groups.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Elephant Child on 8 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
Much has been written recently on problems in Aid to the underprivileged, but is there a better way? This book really helps one to think through the best ways to help the poor whether in your backyard or in the two-thirds world. It is written from an American perspective (and so the backyard may not always feel the same) but it gives many insights in how to help whilst at the same time restoring dignity and not demeaning people. Challenging!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
"'I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.' Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'" -- Matthew 25:43-45 (NKJV)

Don't miss this book. You need to read it . . . especially if you think you don't need to do so. Humble yourself and read it!

Statistics about poor people fly around like dried straw during a hurricane. If billions live on less than two dollars a day, it's easy to assume that sending along five dollars a day would be a big help. If villages lack clean water, drill wells. If youngsters are sick, send them physicians and medicine. What those examples have in common is that they are applying the perspective of educated, high-income societies to the circumstances of poor people in poorly educated, low-income societies. Sometimes those "solutions" are called for, but often they are not.

Let me explain. If you just send more money, you may unintentionally stifle efforts for people to help themselves by encouraging people to wait for a handout. If villages lack clean water because husbands want their wives and daughters out carrying water while they entertain themselves without female complaining, the wells won't be maintained. If youngsters don't wash their hands, they will just get sick again . . . with something different. Yes, sometimes people in a catastrophe just need a helping handout . . . immediate food, water, and medicine.
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By Carl Chambers on 22 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback
If you've ever wondered if giving money to a homeless person on the street is really a wise thing, then this book will be a tremendous help.

From people involved in "mercy" ministries within a church, through to para-church organisations, and on to mission in other countries, this book has something for everyone who has a heart to help others, and wants to make sure it is done well.

With apologies to anyone who was going to read the book, and wanted to work through the suspense of the problem introduced at its beginning (jump to the next paragraph if that's you), the writers make explicit how unhelpful life-saving action can be. One of the authors was confronted with a sick person in a church in a shanty town in Nairobi. Without medicine, she would surely die. So he gave money - and the person's life was saved. Yet on the way home, he pondered how helpful he had been, and concluded he had undermined so many of the relationships he had been teaching about. He had affirmed in this woman's mind that `foreigners are rich and can sort out my problems'. He had undermined the local pastor, who could have taken a lead in seeking resolution for this new convert. He had disempowered the church which, whilst poor, could have helped with something, possibly: at least, they could have prayed, and given what they could. He had neglected the training opportunity for the contact from Nairobi who had a little more money and could have helped by supporting directly, or involving her church. In so many ways, he could have included others, and still seen the woman provided with medicine. His way was not a long term solution. In the end, he could still have left the money with the person in Nairobi, and asked for it to be used where no other local support was forth-coming.
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