Recently, The Exchange with Ed Stetzer featured the article Reframing the Issue of Poverty. The author, Gabriella Siefert, does an excellent job of capturing something that most of us miss regarding poverty. Westerners almost exclusively understand poverty in economic terms. Our focus revolves around the material things that the poor are lacking, items like food, clothing and clean water.
In the fifteen years that I have worked with the global poor, my experience affirms the perspective with which Siefert reframes the issue of poverty. She consults the Voices of the Poor book and shares several quotes from people who give firsthand accounts of their experience living in severe poverty. I have cited this book many times over the years because the quotes make a powerful impact. My experience and the research presented in this book clearly demonstrates the comprehensive nature of poverty.
The lack of material goods is immediately visible to an outsider. The broken relationships, effects of lost dignity, and the impact on the health of individuals and communities is not as easily discernible. Siefert states, “As it seems, poverty is so much more than materially based; it’s emotional, psychological, relational, and even spiritual. Given this, followers of Christ are called to support poverty alleviation measures that holistically address not just some, but all of the issues at play in the lives of afflicted individuals.” This is why I have committed my life to comprehensive church planting among the global poor. Our kingdom minded church planting efforts are committed to human flourishing, therefore we combat poverty in every area that it impacts God’s image bearers.
Patrick Hubbard has an extensive business and ministry background. He worked in the hospitality industry as a General Manager and as a Regional Manager. Along with his wife Bárbara, he is part owner of Freegrance Products LLC, a social enterprise seeking to empower women to escape poverty and avoid human trafficking. Patrick and Bárbara are also the founders of Living Bread Ministries where they have committed over thirteen years to comprehensive ministry among the global poor. He has also served as a staff member of a local church. Patrick holds a BS in Religious Studies and a MA in Global Studies from Liberty University. He is currently pursuing a MBA from Old Dominion University.