In response to Christ’s calling in Matthew 25 to care for “the least of these,” the Church often responds by raising money and donating materials to impoverished communities. Though the intentions are good, the unintended consequences are often unnoticed.
In this video from PovertyCure, Peter Greer, president of Hope International, tells of how his experience in Africa shaped his view on traditional poverty relief methods. His example illustrates the way in which a generous donation from an Atlanta-based church actually had a long-term negative effect in the poor community outside of Kigali in Rwanda.
Greer emphasizes that it’s easy to be short-sighted and give stuff away, and it’s much more difficult to make a long-term impact. The Church must carefully examine all factors in order to make a positive long-term impact. Christians are called not only to have a heart for “the least of these” but also to use their head by applying sound economic principles.