Helping the Poor
Helping the poor is a noble goal and one that organizations have been working toward for decades. GFA World has been serving the poor since 1979 in Asia and has recently began serving in Africa as well. We serve the “least of these,” often in places where no one else is working. GFA supports national missionaries, who serve the needs of the poor in their communities. These missionaries are best equipped to serve the people. In fact, helping the poor is a natural and organic part of their ministry. It is a tangible way to share God’s love.
Poverty has devastating impacts on people.
They are often unable to earn enough money to provide for the physical needs of their families. Children are often unable to go to school, either because the family can’t afford it or because the children need to work in order to help meet the needs of the family. Other children can’t attend school because they are in charge of gathering water for the family, and the only water source may be miles away. When children are not able to attend school, the cycle of poverty is likely to continue.
Along with poverty, comes a mindset where hopelessness seems inevitable. If your grandparents and parents have lived in poverty, why would circumstances be different for you? It is hard to see beyond your current situation when poverty is all you’ve ever known. How do we break that poverty mindset in people who are living each day in extreme poverty?
Athalia had that mindset, and she was lured into sex trafficking because of poverty.1
She left her abusive and drunk husband and took her three children to live with her parents, but this was a great financial strain on them all. Then a woman told her she knew a way Athalia could make money.
“None of us working in a brothel comes there willingly. Nobody ever enjoys working as a sex worker. It’s only because of compulsion, some difficult moments or hardships that we go through that we come to a brothel. Now for my case, it was because of poverty. … There was nothing that I could do to take care of my children, and that’s the reason why I was forced to engage in this kind of work. [That’s] the story similar to many of our ladies who work inside the brothel.”
But hope would find its way to the red-light district where she worked.
This help came in the form of GFA Pastor Dhinanath and his wife, Lydia. He invited her to a tea shop where he told her about Jesus Christ.
Pastor Dhinanath told her,
“Jesus loves you. He wants to give you the best.”
Pastor Dhinanath wants to help the poor, Bible in hand.
Athalia took his phone number and called with questions, eventually attending one of his churches and experiencing the peace and joy of Jesus Christ. Helping the poor starts with their hearts. By hearing of Jesus, Athalia found hope and another path.
“Now in my life, the only thing I want to do is to call upon the Lord to ask Him to be my Lord and my Savior. I want to know Him deeper every day in my life.”
After 10 years in prostitution, Athalia left for a better life and to follow Jesus. It was the persistent prayer and ministry of Pastor Dhinanath and Lydia that helped her and other women in her situation know they were loved beyond measure by the God of the universe. It may not seem obvious, but self-worth and value are important tools in the fight against poverty.
GFA pastors and missionaries are native to the countries where they serve. Their hearts are aligned to the people in a special and profound way. They are also already on the front lines of the fight against poverty.
For $30 a month, you can sponsor a missionary like Pastor Dhinanath, who brings the hope and freedom of a life in Jesus Christ. They are also the connection to resources like literacy training, child sponsorship, Christmas Gift Catalog items and so much more. Meet the missionaries at https://www.gfa.org/sponsor/search/ and pray about who you can support. Donate to the poor by equipping the best people to help them.
Now is the time to put resources into the hands of GFA missionaries who are ready and able to provide the support, love and care to women like Athalia, helping the poor see their worth. Help reverse the climb in poverty rates by strengthening the network of missionaries available to help.Learn more about reasons for poverty
1 “Love Enters the Red-light District.” GFA World. July 2018. https://www.gfa.org/news/articles/gfa-world-love-enters-red-light-district/.