The average person in North America enjoys a standard of living unimaginable for most people while 40% of the earth's population lives on less that two dollars a day. The painful and dispairing effects of poverty are ever present throughout our nation. Here in Fayette County the poverty rate is 39.4% and most governmental housing facilities are located within Somerville town limits. As we look around our own town and neighborhood, we can no longer take a blind eye to the suffering of our neighbors.
Poverty is more than a lack of material things. When people living in poverty describe it they speak of 'shame, inferiority, powerlessness, humiliation, voicelessness, and depression'. Poverty is not only a material or physical condition but also psychological and social.
All through out scripture God's eyes are on the poor, they are chosen by God to be rich in faith (James 2:5). From beginning to end, God instructs His children on the issue of the poor and how to help them. Perhaps never more clearly than in 1 John 3:17-18, "Whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little childrn, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth."
So the issue then is how do we 'help' the poor without hurting them. Poverty is not merely material or physical but the root is a much deeper spiritual poverty that results in shame, humiliation, powerlessness, poor self image, and poor self worth.
A New Life Ministry's purpose is to see our brother in need and open up our hearts to him. We desire to walk with our neighbors building a bridge from poverty to prosperity, build genuine and lasting relationships, and enjoy the journey.
One of the ways that we will 'open up our hearts' to our brother is through the Work Life Program. This is an intensive program that will lay a solid foundation, add value to work, integrate good communication, and then launch the participant into meaningful employment.
"To whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more." Luke 12:48
"I am the Lord your God who teaches you to profit..." Isaiah 48:17