Guest / Limited Access /

What's the biggest change needed in how charities and federal agencies deliver aid to developing nations? Brian Fikkert, co-author of When Helping Hurts, David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, and Dale Hanson Bourke, author of The Skeptic's Guide to Global Poverty, suggest the best way to help.

Help That Makes a Difference: Change our Worldview

The goal is not to turn Kampala into Chicago. The goal is for both Kampala and Chicago to look more like the New Jerusalem.

Brian Fikkert, co-author of When Helping Hurts

"We were happy in our village before you folks told us we were poor. We didn't have many things, but happiness doesn't come just from having more material things. What makes you think we want to become just like you?"

The audience, a group of American donors and development leaders, looked bewildered as Emily, a community development worker from Liberia, took her seat. Finally, one of the U.S. donors spoke up. "Yes, of course we share your goals, Emily. That's why we keep on bringing you more capital and technology." Emily listened helplessly, realizing that her message had fallen on deaf ears—again.

Americans are the richest people ever to walk the face of the earth, and we coexist with 2.6 billion people living on less than $2 per day. The situation is simply immoral. We must do more, but we must do it differently.

For the past 60 years, the majority of American assistance has flowed out of a materialistic worldview, which assumes that wealth is produced by material things, namely capital and technology. In this view, America is "developed." We have arrived, and they have not. The assumption is that if we provide them with more capital and technology, they will be able to be just like the U.S.—a ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only Readers Write
Your responses to the October 2009 issue of Christianity Today.
RecommendedHow to Be at Peace and Get What You Want
How to Be at Peace and Get What You Want
Fortune 500 CEO Brad Hewitt’s wisdom for moving past our insatiable cravings.
TrendingThe Story Behind Trump’s Controversial Prayer Partner
The Story Behind Trump’s Controversial Prayer Partner
What Paula White’s Washington moment implies for the prosperity gospel’s future.
Editor's PickThe Church’s Integrity in the Trump Years
The Church’s Integrity in the Trump Years
It begins by recognizing the name above every name.
Christianity Today
Help That Makes a Difference
hide thisDecember December

In the Magazine

December 2009

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.