Editor's note: February's cover package, "The Best Ways to Fight Poverty—Really" (part one, part two), received remarkable numbers of pageviews, praises, and protests. It also provoked responses from many organizations devoted to fighting poverty. Today, leaders of those ministries respond, including World Vision US president Richard Stearns, Samaritan's Purse president Franklin Graham, Habitat for Humanity International CEO Jonathan Reckford, HOPE International president and CEO Peter Greer, World Relief president and CEO Stephan Bauman, Food for the Hungry workers Greg Forney and Lucas Koach, and TEAR Australia national young adults coordinator Matt Anslow. Also today, Christianity Today senior managing editor Mark Galli, whose article "A Most Personal Touch" led off the February cover package, replies to the ministry leaders.
Christianity Today's February cover story on the best ways to fight global poverty paints the church as rather ineffectual in achieving large-scale solutions. However, world governments and Christian relief and development groups are so inherently different that comparisons are difficult to make.
Habitat for Humanity is a Christian ministry that seeks to put God's love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Our vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. We may always be working toward that goal, but that doesn't take away the immediate impact of our work on the 2.5 million people who now have a better place to live.
We agree that individual acts alone cannot solve global poverty. What is required is the fundamental changing of systems to protect the poor. That's something that we can only do together. An effective approach to the issue ...