How do Christian Charities Help the Poor

Christian Charities Use Biblical Models to Help the Poor

In a world filled with pandemics, natural disasters, wars, and famine, which disproportionately hurt the extreme poor, Christian charities must include emergency aid in their strategies. How do Christian charities help the poor?

Giving out food and money should not comprise the whole strategy. This method of charity often creates dependency among impoverished communities, keeping them stuck in unhealthy generational cycles of poverty.

Unfortunately, when Christian charities focus on short-term aid rather than long-term solutions, they put a bandage on poverty rather than addressing the root problem. This approach conditions impoverished communities to receive help. Instead, these communities need to develop skills to build sustainable incomes that will permanently free them from poverty.

How Does Bright Hope Help the Poor?

Bright Hope’s three-tiered transformational model includes programs that fall into three categories: Hope for Today, Hope for Tomorrow, and Hope for Eternity. 

Hope for Today projects help meet the community’s immediate physical needs, such as access to clean water, medical care interventions, and increasing food security.

Hope for Tomorrow programs may include agricultural education, microfinance loans, job training, and access to education. The programs are designed to increase incomes so individuals and families can sustain themselves.

Hope for Eternity initiatives equip and empower church leaders through training, administrative capacity building, and encouragement. Bright Hope also supports outreach and discipleship programs among adults and children.

Holistic Ministry

Bright Hope works to empower local churches to transform their communities with sustainable hope for today, tomorrow, and eternity. These churches provide an infrastructure that, when engaged and carefully resourced, can transform the community with changed lives, hopeful people, and self-sustainability. 

But the community members who benefit from church outreach programs do not have to be Christians in order to participate. One unique component of Bright Hope’s ministry approach is that we help people regardless of religion, age, tribe, or gender. Our programs are for anyone and target all kinds of needs.

From food aid distributions and micro-loans to medical clinics and marriage fellowships, all community members are welcome regardless of their background or religious beliefs. But, all programs include spiritual and biblical training. 

At Bright Hope, we believe that every problem in society has a spiritual component. So, whether our church partners are feeding the hungry, equipping farmers, or providing scholarships to teenagers, we desire to develop devoted disciples of Christ.

Long-lasting Partnerships with Allies

Bright Hope is only as strong as its Allies. And our Allies are amazing! So many of our Allies have served the poor along with us for years – many for decades! That’s because they believe in the Biblical conviction to help the poor and trust Bright Hope’s ministry model. 

The transformation we seek always starts with the local church in the villages and slums where we minister. As a Christian organization, we believe that Jesus desires to work through His body to transform lives for eternity (see Eph. 4:11-12; John 13:35). These local churches can transform their community with changed lives, hopeful people, and sustainable incomes when engaged and carefully resourced. 

Our Allies have chosen to join God in the work He wants to do among the extreme poor. But that’s not where it ends. When our Allies obey God’s instruction to share with the poor – when they store up treasure in heaven – He faithfully transforms them more and more into the image of Christ. 

Disaster Relief and Aid

When the COVID-19 pandemic slammed the extreme poor, Bright Hope acted immediately, empowering our partner churches to distribute emergency food and medical aid to their communities. We asked our Allies to give more than usual to provide bags of food and hygiene kits throughout the communities where we work. And our Allies responded with incredible generosity!

Our church partners provided bags of food to families living in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, fresh-baked bread to the hungry in Bolivia, health and hygiene kits to hundreds in rural Haiti, and more!

Education

Education provides the surest path out of extreme poverty!  Whether college or vocational training, the knowledge and skills gained build the foundation for a sustainable life.

When a student learns a trade or earns a degree, he or she can get a job that covers their basic needs, save for the future, and break free from poverty!

Just listen to Dorah, who received a college scholarship and a chance to pursue her dreams!

“I used to feel hopeless. I had embraced the reality that I had to cut short my dreams and work to support my younger brother so he could complete high school. Then everything changed when I got the scholarship. I felt a little heaven down here!” 

Fight Hunger

At Bright Hope, our ministry strategy revolves around providing sustainable solutions to devastating problems. For example, in the drought-plagued region of Turkana, Kenya, we worked with our partner church to plant a farm—truly an oasis in the desert. 

The arid landscape that used to be littered with tumbleweed and emaciated livestock now displays crops of watermelon, kale, cowpeas, spinach, tomatoes, and more! As a result, the Turkana people, who have long endured cycles of famine and starvation, now have a sustainable source of nutritious food and jobs for the many farmers who work the land.

Support Against COVID-19

COVID-19 slammed the underdeveloped world like a tsunami, pushing millions more precious people into extreme poverty. And very few places were hit harder than rural Haiti.

In Haiti, which is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, their under-resourced healthcare system couldn’t handle the onslaught of pandemic sickness. So, working with our partner churches in rural northern Haiti, Bright Hope helped to prevent sickness by improving sanitation and hygiene.

We helped fund sanitation training and the distribution of hygiene packages with hand sanitizer, soap, and more. Our church partners also gave out hundreds of kits to build tippy taps, DIY hands-free washing stations.

Support for Motherhood

According to the World Health Organization, “About 830 women die from pregnancy- or childbirth-related complications around the world every day.”  

In under-resourced nations, many hospitals will not admit a woman in labor if she does not bring her own labor and delivery kit. As a result, many women must deliver their babies at home without proper tools or sanitation.

To protect moms and babies, our church partners provide maternal healthcare and Mama Kits to expectant moms. These Mama Kits include items such as: plastic sheets, surgical gloves, cotton, gauze, a cord band ligature, sterile razor blades, and a child health and immunization card. 

Medical Care

Kids and adults living in poverty have limited access to nutrient-dense foods and medical care. So Bright Hope helps our church partners provide medical clinics, essential vitamins and minerals, and even access to surgery for kids born with cleft palate, clubfoot, and other treatable ailments. 

The health care and medicines we offer help kids and adults living in poverty to overcome easily treatable infections and illnesses.

Hope Through the Gospel

Gospel simply means “good news,” but good news about what?

Remember when Adam and Eve decided they wanted to be like God, to live life on their own terms instead of trusting God? Well, that’s when sin, brokenness, sickness, greed, idolatry, poverty, and more flooded the world. But the Gospel reminds us that this dark world won’t last forever.

The Gospel gives us Hope beyond this dark world because, through His life, death, and resurrection, Jesus conquered sin and death. And one day, the New Heaven and New Earth will replace our broken world, and we will live with God.

But until that day, believers should work every day to live in light of our future Hope now, which includes proclaiming the gospel and sharing generously with the poor.

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”  Revelation 21:4

How Does Christianity Help the Poor?

Quoting from Isaiah 61:1-2a, Jesus came to “proclaim good news to the poor…to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:17-21). As evidence that He was the promised Messiah who would bring God’s Kingdom to earth, Jesus healed the sick, opened the eyes of the physically and spiritually blind, and freed individuals stuck in bondage. 

In our 50+ years of ministry, we have seen firsthand how extreme poverty holds generations captive in despair, hunger, sickness, and darkness.   

As followers of Jesus, we should model our lives and ministry efforts after His. As God incarnate, Jesus had the power to both heal and save—to address both physical ailments and spiritual blindness. 

At Bright Hope, as we seek to follow Jesus’ example, we offer both the tools to break out of poverty permanently, as well as opportunities to become devoted disciples of Jesus. We do this by supporting local, in-country churches, equipping them to disciple believers, share the Gospel, and meet the physical and spiritual needs of their community. Our ultimate hope is that everyone we come into contact with will hunger to know Christ and come to salvation.

Types of Christian Organizations That Help the Poor

Christian International Organizations

  1. Bright Hope
  2. World Vision
  3. International Orthodox Christian Charities
  4. Tearfund
  5. Hope International

Christian NGO Organizations

  1. Salvation Army
  2. Samaritan’s Purse
  3. World Relief
  4. Bread for the World

Consider making a donation to Bright Hope today and help fund these life-changing programs.