Transformation is the change from a condition of human existence contrary to God's purposes to one in which people are able to enjoy a flourishing life in harmony with God
What is Poverty?
HOW WE DEFINE POVERTY DETERMINES OUR RESPONSE
We believe that poverty isn’t just a lack of material things – it’s rooted in broken relationships with God, self, others, and the rest of creation.
While the symptoms of material poverty – a lack of food, clothing, or shelter – look very similar, different types of poverty actually require very different forms of poverty alleviation.
The poor are poor largely because they live in networks of relationships that do not work for their well-being. Their relationships with others are often oppressive and disempowering as a result of the non-poor “playing god” in the lives of the poor.
Our goal is to fight poverty at its core. That's why we believe in an approach called Transformational Development.
If the nature of poverty is fundamentally relational and the cause of poverty is relationships that don't work for the well-being of others, the journey of transformation must begin and end with different types of relationships.
We must begin with people, not abstractions, research, analysis, or technique. Without changing relationships there is likely to never be much transformation. The twin goal of transformation is changed people living in just and peaceful communities.
We are all made with gifts and talents to give that contribute to the well-being of our family and community. With a recovered identity the poor are able to begin instilling and forming values that permit a better vision of the future that allow themselves to love others properly.
Our work seeks to empower people to live out these Kingdom values as they work, go to school, grow gardens, build schools, and start business. This helps people learn how to believe in themselves and not in aid or outside programs.
A web of lies results in the poor internalizing a view of themselves as being without value and without a contribution to make, believing they are truly god-forsaken. No transformation is possible unless this distorted, disempowering sense of Identity is replaced by the truth.
The poor suffer from a marred and diminished sense of identity. The challenge is to help them recover their identity as Children of God made in the image of God.
Healing the marred identity of the poor is the beginning of transformation.
JUST AND PEACEFUL COMMUNITIES
To move toward a better human future we must encourage and develop relationships that work, relationships that are just, peaceful, and harmonious. This is the heart of shalom and the only way of leading toward abundant life for all. Thus transformational development that enhances life works to promote relationships that work as well as they can in a world of fallen people. Life and relationships are inseparable