Introduction to Edify Reflections

“The Poor.”   What thoughts come to your mind?

I remember the first time I gave this any real thought. My wife and I had just committed the next four years to Sub-Saharan Africa. After moving there, I found myself in a world completely and utterly different than anything I had experienced before. For instance, it was midweek and children were everywhere…beautiful children filled with joy. Why weren’t they in school? I soon learned this wasn’t uncommon. In fact, there are nearly 30 million African, primary-age children not in school. There are many examples I could share, but the point is that physical poverty was evident, and I was compelled to help.

Years later, after returning from Africa and beginning to serve with Edify in the U.S., I met many of our brothers and sisters living in our city from the developing world.  They told me of the isolation and a relational poverty that was foreign to them, and a form of emotional and spiritual poverty they did not seem to have a vocabulary for, and they were compelled to help.

My conclusion is that the body of Christ needs each other.  In one way or another, we are all poor! Spiritual or physical, we all have different forms of poverty based on the way sin has impacted our worldview. Often the western view is that physical wealth is to be esteemed. But is that so? As believers shouldn’t we hold high those who are spiritually wealthy? No one form of poverty is lesser than the other. We are all broken. There is much to be learned from our fellow members of the body of Christ!

One of the greatest joys in serving with Edify has been to walk alongside our brothers and sisters in Africa and Latin America and to hear their passion for Christ and their perspective on having a “Biblical Worldview” on poverty.  It has been a gift to learn from them, recognize my own poverty, and to truly discover how to strategically come alongside what God is doing in their nations.

Every month, Edify staff will be sharing their reflections on life in Christ. Our goal in these reflections is that you would get a chance to get to know and receive encouragement from some of the most amazing leaders in the developing world.  We believe it will encourage you and perhaps show you a glimpse of your own poverty as your “Biblical Worldview” increases. Stay tuned next month as we focus on “Biblical Worldview” and how it impacts…everything.

Join me in thanking God for what he is doing in all of us!

“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”
-Matthew 5:3 (NLT)

Steve Soars
Director of Edification and Philanthropy