What is it about poverty that really confronts you?

Does poverty get your fired up, angry, sad, emotional, hopeless?

For me, I feel incredibly impacted by inequality. I struggle to comprehend my privileged position in the world. I often ask God why he made me an Australian - in 2007 Australia incredibly was ranked no 2 from 182 countries in the UN Human Development Index - surely he has given me a privileged position for a reason. And I certainly don’t want to miss the opportunity and calling I have been given. I wonder why God put you where you are?

Ben & I have been on a significant journey of responding to the desire in our hearts to put our faith into action, and discovering a deep sense of calling to work together alongside the poor and disadvantaged. When we got married we didn’t know exactly what God might have dreamt up for us, but we knew that we were willing to do whatever he had equipped us for.

I think a lot about how our access to technology these days means the plight of the poor is broadcast directly into our loungerooms, reported in the newspaper, and the internet – well, it’s tweeted, blogged, emailed and discussed through status updates... And yet, are we moved to take greater action in response to the inequality we are constantly confronted with – or really are we even more complacent about such problems?

I hate inequality. I hate that the colour of my skin can cause division and make people in places such as Kenya assume that I am rich. But I am rich, and I hate that my wealth is obtained at the expense of the poor. I hate that I have an excess of choice, wealth and opportunity in life… I believe I can achieve anything I set my heart to – and yet there are incredible people who never get the chance to follow their dreams.

And so I think that when I am faced with inequality and injustice, it is the perfect place to put my faith into action. And the perfect person to model my response on is Jesus. I love that Jesus was a do-er – I think that connects with the Aussie in me! I love that he got out and about, he wasn’t tied to a desk, a uniform, a building or a laptop, and he knew how to relate to people from all walks of life. He was able to relate across cultures, but yet not be determined by cultural injustices. He was sensitive yet strong, kind and compassionate yet confronting, he was inspiring and drew out the best in those he met with.

Ben and I want to get out and about with people. We love community, and we love engaging with others. We feel our calling to preach good news to the poor will take us perhaps to what might seem like the ends of the earth. That is not everyone’s calling, but wherever our roots are planted, we must bear the fruit of our faith and tell the world the good news!

What response will you take to inequality? What if we no longer tolerated seeing the poor and starving suffering on TV. What if we were willing to give up our riches, so that lives were changed, histories rewritten and hope restored.

I would like to introduce you to some friends of mine – Derek, Berlin & Raffines. These are the children that lived at the back of the Community Centre we volunteered with in Western Kenya. Every day we would see them, we had many fun times together. A profound moment of our time together came one morning when Derek asked us in broken English “You buy me bread?”. “Bread?” I said to him “But I do not have any bread”. And in this moment, I experience firsthand the reality of poverty. Never have I been with a child that has gone without the basics. I’ve had to negotiate with kids demanding lollies, or soda… but not bread. My heart just broke.

Luke 4:18 “He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” He knit us together in our mother’s womb, and “look at the birds of the air: they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26).

We are not forgotten and the poor are not forgotten, we are not alone, we each have a hope and future through Jesus.

We each have a calling to participate in God’s community – to love our neighbor, to care for the poor and disadvantaged, to take action to right the wrong of inequality, to use our wealth, knowledge, power to choose and faith to make the world a richer place for all to be. We are like a little garden – though we may be planted in what might seem like an unlikely part of the world, we can grow and flourish. There is labor and hard work involved, often unseen and at a cost, but the harvest is worth it in the end.


  1. Reading your peace on inequality was very confronting Erica to the point of finding myself pretty choked up. Your points about being privileged living in Australia and your response to the little one asking for bread really impacted me. I think you are an amazing writer and your passion always stirs something in me. Thanks Erica- Evad

  2. Wow...This was a very captivating reflection, which I don't want to just ponder on. I will continue seeking out for the one who goes unseen & actively confront the injustice, which has no right to exist.
    Thanks for your empowering insight & challenge to make a stand.

  3. erica. you are a gifted writer in being able to portray your thoughts.i loved this blog. i think because i relate with it and think similar. i to ask the same questions often and wonder at the privilidge i have been served and therefore the responsibility i have. i daily am thinking about the change i can make in the day to day which leads to a lifetime of change. i hate that alot of my life is built on the expense of others. was only recently thinking about how our mobile phones contribute towards the genocide in the congo. love your blog erica. would be nice to have coffee with you one day.emma.


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