The largest emergency overnight shelter for the homeless in Los Angeles, housing up to 600 people per night, is struggling to survive because of cuts in federal funding and an increased number of poor in a downturned economy, said the shelter's president.
"We need to come up with payroll for this week. Without the payroll I don't know if we'll be able to go forward," said Brenda Wilson, who along with her twin sister, Lynda Moran, operates New Image Shelter for the Homeless.
"This year the need for services all across the board – in the shelter, in our programs that serve homeless families with children – there's an increase," Wilson told The Christian Post Friday. "We are seeing an increase with women, homeless runaway youth, families, and an increase in Asians." more >>
Editor's note: In part three, the final installment of CP's series on evangelicals and climate change, the focus is on an argument by skeptics that opportunities are being lost to help the poor because of a focus on global warming.
Global warming skeptics argue that while global warming activists say that reducing carbon dioxide emissions is necessary to protect the poor and vulnerable, the science is so iffy and the cost of control so high that money would be better spent on direct aid to the poor.
The Cornwall Alliance is the primary organization representing this view. In 2006, Cornwall Alliance published a document, "A Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Response to Global Warming," that was a direct response to the Evangelical Climate Initiative's "Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action," discussed in part two of this series. In an interview with The Christian Post, Dr. E. Calvin Beisner explained his belief that the global warming caused by burning fossil fuels will be small and may have more benefits than harms to the environment. Beisner, a former theology professor and economics professor, is the founder and national spokesperson for Cornwall Alliance. more >>
"Haitians have a story about that sculpture," my colleague remarked as he steered our truck through city traffic, past a hollow, wire-frame globe held up by three gargantuan hands. The statue was a welcome diversion from Port-au-Prince's crumbling cinderblock landscape. "They say two hands represent the people, and the third is the hand of the government helping them hold up the world. The fourth hand is missing because it's shoved in the people's pocket."
As a writer, my job is to show my organization's American Christian donors how their money is turning the third world into a better world. There's no question their generosity has impacted lives. But what struck me during my recent trip to Haiti was how the reality has fallen short of expectations. What I saw was that seemingly little had changed in the two years since the 2010 earthquake.
Internally displaced persons camps still littered empty lots, and the white domes of the National Palace still lay where they fell, ripped down by the power of God. A post-apocalyptic gloom hung over the formerly elegant compound where "Mama Doc," the wife of tyrant "Papa Doc" Duvalier, had allegedly refrigerated a room so she could wear her prized fur coats. No surprise the impoverished masses sleeping on the ground and eating "mud cookies" felt no urge to rebuild such decadence. more >>
It may be a radical solution, but it's the truth just the same.
The financial fallout surrounding the G20 is an open invitation for a return to some simple wisdom. How is this for an example: "A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor" (Proverbs 22:9 ). Or how about: "If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD, and he will repay you!" (Proverbs 19:17)
These are timeless nuggets leaders of the world's richest nations should take seriously. Wise leaders would do well to follow these principles. And there are tangible, 'knock-on' benefits for nations in the West that help the poorest. For example, just last week I was at a 'Bread for the World' conference in Washington. We discovered that 50 per cent of America's overseas trade is with emerging nations and one in five US jobs is tied to trade. For every 10 percent increase in US exports there is an estimated 7 percent decrease in unemployment at home. In pure economic terms it pays to be kind to strangers! Helping the poor works. more >>
Editor's note: In part two of our series on global warming, CP reports on the internal process of a prominent evangelical organization, the National Association of Evangelicals, to reach a climate change position at the urging of evangelical activists.
For evangelicals who are global warming activists, convincing the Christian community to get engaged has been a process.
For example, Richard Cizik, though he was cited in 2008 by Time Magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world for his work as a 'green evangelical,' had a very tough time convincing his organization to back him at the time. more >>
Pop star Lady Gaga has yet again hit the world headlines after her planned gig was cancelled. But the real story in Indonesia has more far reaching implications. And it is good news for those who care about what God cares about.
I'm one of 9,000 Christians in that nation right now for the World Prayer Assembly, talking about all sorts of issues including how we can help victims of the evils of extreme poverty. Of course there is a fair amount of prayer going on. It is talk, plans and prayer that will kick start something monumental regarding issues of justice and mercy across the world.
Lady Gaga has 1.4 million followers on Twitter, yet these 9,000 Christian leaders in Indonesia collectively have far wider influence than any pop star. These Christians will take something of inspiration back to all parts of the globe. Inspiration about the power of prayer in cities, business places and prisons that works for the common good. more >>