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When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself Paperback – Jan 1 2014

4.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself
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  • When Helping Hurts: The Small Group Experience
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  • Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (And How to Reverse It)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Moody Publishing (Jan. 1 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802409989
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802409980
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #21,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Good Intentions Are Not Enough

Unleashing and equipping people to effectively help the poor requires repentance and the realization of our own brokenness. "When Helping Hurts" articulates a biblically based framework concerning the root causes of poverty and its alleviation.

A path forward is found, not through providing resources "to" the poor, but by walking "with" them in humble relationships.

Whether you re involved in short-term missions or the long-term empowerment of the poor, this book helps teach you three key areas:

. Foundational Concepts "Who are the poor?"

. Principles "Should we do relief, rehabilitation, or development?"

. Strategies "How can we help people effectively here and abroad?""

About the Author

Steve Corbett is the Community Development Specialist for the Chalmers Center at Covenant College and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics and Community Development at Covenant College.

Brian Fikkert is the Founder and Executive Director of the Chalmers Center at Covenant College, as well as a Professor of Economics and Community Development at Covenant College."


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When Helping Hurts provides meaningful exercises and encourages one to reflect when contemplating how best to provide meaningful relief aid. It is well written and concise. It is written from a Christian perspective any ministerial or helping professional will find it helpful.
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Much of the "help" individuals and organizations give to the poor are ineffective, even damaging, because they deal with the symptoms of poverty, not the core issues causing it. This book is an excellent resource in understanding the true nature of poverty, at its core, and how to develop strategies to alleviate it effectively and long term. It gives practical helps in coming up with effective plans of action for individuals, churches, and organizations. I highly recommend it to anyone who works with the disadvantaged, whether locally or overseas. It's a resource we need to listen to if we truly want to make an effective difference in people's lives.
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This book has really challenged and changed the way I have thought about the poor not only in other countries but also my own. This book takes you to the thinking and feeling level of the poor, and really helps you understand where they are coming from. It gives you practical tools to work alongside and encourage the poor people in the community that you are working in. This book does not label people as projects, but instead encourages relational growth. The purpose is not about getting to the end goal, but building relationships and making them main participants in achieving that goal. I highly recommend anyone that is interested in helping the poor read this book!
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Haven't finished this yet but it clearly points to insights that are important to us and to others as we struggle with decisions as to where the best investments are for our donation dollars. We want to stop hurting and denegrating receivers by the way in which we try to help.
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Absolutely amazing book, that even bits and pieces of have radically changed my life and approach to Christian development and restoration. Summarizes other authors really well. I wish the 'application' pages were clearer, but still a highly recommended book.
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A MUST READ for anyone even desiring to go on a short-term mission trip! I read it after my first short term mission trip and wished I had read it before. My next mission trip was much richer -thanks to WHEN HELPING HURTS!
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Doing faith based development work should never be a "shooting from the hip" effort. This book should be mandatory preparation for all who strive to align their work with God's mandate of partnering with the poor.
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