How well do you understand poverty?

Gaining a deeper understanding of God’s perspective on poverty can make a huge difference.


1. A group of women in rural Rwanda, all of whom live on less then $2/day, were asked how they define poverty. Which of the following was NOT a top response?

When these women described poverty, they did not focus on the physical or economic aspects, but went deeper, talking instead about the social, emotional and spiritual elements of poverty.

2. In a convocation address at the University of Toronto’s Knox College, veteran CBC foreign correspondant Brian Stewart said that he never reaches the front lines of a humanitarian crisis or impoverished community without finding…

Stewart stated, “I’ve found there is no movement, or force, closer to the raw truth of war, famines, crises and the vast human predicament, than organized Christianity in action. … I have never been able to reach these front lines without finding Christian volunteers already in the thick of it, mobilizing congregations that care, and being … the primary light in the darkness.”

3. When Jesus was called up to read from scripture in the synagogue in Nazareth, He read from Isaiah 61, citing Himself as being sent to help various groups (Luke 4:16-21). Which of the following groups is NOT explicitly mentioned in that passage?

During His ministry, Jesus focused much of His attention on vulnerable and marginalized communities. In another instance, Jesus tells John the Baptist’s disciples that they can recognize Him as the Messiah because “the blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor” (Luke 7:22).

4. Globally, the number of children under the age of 14 that work either part-time or full-time is about equal to the population of…

Globally, more than 150 million children under the age of 14 work, which is just above Russia’s population of around 144 million (UNICEF). Many of these children are unable to attend school because they must help supplement the family’s income.

5. Between 1990 and 2015, how many people were lifted out of extreme poverty?

The stats aren’t all bad! On top of this, in that same time span, the number of children dying before the age of five plummeted by more than half (UN).

6. Only 65% of Candians believe that poverty…

As opposed to 96% who believe that everyone deserves a sense of dignity (Salvation Army). How we precieve poverty and understand its effects on those living in it deeply affects the way we respond and interact with people living in economic poverty. If you were treated as if you were invisible or as less valuable than the rest of society, what impact do you think that would have on you long-term?

7. According to the UN, of the 925 million people who are going hungry, 80% are…

Fifty-two per cent of acricultural land in the world is now moderately or severely degraded (UN Convention to Combat Desertification)—which has staggering implications for the rural poor who rely on agriculture for sustenance.

8. In Matthew 25, Jesus says that whatever we do for those who are hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, strangers or in prison, we really do…

“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Jesus (Matthew 25:40)


Alyssa Esparaz

Alyssa Esparaz

Alyssa is Compassion Canada's Manager of Content and Public Relations, telling stories that inspire and equip Jesus followers to live compassionate lifestyles. She is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto, where she studied International Development.