Stearns begins his book with a question, “What does God expect of us?” He answers by telling his journey from CEO of Lenox Inc., to CEO of World Vision, by outlining what poverty really means in our world, and why and how the Christian Church needs to be involved with the important task of caring for and empowering the poor that Jesus laid out in the gospel accounts.
A strength of this book is that Stearns does not lay on a ‘guilt-trip’ but simply and effectively shares how to help alleviate poverty in our world and how God called him to assist in this important task. His story is a common story for both a Western and a Western Christian audience.
One personal result of reading this book is that I now have a better understanding of poverty than merely being “the absence of things.” (page 128). The illustration of having his wife going without water for a day and then her decision to take a bucket and go the lake several miles away to get water gave me a clear picture of what millions of people daily face to simply “survive.”
I am sure that not everyone agrees with Stearns’ assessments and approach. But, he offers an approach that is about doing something with what one has and not what one does not have to offer. It is not a sociological or even political analysis of the problem.
Stearns offers a caring, practical, and doable solution to the Christian church (really, all human beings) on how to feed, water, cure, and clothe the “least of these.”