What do I do with this new knowledge? How do I fit in this life? Was it even a good idea for me to move here and get this job? Where does the gospel come in?
I've been thinking about these questions since way before I ever moved into the Phillips neighborhood, and I've been learning all I can from the wise people around me at school and in my house. However, at this point in the game, I feel about as qualified to answer questions about ending poverty as a snail trying to win the 100 meter dash. So, instead I will recommend to you the books I am reading or that are on my list.
Cultural Anthropology by Paul Hiebert
This book was what first opened my eyes to my desire to understand where people were coming from and address social issues in light of culture and background. I read it for a class in college, but it was interesting enough that I would have easily read it on my own as well.
White Man's Burden by William Easterly
This is the first book that directly, practically addresses the issue of global poverty that I've ever read. Although I have a ways to go before I finish it, so far I have to say that Easterly does a good job of making the financial side of poverty understandable to a mathematically-challenged person like me while keeping my interest with interesting stories of aid working around the world.
Awaiting a Savior by Aaron Armstrong
I won this book on Noel Piper's blog, and I cannot wait to read it! To truly understand poverty, it's not sufficient to only study it from a financial and cultural perspective. Unless I also know what the root of poverty is and how to address it from a gospel-centered standpoint, I will merely be putting salve on a gaping wound. This book looks wonderful!
When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert
My dear friend Ellen gave me this book for Christmas, and there are few people who know me better than she does. It takes a look into different kinds of ways used to help alleviate poverty and what takes a stab at what is really worthwhile in the end. Another one I can't wait to read.
So, if you were looking for some great answers, I'm sorry. All I have now is resources. Someday in the future I plan to write a post about good ways that I've seen people, particularly people in the church, helping to alleviate poverty, but let's face it, these posts can't get any longer.
Now go read some books!