Eyes to see: hope of redemption from poverty
by Agnes Chung
Every day we are exposed to poverty – on the streets, in the media and within our communities. It’s a complex societal dilemma that knows no boundaries and the cause of countless crises and conflicts. But there is HOPE!
The Bible is clear on God’s eternal perspective and hope-filled plan of redemption and restoration. God reveals His compassion not only to the physically impoverished, but also those facing emotional and spiritual poverty. This is the message of Compassion Canada’s recently released book and film series, Eyes to See: Reflecting God’s Love to a World in Need.
When asked about her inspiration for the book, Compassion Canada’s national advocacy manager, Allison Alley shares, “We love the church and recognize the church as God’s chosen instrument to bring healing and hope to our broken world.”
“This leads us to partner exclusively with the local church in 25 countries, where we holistically develop children in poverty. It also leads us to nurture and invest in the church, both individually and collectively here at home.”
“We created this resource to serve the church in Canada, to support them in the questions they are asking about poverty and injustice, really to draw us all closer to God’s heart, and closer to be transformed in the image of his Son.”
Started in 1952, Compassion is connected with over 7,000 churches and serves nearly two million children and their families worldwide.
The God who sees
In the age of information overload, it’s easy to tune out or be immune to all the poverty and injustice in our world. Alley shares, “In Genesis 16:13, Haggar gives the Lord the name, El Roi, which means “the God who sees me”. He sees every hurt, every injustice and every broken thing. He is calling His people to do the same.”
How can the book help people rethink poverty in a positive way? By breaking down some common stigmas and perceptions around people living in economic poverty, stepping away from merely seeing our differences and start seeing our similarities as human beings, says Alley.
“We are all created in God’s image, with inherent dignity, worth, gift and capacity. We all experience different types of brokenness to varying degrees.”
“God created us to live in community and to be in relationship with one another, to learn from one another, and we really wanted to hold that mutuality perspective through this whole series.”
The six film series of 18 – 20 minute videos is a fresh study of the beauty of community and restoration featuring Shaun Groves. It comes with a six-week group study guide and 30-day personal devotional book.
Poverty, community and generosity
“The book is unique. It’s created by Canadians for Canadians, and features a diverse group of Canadian stories, statistics, perspectives and voices, making it really rich. It doesn’t just explore the state of poverty and brokenness, but it really encourages us to look within our hearts and lives to see our own poverty and brokenness,” says Alley.
In Eyes to See, readers embark on a journey of discovering the God who sees, how He sees them, and how He desires them to see others. The series provides a broader understanding of poverty (head), a deeper love for God and others (heart), a deeper appreciation for their role in caring for the poor and vulnerable (hands), and a deeper commitment to an other-oriented lifestyle of love, compassion, and generosity (habits). “God has a beautiful plan for this broken world that He is unfolding even now, and He wants you to be a part of it.”– Eyes to See