Thursday, March 11, 2010

Book review: Peter Greer & Phil Smith- The poor will be glad

The poor will be glad
Peter Greer & Phil Smith
Buy: Koorong, Amazon, Book depository, christianaudio

The poor will be glad addresses how Christians can help the poor escape poverty through microfinance and employment based solutions.

This book does cover some of the same ground as When Helping Hurts (see review). When helping hurts is more comprehensive in regards to a theological foundation for poverty relief so I would recommend reading that first. The poor will be glad also does deal with theology and the unhelpful ways Christians sometimes try to assist but the main focus of the book is on microfinance and related programs. Microfinance is the giving of small loans to the poor at fair interest rates to facilitate the starting or development of interest generating businesses. Many consider microfinance a good way to help the poor leave poverty and be able to provide for their families. The authors temper their enthusiasm with some much needed warnings including issues particularly affecting church run or Christian microfinance projects.

The book is full of beautiful photography from communities where microfinance is having an impact.

This book will be useful for those involved in running or supporting microfinance organizations. It will also be of interest to anyone interested in exploring the ways the church can help solve the problem of poverty. I recommend it.