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“And all these things are from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and who has given us the ministry of reconciliation. In other words, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s trespasses against them, and he has given us the message of reconciliation. Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making his plea through us. We plead with you on Christ’s behalf, ‘Be reconciled to God!'” (2 Corinthians 5:18-20 NET)

Our mission at Love INC is to mobilize local churches to transform lives and communities In the Name of Christ. Our goal, the reason why we have that mission, is poverty alleviation. Our work is rooted in helping people grow out of a cycle of poverty to a place where they see their self-worth and understand that they have gifts, talents, and the ability to succeed in life. We know all people have worth because our Creator, God the Father, has given each person a unique purpose for their life. We find minimal comfort in providing temporary relief for someone stuck in a cycle of poverty. Giving someone a handout only offers temporary relief and keeps them stuck in their cycle of need, which is why we help people through the lens of the Redemptive Compassion® philosophy.

The philosophy of Redemptive Compassion® is based on many principles from a book called When Helping HurtsIn the book, the authors express, “Poverty alleviation is the ministry of reconciliation: moving people closer to God by living in a right relationship with God, with self, with others and with the rest of creation. (When Helping Hurts p74)”

Our ministry walks alongside our neighbors in need and helps them understand their value and know they have salvation through Jesus Christ. The authors continue to say, “Rather, the goal is to restore people to a full expression of humanness, to being what God created us all to be, people who glorify God by living in, right relationship with God, with self, with others and with the rest of creation. One of the many manifestations of these relationships being reconciled is material poverty alleviation. (When Helping Hurts p74)”

To truly understand the ministry of reconciliation that Paul refers to in his letter to the Corinthians, we must understand what reconciliation means. Merriam-Webster defines the action of reconciling as “to restore to friendship or harmony. To settle, to resolve.” (Wednesday, April 17, 2024, )

This means reconciliation is the act of putting things back together, to bring balance. For something to be reconciled, something must be out of balance. As Christians, we know that our relationship with God became broken. We also know that Jesus’ death and resurrection restored this broken relationship. We are all broken and need the grace of Jesus.  

Most people either don’t admit it or dislike speaking about how they may play a part in their broken relationships. It is difficult to recognize when we hurt people with our actions. This principle is also true for people stuck in generational poverty. One of the harsh realities of people stuck in this cycle of poverty is they do not have strong relationships with their family, friends, spouse, children, education systems, faith, jobs, or any other type of relationship.

This reality is why we partner with our local church partners to offer our Fresh Start Program. Through this program, one of our goals is to help people learn how to have better relationships. We firmly believe that to restore our relationships with others, we must have a relationship with Jesus. Jesus is a part of all of our classes. It is difficult for us to have strong relationships with others if we don’t think Jesus wants a relationship with us. Being a Christian, or becoming a Christian, is not a requirement to participate in Fresh Start, but Jesus is there. His Word is present in the curriculum. He is among the people who greet, serve meals, lead/co-lead classes, and mentor one-on-one. Reconciling relationships with Jesus is what we are about. We desire to model Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 5:20, “Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making his plea through us. We plead with you on Christ’s behalf, ‘Be reconciled to God!'” (2 Corinthians 5:20 NET)

Have you experienced this reconciliation with God in your life? Are you passionate about your church community? Does the Love INC ministry excite you? Then, please consider becoming involved and using the God-given skills, talents, and gifts that are unique to you.

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We understand that the philosophy of Redemptive Compassion® may be new to you. We welcome you to learn more by attending our six-week group study I will lead during our Fresh Start Program starting May 6. We will watch a video in each session, followed by a group discussion. A small fee of $10 is required to cover the cost of the book.

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I conclude by asking everyone who reads this to pray for this ministry. Specific things you can pray for are for people to come to know Jesus through our work, the staff/volunteers who walk closely with our clients, and the wisdom of the board, myself, and the staff who lead this ministry.