Phone: 701.636.5701
204 Caledonia Avenue East, Hillsboro, ND

Sr Pastor Joe Johnson 701.430.3787 

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I was hungry and you gave me food. Matthew 25:35

What is Poverty?

The title of my doctorate thesis is Invisible Poverty. The research focuses on small town rural poverty. The premise is that poverty in a small town is relatively invisible, especially among youth and children. Homelessness tends to be people sleeping on a relative’s couch or basement. Hunger tends to be food insecurity. The daily devotions this week will pertain to this research and thesis.

What is Rural Poverty?

While there are numerous ways to define poverty, the working definition for my research project is the “condition where people's basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter are not being met.” While we have a clear working definition of poverty, defining rural is more challenging. Some of the factors of include: population, geography, housing, industry, and economy. The focus of this project was not to define who is or is not rural. The focus of this project is to identify the issues of poverty and discern the church’s role in participating in God’s mission.

What is Invisible Poverty?

Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man was published originally in 1952 addressing many of the social and intellectual issues facing African Americans in the early twentieth century. The nameless narrator says, “I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me…When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination—indeed, everything and anything except me.” Many of the social and intellectual issues facing African Americans in the early twentieth century continue today. They are very real and yet many people refuse to see them. Likewise, issues of poverty are very real and yet many people refuse to see them. Some of the issues of poverty including hunger, food insecurity, homelessness, housing instability, discrimination, injustice, shame, exclusion, addiction, and health problems that have remained socially invisible. The hope of this research project was for our eyes to be opened and to see the needs of neighbors.

Today, may our eyes be open to how God is at work in our life. May our eyes to open to the needs of our neighbors. May our eyes be open to God’s promised and preferred future!

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