Breakout Session 2
A Look at the Poor and What the Bible Says
Peter Mutabazi Habyarimana
Compassion has done something brilliant at this conference: they have brought men who have been reached for Christ and then cared for up to adulthood thanks to the advocacy of Compassion Sponsors.
Peter was born in Kibali, Uganda near the border of Rawanda. He grew up in an abusive family and at a very young age, Peter ran away from home. H came to Christ throughthe ministry of Compassion Sponsorship.
Peter grew up in the kind of poverty that is difficult for me to grasp. I’ve seen Sally Struthers bawl about on television. And I’ve personally been to places like Uganda and Sudan. I’ve been able to see it, smell it, taste it, and touch it with my own senses. But I always got to go back home. I knew I was leaving and relief for me was around the corner.
Not so with most who share this planet with me.
Peter points out that there are over three thousand references in God’s Word about helping the poor. The Bible describes the poor as socially defenseless, physically oppressed, lowly, and surviving from day to day. In other a places, the Bible says the poor are helpless, weak, and reduced to utter poverty. In the New Testament, the poor are pictured as destitute, without the resources or ability to help one’s self. An image is formed of people that need protection and who rely on others for life sustaining resources.
God is portrayed in Scripture as a compassionate, merciful defender and provider. Those that follow Christ and are being conformed in His image should follow God’s example.