I have been working with Bright Hope for Tomorrow for a little over a year now. Before that I worked for more than three decades with International Teams Canada, another organization that believes helping people overcome poverty is a crucial aspect of Christian witness. Considering that both organizations were founded by the same man, Kevin Dyer, it's not surprising they share this core conviction.
My wife, Helen, and I with Kevin Dyer in May, 2022
Kevin's deep compassion for impoverished people took root in 1954 when, at the age of 18, he and his older brother Alan left their home in Tasmania and set out by ship for England. Along the way they stopped in several of South Asia's teeming cities, where they saw people in extreme poverty for the first time in their lives. Kevin later wrote: "The shattering realization of a world in desperate need broke in upon my teen-age life with tremendous force." From that point on, he devoted his life to communicating the hope that is embodied in Jesus, and helping people discover Christ-centered ways to improve the quality of their lives.
I'm one of hundreds, if not thousands, of people Kevin inspired with similar passion over the years, and I've seen again and again how transformative it can be when faith in Jesus is embodied in efforts to overcome poverty. The same is true of Sherri Fish, who handles our receipting and bookkeeping, and its true of each of our Board members, including Wilf Wight, our previous Director. Of course, work that is grounded in and shaped by other worldviews and belief systems can also have a positive impact on the quality of people's lives, just as there are plenty of examples of Christian initiatives that have caused harm. However, I wouldn't be doing what I am doing were I not convinced that beliefs and practices grounded in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus lead to deeper understandings of the nature and causes of poverty and how it can be overcome, while pointing toward the ultimate flourishing of humanity and creation that only God makes possible.
Over the years, our Canadian supporters have given sacrificially, and our international partners have worked tirelessly because they share God’s concern for people trapped in poverty. I am humbled by the opportunity to continue their legacy, and look forward with great anticipation to all we will experience and learn together on this journey.
More to come ...