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Gospel-centered and effective

Our four Hope Award finalists offer life-changing help to those who are struggling

Photo by Darrell Goemaat/Genesis

Gospel-centered and effective

“Sure, they’re pro-life,” former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank once said of political opponents who worked against legal abortion. “They’re pro-life from conception to birth.” Frank’s argument was that pro-lifers supported life in the womb but then—in opposing the Democratic Party’s agenda for expanding government programs—were against life after children were born.

Frank’s quip/accusation was deeply unfair. Many pro-life Americans give their own money and time to support thousands of pregnancy resource centers and thousands of other compassionate groups across the country. Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, simply assumed that the best way to help poor persons was through government programs. But what if that isn’t true? Poverty rates in the United States fell in the decades leading up to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society in the 1960s but remained basically the same for decades after.

What if government welfare programs aren’t the most effective path to a reduction in poverty? What if a better way exists to help poor persons escape poverty and the social problems associated with it?

Every year, WORLD’s Hope Awards for Effective Compassion highlight some of the groups that are demonstrating a better way. WORLD looks for programs that offer challenging, personal, spiritual help—not groups that hand people money or a meal but do nothing to change counterproductive or even dangerous habits. WORLD looks for groups that are unashamed of the gospel and its life-changing power and make it the heart of their work.

This year, WORLD’s Addie Offereins traveled to Albuquerque, N.M., to report on a ministry that uses discipleship to help men coming out of rehab or prison find employment and housing; to Niles, Mich., to report on a pregnancy care center that focuses on holistic Biblical sexuality in addition to providing services to women; to Huntsville, Ala., to report on a Christian recovery program that holds men battling addiction accountable in a structured environment; and to Post Falls, Idaho, to report on a Christian recovery program that creates a gospel-centered family to provide loving accountability.

After reading about these groups and the good work they’re doing, go to wng.org/compassion to vote for the finalist you think deserves this year’s Hope Award grand prize. Voting will end on Aug. 12, and the winner will receive $10,000.

Bad news isn’t hard to find nowadays, but God is always building His kingdom. Keep reading to see some of what He’s doing through these four compassionate groups.

Timothy Lamer

Tim is executive editor of WORLD Commentary. He previously worked for the Media Research Center in Alexandria, Va. His work has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Weekly Standard.


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