Most of the poor people living all around the world live outside the protection of the law. What that means is that if one is poor in the world, one does not have the protection of the law enforcements against violence. The criminal justice systems in the developing world is utterly broken. This leaves the poor people completely exposed and often at the mercy of local bullies or even the police who are corrupt and predatory.
So we can give all kinds of goods and help to the poor, but if we don't restrict the bullies from taking them all away, Founder and President of International Justice Mission, Gary Haugen says that we will be disappointed by the results.
By writing the book, The Locust Effect, Haugen tries to tell a story that remains under the surface of poverty. For decades, people have been trying to fight against global poverty. Yet there is no way that we can prevail in that fight if we are not protecting the poor against violence - sexual violence, slavery, having their land stolen or even police abuse.
For example, education for the young girls is very important. Yet even if such opportunities are available, these girls are attacked and raped on their way to school, at school or even at home.
All these have to stop before the poor can move forward.
Safety is the first civil right. There is no point in providing for the poor when all can be taken away from them the very next minute. We have to protect the poor from violence before they can move towards a future.
That was what Jesus said in Matthew 5.
Light is not useful if it is not going into the places of darkness. It is possible to bring rescue to people all around the world. It is not a hopeless situation.
We can bring the criminals to justice. When that is done, people still start to realise that they can't get away with certain acts anymore.
Isaiah 1:17 says, "Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow."
God never gives us a ministry without giving us the power of His Holy Spirit to do it.
For a copy of Gary Haugen's book, The Locust Effect, please click here to visit the Crossroads eStore.