Effects of Poverty

How Does Poverty Affect the Community?

Poverty impacts more than individuals and families; it can hold entire communities in its cycle. So, how does poverty affect the community? A community without a clean source of water is entirely subject to whatever waterborne illnesses may come out of their dirty stream or pond. An area without a school has no ability to educate its children, so they grow up with little knowledge or skill and are then forced into another round in the poverty cycle. Villages that have experienced natural disasters are nearly wiped out, leaving very few resources for food and water, let alone rebuilding any kind of permanent shelter.

GFA World is present in many of the poorest parts of the world, focused on community development. The method we use for this is simple and effective:

  1. Pastors and missionaries living in the area learn the needs of the villagers.
  2. Through prayer and planning, GFA staff determine how best to bless each community/family through gift distributions.
  3. GFA attempts to find a way to provide for each family in need.
  4. The pastor or missionary delivers the gifts to families and follows up with them.
  5. Families actively increase their livelihood and health through the gift, and many choose to be part of the local church.[1]

GFA World pastor Oisin’s village desperately needed clean water; their only water source was the filthy, muddy stuff in the existing well. And even this water wasn’t sufficient for their needs since the well would drop to a very low level in the dry season between March and June. Villagers spent hours a day walking back and forth to fetch barely enough contaminated water for basic needs. There definitely wasn’t enough to grow crops, which would have saved money and trips to the market. People often fell ill from drinking the water, but they had no other options.

For these reasons, Pastor Oisin wanted to drill a Jesus well, and his congregation wanted to help. They even volunteered to do the work themselves. So, Pastor Oisin received the permission and funds to begin digging, and he and the believers got to work. As they dug, they encountered bigger and bigger rocks, which caused many to doubt if they would find water at all. They hired a driller and an excavator to help, prayed that God would provide water in the desert and kept digging. God answered their prayers with an 8-foot-deep pocket of water 33 feet below the rocky surface. The water was much cleaner and closer than the village’s previous source, saving time and energy and improving their health.[2]

Consider joining with GFA to support community development and counteract some of the effects of poverty. The simple gift of a Jesus well, an animal or a sewing machine can change a family or community forever, setting them on a path to escape poverty.

Learn more about the effects of poverty and how GFA is helping!

[1] “Community Development.” GFA World. Accessed July 10, 2023. https://www.gfa.org/ministries/community-development/.
[2] “Finding Water Amidst the Rocks.” GFA World. July 2022. https://www.gfa.org/news/articles/finding-water-amidst-the-rocks-wfr22-07/.