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RECOMMENDED BOOKS, VIDEOS, CDs
BOOKS:                                                              
 Hole in the Gospel  by Richard Stearns (President of World Vision, US) 
Stearns maintains that many professing Christians  have a "hole" in their  gospel. The hole is the belief that the gospel is merely "fire insurance"; many Christians either are blind or ignorant to the Biblical verses in the gospel that compels Christians to care for the poor in the world. Stearns uses a very scriptural basis for compelling Christians to get involved. The author contrasts the U.S. view of what constitutes poverty with the more critical poverty in the world today. This would be a great book for a mission study.

 The Poor Will Be Glad  by Peter Greer and Phil Smith
This book  is a classic about Micro-financing small business loans as a way to protect the dignity of poor people and prevent dependency. It is a way to give poor people a "hand up" not just a "hand out." The authors clearly describe the various models of micro-financing and how to implement them.  The authors describe the hurtful unintended consequences of our well-intentioned efforts of giving handouts to help the poor and challenges us to employ micro-financing in the place of handouts.

Kisses for Katie by Katie Davis
This is a heart-warming true story of an exceptional young high school girl who goes to Uganda on a mission trip and  after her high school graduation forsakes college and a boyfriend to go back to Uganda to be a missionary to the children. Richard Stearns writes about Katie, "When you think of what one young woman can accomplish by simply being open to God's call no matter the cost, you begin to ask questions like, 'Am I really open to God's will for my life......'"  This book is an example of extraordinary things that can be accomplished for the glory of God by ordinary people enabled by the Holy Spirit.

The Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah
The poor living in the impoverished villages of East Africa face the daily hardships of: disease, hunger, death, finances, educating children etc. yet they are a joyful people. The question often asked by the Westerner is, “How do they appear so joyful?”  
I believe it's because they have accepted two cultural truths. 1) Hardships are a normal part of daily life and 2) They believe in the "Radiance of Tomorrow."  
          By the end of the book you realize that the “radiance of tomorrow” is the survivors instinct to hope that tomorrow (next week, month, year) things will be better so hold on. Unfortunately in the book of Ishmael Beah, he does not give an adequate foundation for that hope. It is not a culturally bread survivors instinct but hope is more confident; it is based on the Presence of Christ within and the wonder of His Word. 

VIDEIOS:
War Dance
This is a video that chronicles a children's group of singers, dancers, and percussionists from the civil war torn area of Gulu, Uganda, as they prepare for a national competition . The video serves as a window into their individual daily lives, past tragedies, and how being chosen for this group of performers has helped them through trouble and given them hope. The video has a surprising end as they perform at the state competition.  The video instructs us in detail of what the children of Northern Uganda, particularly Gulu, suffered at the hands of the rebel LRA soldiers during the 20 year civil war.