A billion people live in urban slums and squatter settlements. The most recent issue of Christianity Today tells the story of one American college student, who, because of her faith, decided to join them (to read click here, you may need to sign up, article written by Kent Annan). Michelle Kao, from Johns Hopkins University shifted her career from med school, to urban ministry as she moved to an impoverished section of Bangkok, Thailand. The pay isn’t as good in urban ministry, but other rewards compensate for the loss.
Personally, I was encouraged to read that Michelle had initially gone to Bangkok with InterVarsity, the group my wife Shannon works for (and I worked from 1986-2000), and that she’s currently serving there with Servant Partners, an organization started by some close friends (full disclosure, we support both IV and SP).
Servant Partners is part of a growing movement in missions called the New Friars. A 2006 book by Scott Bessenecker discusses the movement in a book entitled The New Friars. These groups advocate not just ministering to people in poverty, but actually living among them (which sounds more like what Jesus would do).
Where’s Jesus calling you to live?