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Stories of Poverty

• Sandra Unger

The Importance of Knowing Ernest: Sandra shares experiences and insights that have come from her family’s “unlikely” friendships with people on St. Paul’s East Side. In our movement toward the issue of poverty, it’s easy for the ‘haves’ to feel heroic for seeking to give to the ‘have-nots’. Through her relationship with Ernest, Sandra explains what can happen when we pursue relationships instead of responsibilities, or people instead of poverty.

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Sandra Unger reminded us of the persistent theme of Scripture that God desires holistic reconciliation between not only God and humans, but between humans as well. Jesus came and died for this desire of God’s (Luke 4; John 17:20-23; 2 Cor. 5, etc.). Sometimes we do get a glimpse of what this could look like. Today Sandra Unger and Earnest Johnson shared their story.

Sandra and Earnest each shared openly about their very different backgrounds and also about how they have come to be friends over the years. Sandra talked about the “social construction of reality”—the way in which our society boxes us into various categories and makes it very unlikely that someone like Sandra and someone like Earnest would become friends. Earnest shared about his history in and out of prison and his struggles with how to do “normal” things like handle a check book and find a stable place to live.

In the end, what was clear is that these two did become friends and many blessings have come of it. Their values and lifestyles were and are so different and they challenge one another in positive ways. Reflect back on their story as you process through the questions below…

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Topics: Poverty, Reconciliation, Relationships

Sermon Series: Compassion by Command

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Focus Scripture:

  • John 17:20-23

    20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

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5 thoughts on “Stories of Poverty

  1. Joy says:

    This video and some other videos in the “Compassion by Command” series is not working. Wondering if there’s another place I can access them?

    1. Paige Slighter says:

      Hey Joy, I’m on the communications team and just took a look at the video links. There was one that needed to be updated. Sorry about that. They should all be working now. Please let us know if you have any more issues. Thanks for watching!

      1. Joy says:

        I still can’t get this one to work 🙁

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