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“Poverty is an empty heart”

I was recently with a group of 20 people who were forming a ”saving circle.” This group of 20 amazing Rwandans included men and women who live on $1-2 a day.

The lead trainer began the workshop by asking a simple question, “How do you define poverty?” Before you read the answers take a second to ask yourself how you define poverty.

Here were their answers in the order provided:

  1. Poverty is an empty heart.
  2. Not knowing your abilities and strengths
  3. Not being able to make progress
  4. Isolation
  5. No hope or belief in yourself. Knowing you can’t take care of your family
  6. Broken relationships
  7. Not knowing God
  8. Not having basic things to eat. Not having money
  9. Poverty is a consequence of not sharing
  10. Lack of good thoughts.

There was only one mention of money.

Chris Ordway is a senior technical advisor based in Kigali, Rwanda, focused on HOPE’s Savings and Credit Associations throughout the country.  He and his wife and three daughters moved to Kigali last August. Chris loves to tell people that Rwanda is safe and clean and that during his time in Rwanda he has had nothing but warmth and kindness from EVERY person that he has had the blessing to meet.



As Christ’s followers responding to His great love, HOPE International seeks physical, social, spiritual, and personal restoration in places of brokenness. Through Christ-centered economic development, we empower men and women to strengthen their families, build their businesses, and unleash their dreams.

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