Help women and girls. Females often suffer more from poverty than males do, since they’re more likely to be oppressed. Also, helping women and girls often creates a ripple effect of positive change, such as decreasing disease and infant mortality rates and increasing gross domestic product and civic participation rates in nations where they live. So do whatever you can to help empower women and girls who are living in poverty.

Help people who need access to clean water. Clean water is vital to a healthy life. When poor people lack access to it, they become sick and often die. Not only do people need clean water for drinking, but they also need it for such important activities as bathing, growing crops for food, generating electricity, and maintaining ecosystems where they live. When you help poor people get the clean water they need, you show them love in action that points them to Jesus – living water for their souls.

Fight injustice. Speak up and stand up for poor people who are being oppressed and mistreated. Do whatever you can to help them get the freedom, protection, and justice God wants them to have. Ask God to help you be outraged, loud, and bold as you help the poor, so others will pay attention to your efforts and hopefully join you.

Focus on both bodies and souls. While evangelism is valuable, people in need won’t really pay much attention to the spiritual help you give them unless you help them with their pressing physical needs first. Keep in mind that they won’t care how much you know until you they know how much you care. But when you minister to poor people holistically – both body and soul – you can give them real hope.

Be willing to keep taking risks. You can’t stay safe and still play a significant part in helping poor people; you have to be willing to take whatever risks God calls you to take. Don’t let two factors that commonly stop people from helping others – time pressures and fear – hold you back from doing what God wants you to do to help the poor. Take action whenever you sense God calling you to do so, even when you’re busy or afraid, and rely on the power that God will give you to overcome those obstacles.

Adapted from Awake: Doing a World of Good One Person at a Time,copyright 2012 by Noel Brewer Yeatts. Published by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Mich.,

Noel Brewer Yeatts is the vice president of World Help (, a faith-based humanitarian organization that serves the physical and spiritual needs of people in impoverished communities around the world. She also directs an initiative of World Help called causelife (, a movement of people dedicated to providing the most essential need to human life: clean water. Her work has taken her around the world to document the gripping stories of those affected by HIV/AIDS, hunger, poverty, and disease. The coauthor of two books and a noted speaker, Yeatts challenges thousands across the nation at universities, churches, conferences, and special events. She lives in Virginia.

Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a contributing writer and the editor of’s site on angels and miracles ( Contact Whitney at: to send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience like an answered prayer.

Publication date: June 11, 2012