CW: Do I understand it correctly that all of the royalties from the book are going towards those charities?

ML: Yes. All my royalties are going into these people and these other organizations. I direct the reader to them. I am not here to promote me or my organization. I am here to shine the spotlight on the worth and the value of the poor.

CW: That is a great insight, and it kind of touches on the last question I had for you here. In all of your experiences through being with the extreme poor and the working poor and contrasting that with folks in this country, can you maybe sum up some of the ways you have noticed regarding how the poor are rich and how the wealthy are very impoverished that you might have observed?

ML: That is precisely what the book does. There are eleven chapters. Each chapter is a different lesson that I have learned from them, and each lesson is illustrated by their stories. It is a book of stories. For instance, in the chapter on gratitude, these people are so grateful for what little they have. I have so much, and I find myself complaining and grumbling in contrast. Their faith is so deep because they do not have a gazillion back-ups like I do. So when you depend on God, he tends to show up, okay? And I find that.

God shows up in these people's lives in miraculous ways that I do not experience, because I have so taken care of myself. They are all different lessons, and each one is powerful, that they are just so rich in ways that I have much to learn from.

Mark Lutz is the Senior Vice President, Global Philanthropy of Opportunity International, Oak Brook, Illinois. Growing up in South Africa with missionary parents shaped Mark to become an advocate for justice and the poor. For the past 25 years he has traveled the world to visit with people who live in cardboard huts, hiked dusty paths to visit African villages, and tiptoed across putrid open sewers on makeshift bridges, returning home to tell unforgettable stories about unforgettable people -- people who are desperately poor, yet abundantly rich.

Publication date: August 13, 2010