In exchange for a review, the folks at Thomas Nelson were kind enough give a me copy of the book, The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns. Richard is the president of World Vision, a Christian charity dedicated to helping the poor across the globe.
The beauty of this book is in the delicate weaving of World Vision's mission with Richard's personal story of his road to becoming the organization's CEO.
The book begins with Richard telling his story. He describes his journey from CEO of Lenox to CEO of World Vision. Along the way, he recounts how many times he said "no", only to have that door stay firmly and completely open. The story compares Richard's unwillingness to embrace his role with our inability to see the suffering of those across the globe. As he finally catches the vision we get a glimpse of what can be done to truly change the world with Christ's love, one person at a time.
World Vision is involved in the nitty gritty work of Christ. They dig wells for water, provide micro loans, help improve crop yields and assist with disasters. In short, they bring Christ to the need. The book is full of stories of hope. There are stories of villages saved by a World Vision well and enterprises funded by micro loans. There are stories of tribal elders still confused about why Christians would come halfway around the world to help them after a tsunami. In short, they are stories of works opening the door to faith.
If you're hardened to the poor, if you think they are uniformly lazy, read this book. If you think the third world is without hope, read this book. If you can finish The Hole in Our Gospel without being moved to compassion, call the coroner. You're already dead.