The journey toward ending poverty will transform us. As we partner with our brothers and sisters living in poverty to build a better world for all, God helps us grow and change into his likeness.

When we align our heart and our actions with God’s heart for the vulnerable, we become more like Him. As we take responsibility for the injustice of poverty and make the mandate to end it a part of our daily lives, our habits change, our priorities change, our perspectives change.

We don’t necessarily become new, but we become more like Christ, who modelled for us a life of service to those who the world marginalises.

“New year, new you” is pretty catchy. “New year, slowly but steadily growing and becoming more like Christ” is less so. It’s longer, but much like the process it describes, and probably more accurate.

What might this look like practically?

1. Mindful consumption

Our understanding of development is that it’s the process by which people are able to realise right relationships with God, one another and the earth. This has significant implications for how we think about what we purchase and why, encouraging us to ask, does this purchase have a positive impact on the earth and people who made it?

Our God is good at redeeming relationships, and if we make more mindful choices, we can encourage the fashion industry to continue shifting it’s relationship with the earth to one that preserves rather than destroys; one that empowers people rather than exploits them.

Mindful consumption isn’t about boycotting brands, but about embracing the power we have to do good when we do decide to make a purchase. Sometimes that does mean boycotting brands, but it always means encouraging brands to do better, and use their power for good.

Our advocacy team is always producing incredible resources for this journey, particularly in the COVID Fashion Guide and Fashion Report, which helps you identify which companies are doing the most to protect their workers throughout the pandemic. For more tips on how to advocate for vulnerable workers, see this handy guide from Chantelle Mayo, Project Manager for our Advocacy Team.

2. Regular Giving

When we choose to commit to regular giving, we bring the work of ending poverty into our daily life. For me, knowing that some part of my income, however small, automatically goes toward addressing the injustice of poverty, is really important.

If I can buy myself a coffee nearly every day, I can give that much each month to support work that I know is actually essential! It’s not just about the amount, but the commitment. So, when I do my budget, my regular giving is where it belongs, with all my other essential expenditures.

From Child Sponsorship and the Vulnerable Children’s Fund, to the Disaster Action Fund and Community Development, to Advocacy Research or Where Needed Most, we have a number of options if you decide you would like to make your giving regular.

You and I hold so much privilege, the greatest of which is the opportunity to use it to serve others.

The start of a new year seems a pretty good time to reflect on the goodness of God’s plan, that he would use us to partner with communities living in poverty to walk with them into the fullness of life that God intends for them. In turn, we walk together into a greater fullness of life too.

What an incredible journey we are on together!