Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy (Proverbs 31:8-9).
The majority of Americans support foreign assistance when they have the facts, but U.S. foreign assistance is terribly misunderstood. Polls consistently show that most Americans think it is more than 20 percent of the federal budget. But poverty-focused foreign assistance makes up less than half of one percent. Currently, members of Congress are debating these funding levels that will have major consequences for children, families and whole communities around the world.
On March 2, our office helped to host Pastor Bruce Bradshaw of the Mennonite Congregation of Boston, and Lee Wheeler from Bethel College Mennonite Church, who visited with their congressional offices to advocate for the protection of funding for humanitarian and poverty-focused development assistance programs. They joined with dozens of faith leaders from different faith communities that share the common religious call to respond to poverty, hunger, sickness, disasters and displacement.
As they shared stories of how their faith communities are responding to those in dire need at home and overseas, they reminded congressional offices that the U.S. government’s role in funding foreign assistance is indispensable.