Develop the Whole Person in the Whole City
The call to biblical justice fills the Scriptures. Based in a holistic Hebrew theology, the early Christians understood God cares about the total person and expects his followers to push back the oppression and systemic injustices that affect the poor and marginalized. In fact, his judgment on Israel was prompted by the decaying effects of religion without action for the hungry, naked or the stranger.
Yet in the highly individualistic and privatization of faith found in Western Christianity, many Christians have reduced faith to personal needs and forgotten this call to the poor. Mission Waco stands firmly in the biblical affirmation that “faith without works is dead” and the widow, orphan, poor, naked, hungry, homeless, stranger, and voiceless people are the “least of these” we are all called to serve.
Recognizing that people are poor for numerous reasons, including both personal irresponsibility and systemic injustice, Mission Waco provides various efforts to address both. But more than just holiday-driven food and toy drives, Christians must recognize that often the systems created to help the most vulnerable of society also become calloused toward the rich and powerful. Education, social services, politics, employment, judicial, legal services, health care and other systems often must be redeemed over and over to provide God’s justice and righteousness.
Mission Waco often takes on specific injustices that affect our people. For example, assisting the incarcerated poor and racial minorities to access sincere representation in the legal system, finding our unemployed or underemployed persons a livable wage job, accessing affordable housing and health care, public transportation access, and advocacy for government benefits for the mentally ill have all been priorities at various times.
Advocates who are interested in helping address the various social injustices are generally encouraged to become a volunteer in a relational way with the poor and marginalized before tackling larger issues so as to personally understand the struggles.