God to Jim: “Poverty isn’t my problem – you fix it …”

By James E. Copple Occasionally, I have a crisis of confidence that undermines my faith; challenges my optimism; and generally leaves me grumpy and deflated. It was several weeks ago, in the silence of my home and looking over various projects mostly dealing with the poor and disenfranchised, when I wept (truly) and begged God […]


Voices from the Night: The Power and Promise of Community Change is now out there for everybody to see and read. It is a “story book.” I am a story teller! I have had the opportunity to be a witness to so many events in so many environments. Whether it is the preacher in me, the teacher in me, or the advocate in me, or all of the above, I cannot tell a story without applying a lesson.

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In a DC neighborhood, I talked with a family facing homelessness because their benefits and assets had just run out. More recently, I visited a Tribal Community in Oklahoma, and a slum community in Nairobi, Kenya.

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She walked nearly 300 miles to get herself and her two children to a refugee camp in a not too distant land that merely tolerates her presence. On the journey she was raped and she witnessed the murder of her husband by Al-Shabaab – the terrorist organization threatening the region known as the Horn of Africa. When I […]

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Poverty, drug abuse, hunger and disease are issues that capture my time and attention on most days. Data and statistics come off my tongue as if I had chiseled them into my soul and conscience. I try to impress funders and policy makers with my ease of verbal and mental dexterity that allows me to […]

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Today, I walked the stoned and cavernous streets of a Nairobi slum with about a hundred volunteers all committed to cleaning up the trash and garbage that fills these streets on a weekly basis. Each week forty young people meet at the Lunga Lunga Biogas tower and organize themselves to collect trash from about 400 families or homesteads that […]

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We are all familiar with the clichés of “show me the money” or in investigations related to property crime or corruption, “follow the money.” The point of these phrases is that there is an object that defines our behavior or actions. I must confess I am an unashamed and unabashed pursuer of money. Over the […]

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I often go to slums and work in urban environments that are horrific in poverty, disease and crime. But this morning was different. I walked the narrow walkways between corrugated huts interviewing the youth leaders. The smells were so bad that three times I had to fight the gag reflex…

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