How did AMP get started?
I became a follower of Jesus just after high school. I've found that following him entails not only just one conversion, but having your heart changed more than once. One of those conversions happened in 2005, when I was doing a Hebrew Prophets course with college students.
God's concern for the poor comes through so passionately in prophets like Amos and Isaiah. I was looking for a way to make it real for us. Then in March of 2005, Jeffrey Sachs’ The End of Poverty made the cover of Time Magazine. It helped me realize that we could really do something to end extreme poverty in our lifetime. I came to believe that God invites us to work with him to express his heart for the poor.
It got me thinking about one small way to work in that direction—a website to facilitate responding to needs in Africa.
Richard Dowden’s Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles convinced me that working through local churches is a highly effective approach. Through multiple short trips to Zambia, I am grateful to have established relationships with local church leaders where we can make it work.
Shooting videos that tell the stories of what God is doing together with Zambian pastors has become an increasingly important part of those trips. What I didn't expect was how much these pastors who work among the poor in Africa have to give us in the affluent west. They model Jesus and what it means to faithfully follow him in remarkable ways. They have learned to go to God for their needs.
The vitality of their spiritual lives sometimes reveals the poverty in ours. The partnership expressed through the videos can really be a blessing that flows in both directions.