We think we know what poverty is, but do we really? Poverty is so much more than not having nice things! It’s more than living on the streets.
Poverty is messy and can be hard to make sense of. Have you ever seen a famine happening halfway around the world and not known how to respond? Perhaps you’ve struggled to know how to help a neighbour through a divorce. Maybe you stress over the impacts of climate change. Could be you’re tired of only pushing for the bottom line in your business. Or you’ve experienced your own journey with mental health.
Did you know all these struggles fall into the category of “poverty”?
When you break poverty down, it’s all about relationships.
Be a part of a unique virtual conference, Flourishing, to explore the root causes of poverty and discover how you can be part of the solution—both overseas and over your own fence. We’re excited to collaborate with experts from around the world, including keynote speakers Brian Fikkert and Rudo Kayombo. They’ll dive deep into healthy helping, becoming whole, and the reconciliation of broken relationships as a solution to poverty. You’ll have a chance to interact with these experts and other Canadians during special Q&A sessions.
With a specific emphasis on what we can all learn from cultures and communities different to our own, as well as the complex conversations we’re currently facing here in Canada, Flourishing will equip you to make a practical difference right here at home and halfway around the globe.
Let’s end poverty together so that we can all flourish.
APRIL 29 & 30 Virtual Conference
9:30am-1:30pm MDT / 11:30am-3:30pm EDT / 12:30-4:30PM ADT
$40 per registration
Dr. Brian Fikkert is the coauthor of the best-selling book When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor...and Yourself as well as numerous other books examining causes and solutions to poverty. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University and is the Founder and President of the Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant College in Georgia.
Session: Living into God's Story - Two False Stories of Change (Part 1)
Poverty alleviation is about change, so we need to understand how individuals and communities change. Unfortunately, two false stories of change dominate our lives and our poverty alleviation efforts, resulting in erroneous goals and methods. Join Brian Fikkert as he breaks down these two false stories in his first session.
Session: Living into God's Story - God's Story of Change (Part 2)
God's story of change is good news, resulting in true human flourishing for both the materially poor and non-poor. Join Brian Fikkert as he reorients us all to God's story and highlights several important implications for the design of any ministry.
Rudo Kayombo is the Chief Operations Officer at Food for the Hungry, with over 20 years of experience in international development, law, and advocacy for refugees and survivors of gender-based violence. Rudo’s breadth of expertise includes past roles as Country Director for World Vision‘s offices in Zimbabwe and Uganda, leading advocacy for World Vision in the United Kingdom, and a leadership role at the ONE Campaign.
Session: Pursuing Restored Relationships
In a world where inequality is deepening and opportunities for those on the margins of society are narrowing, how can organizations like Food for the Hungry, which are founded in the Global North, possibly be qualified to speak about restored relationships? It’s only possible if we, who seek to enable restoration, recognize that we too are in need of restoration. It starts at home. Join Rudo Kayombo in a dialogue that encourages us all to look within before we journey beyond our borders.
IT’S ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS
What is poverty? How we define the problem determines what the solutions will be. Consider all the facets of your life; we bet you can categorize them within four essential relationships—a relationship to God, self, others, or creation. Poverty emerges where any of these are broken.
Ending poverty is about reconciling broken relationships.
Let’s work together to understand poverty and how we can make lasting changes in communities worldwide and in our own backyards.
GOD This is our deepest poverty—a broken relationship with God. Explore reconciliation, poverty theology, and the church.
Poverty is most obvious in our broken relationships with others. How can we solve homelessness, fight for social justice, and find belonging?
It’s hard to solve the world’s problems when your own self-worth is broken. We each need to discover our significance, wholeness, and purpose.
Did you know the earth needs saving, too? To heal our relationship with creation we need to pursue our calling as caretakers.
Workshops & Speakers
Moving from Compassion Fatigue to Sustainable Rhythms
Jennifer Lau - Canadian Baptist Ministries
You cannot pour from an empty cup. Jennifer Lau, Executive Director of Canadian Baptist Ministries, has learned this firsthand; after years of too much work and too little rest, burn out became a reality. Amidst the fatigue of these last few years, where do we draw from when we feel depleted? And how do we remain rooted in healthy, sustainable rhythms? Learn more about avoiding burnout as we faithfully follow Jesus into the challenges of our world.
A Redemptive Approach to the Journey of Entrepreneurship
Melody Murray - Praxis Labs
Mel Murray, Partner for Global Business at Praxis, loves coming alongside builders and entrepreneurs from around the world. She’s seen a variety of business methods—some exploitative, some ethical—but Mel suggests a third way: redemptive entrepreneurship. Business is big in our world and our futures are shaped by entrepreneurs and their worldviews. Imagine a world where businesses have restorative global impact rather than just a focus on their bottom line? Is this world is possible?
Discovering Your Community Attachment Style
Wendi Park - CareImpact
Wendi Park is passionate about the wellbeing of children and families and their relationships. What kind of friends did you have growing up? What were your familial relationships like? Wendi Park, Executive Director and Co-founder of CareImpact, shares how different attachment styles are formed based on the relationships in our lives, and how past wounds can leave us feeling unsafe or unwilling to take risks. Wendi offers a hope-filled solution for developing safe and secure attachment to those around us.
Ending Poverty Through Your Social Networks
Malvern Chikanya - Food for the Hungry Uganda
“As humans, we are created to belong. We are created to others, for others.” Malvern Chikanya is the Country Director of Food for the Hungry Uganda, where he sees firsthand the power that social connections have in ending poverty. When social connections are seen as an asset—not as a hurdle to navigate, but a powerful resource—there’s a shift in mindset. When we see what we have and what we’re capable of, we can end poverty in our communities!
To Die For
Brian McConaghy - Ratanak International
Brian McConaghy is a former forensic scientist with the RCMP and currently the Founding Director of Ratanak International, an organization committed to ending the cycles of exploitation and abuse in Cambodia. In this workshop, Brian will address how trauma can destroy our understanding of our worth as humans. How does anyone protect their own dignity when they’ve been treated as if they have none? Brian has seen one powerful truth change thousands of lives in Cambodia.
Careers, Callings, and Curves in the Road
How an Anchored Identity Leads to Vocational Flourishing
Carissa Youssef - The Stattonrock Group
Carissa Youssef is the CEO of Stattonrock Group, an Abbotsford construction and home design company that doesn’t just build beautiful homes—as a business they are uniquely positioned to end poverty. But how can a business focused on something as practical as construction put a dent into poverty worldwide? Through her career and her own personal journey, Carissa is learning more of what it means to be involved in business with meaningful local and global impact.
Beyond Deficiencies: An Asset-based Theology of Transformation
Terry Leblanc - NAIITS
Have humans cared for creation or has creation cared for humans? Humanity’s exploitation of the natural world could soon leave us with nothing to care for. Professor Terry LeBlanc, of Mi’kmaq-Acadian ancestry, is the Executive Director of Indigenous Pathways and a key leader at the North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies (NAIITS), an Indigenous learning community. A compelling teacher, Terri LeBlanc unpacks how Christ’s work to restore humanity to God is the template for our reconciliation with our land and with creation.
Stopping Poverty Before It Starts
Cherie White, Steadfast Developments
Too often, we see a need and react with a short-sighted solution. In short, we apply band-aids. But what if we could foresee hardship and offer help before problems even become problems? Cherie White is the CEO of Steadfast Developments. Based in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Steadfast seeks to revitalize impoverished neighbourhoods through social enterprise and multi-family developments. Join Cherie to learn more about what it means to “love thy neighbour” through this preventative approach to poverty.
Virtual Livestream Sessions *times shown Pacific Daylight Time (PDT)All Keynotes sessions and workshops will be recorded and can be accessed for one month following the conference.
Friday, April 29
8:30AM - Keynote address “Pursuing Restored Relationships”
with Rudo Kayombo - Food for the Hungry International
9:15AM - Break
9:20AM - Relationship with God
Choose one of two workshops: Moving from Compassion Fatigue to Sustainable Rhythms”
with Jennifer Lau - CBM
or “A Redemptive Approach to the Journey of Entrepreneurship”
with Melody Murray - Praxis Labs
10:20AM - Break
10:30AM - Relationship with Others
Choose one of two workshops: “Discovering Your Community Attachment Style”
with Wendi Park - CareImpact
or “Ending Poverty through Your Social Networks”
with Malvern Chikanya - Food for the Hungry Uganda
11:30AM - “Exploring Business Impact Potential through Partnership”
with Kevin McKay - Food for the Hungry Canada
12:15PM - Closing
Saturday, April 30
8:30AM - Keynote address Living into God's Story — Two False Stories of Change (Part 1)
with Brian Fikkert - Chalmers Center
9:00AM - Break
9:10AM - Relationship with Self
Choose one of two workshops: “To Die For”
with Brian McConaghy - Ratanak International
or “Careers, Callings, and Curves in the Road: How an Anchored Identity Leads to Vocational Flourishing”
with Carissa Youssef - The Stattonrock Group
10:00AM - Break
10:10AM - Relationship with Creation
Choose one of two workshops: “Beyond Deficiencies: An Asset-based Theology of Transformation”
with Terry Leblanc - NAIITS
or “Stopping Poverty Before It Starts”
with Cherie White, Steadfast Developments
11:00AM - Keynote address Living into God's Story — God's Story of Change (Part 2)
with Brian Fikkert - Chalmers Center
11:30AM - Live Q&A session with Brian Fikkert - Chalmers Center
12:30PM - Closing
SPONSORED IN PART BY
Tired of learning from behind a screen? Ready to get back to in-person discussions? Join us for an in-person watch party of the Flourishing Conference in Abbotsford, BC. Experience Rudo’s session live and in-person on Friday night, and connect with others as we watch Dr. Brian Fikkert’s keynote and workshops on Saturday morning together.