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  • Writer's pictureThe HUGG Collective

Did Jesus Have to Be Poor?

If you give or have given to HUGG before, then I don’t need to tell you that helping the poor and marginalized is an integral part of working out our faith. You get that and live that out, otherwise you wouldn’t have given to these young men living in Haiti. I think God honors that act of faith and love, especially when you’ve never met them. Thank you for that. 

Thanks to your donations, we are in a safe home, registered for school and ready to start a new life in Cap Haitien.

The concept of Christians serving the least of these is known as preferential option for the poor as we see repeatedly in scripture that God has a special place for the poor and vulnerable and that he has mandated us to consider them in our daily lives. We know, of course, that Jesus embodied this concept by giving up His heavenly home to strip himself down to a vulnerable peasant baby born in a barn. In other words, he was rich, having everything at his fingertips and he stooped down to live out a gritty life in the bottom of the barrel. 

Could he have saved us any other way?

Did he have to become a little boy who grew up in a no-name town with a carpenter for a dad and a young mom with a marred reputation, thanks to him?

And yet…that’s exactly what he did. He became one of the poor and marginalized spoken of in the scriptures.

There were nights he probably went to bed with a grumbling belly. With so many bodies to clothe, I am sure he experienced the bitterness of the cold with a ratty cloak. When did he get his first pair of sandals? Did he ever? Did he experience the softness of a bed or only the hardness of a floor? Yes-our Savior grew up in poverty and it wasn’t happenstance, it was on purpose! 

In Matthew 25, Jesus foretells that one day, he will say to those on his right: 

"Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.For I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.”

As a human, Jesus experienced every one of these things even though it wasn’t a prerequisite for him to save us. He could have still empathized with us without submitting to the worst of humanity. So why did he?  

His suffering trenched a deep channel for us to be able to harvest hope. Hope, after all, is birthed out of pain.

As co-heirs of that hope, we are called to plant seeds of hope in the lives of those, who like Jesus, bear the brunt of the ugliness of this world. When we help- we, in some deeply mysterious way, retroactively help the Christ child who grew up in poverty, we give him sandals and drape a rich cloak around his shoulders, weep alongside him in the Garden of Gethsemane and provide a sip of water to his dry lips at the cross. 

The Trinitarian God of all Creation, in all his wisdom, gave us a way to serve Him through the poor. 

There is an exchange of grace, love and gratitude when both the giver and receiver engage in bringing relief to the plight of one another. Yes- when we give, our own spiritual poverty is relieved and a token of hope is added to our lives. It feels good to give! 

With so many materially poor people, there are plenty of opportunities to plant seeds of hope. They are down the street from us, they are in our families, they are in homeless shelters in the city and in shanties in our towns. They are the Global South and way up North in urban areas. 

There is a concentration of materially poor people in the little island nation of Haiti. For almost ten years now, HUGG has walked alongside, as best as we can, with a small group of parentless boys who are now young men. Outside of our ministry, they have nothing. No sense of home, or landing place or backup plan. Like Jesus, they have gone to bed hungry, they  know what it feels like to not have a bed, their moms, like Mary, probably had bad reputations. Without The Hugg Collective, they would be men, who like Jesus, would not have a place to lay their heads. 

Their daily struggles are inconsequential for us here. And yet, Jesus says when we give to them, we give directly to Him. We are, like the wise men, following a star that points to a day when everything will be made right in the world…and it starts in the most unexpected places; like a barn… or Haiti. 

One day they will inherit the Kingdom, just as Jesus regained his rightful place next to his Father, the poor will make their way to a celestial place. 

And they will find us there and give us a knowing smile that reveals the truth–that our gift to them gave them the hope they needed to believe that one day, everything would indeed be made right. 

Will you choose, this day, to give to The HUGG Collective. Below is a list of needs and wishes for the new year straight from the mouth of Josue, our Program Director: 

Will you help us with these needs?

1-An additional $500 to purchase a generator so we have reliable electricity

2-$1,500 to purchase tools, kits and supplies needed for Trade School 

3- We, The HUGG Board, would like to give Josue a much deserved Christmas bonus this year. This has been an exceptionally hard year with their emergent move to Cap Haitien. 

4- We are still short monthly sponsorships and ask that you would consider giving monthly. 

Interested in Part Two of this series? Email and I will add you to subscriber list or go to

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