Where There is Despair...

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It’s a long way from Hollywood to the slums of Brazil, Peru, and the Philippines. But filmmaker Gerard Straub traded producing television shows, including the successful soap operas General Hospital and The Doctors, for a far more fulfilling life among the poorest of the poor.

During a visit to Wheaton College to premiere a rough version of his documentary, Poverty and Prayer, this thoughtful 58-year-old Californian told students about how his conversion gradually led him to a deep understanding of Christ’s love for the poor. He’s made six films, each of which is filled with graphic images of global poverty in Brazil, Mexico, Peru, El Salvador, India, Jamaica, the Philippines, Kenya, and the United States. His journeys have exposed him to poverty on a scale he had never imagined, and some of the most dramatic segments in his films are of those who live on garbage dumps in the Philippines, Jamaica, and Mexico, earning their livelihood by picking through other people’s waste. They are the poorest of the poor, and, as Straub reminds his listeners, "scripture tells us that to forget the poor is to forget God."

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Sojourners Magazine September/October 2005
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