Develop a Heart For The Poor This Valentine’s Day

Understanding of the Urban Impoverished- Infusing Hope in a Culture We Don’t Understand, was a four week study held Summer 2019 at First Evangelical Free Church in Sioux Falls, SD. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, consider this inspirational series from Barry Termaat and Rich Merkouris to center your love on things that matter. Reflecting God’s heart for the marginalized promises incredible positive eternal impact any time of the year. These two men taught me how to reflect God’s love through my thoughts, words and actions and are sure to infuse hope and understanding wherever your city lacks.

Below is the first week’s video of a four-part session. You can watch these anytime, however, Glean For Good would like to throw them into your FB feed and email as reminders to watch the videos one-by-one. Although the ideas are simple, the application is not easy. As with any challenge, I’d encourage you to watch each session at a slow pace, and take time to chew on their wisdom in small bites.

During week one, Barry and Rich introduced the topic by asking and answering the foundational questions about poverty listed below.

Week One- Setting the Foundation


1. Why should Christians be focused on poverty?
2. What are the roots of poverty?
3. How do we do evangelism in a poverty context?
4. How do we serve or help people in poverty in healthy ways?
5. What are common misunderstandings we have when it comes to poverty and how do they hurt our approach?

Practical Applications

  1. Pray every day for your heart to reflect God’s love for the poor.
  2. Learn one person’s story of marginalization- consider the Downtown Public Library, Sioux Falls Bike Trails, Bishop Dudley Hospitality House, or anywhere along 8th Street between Franklin and Cliff. Rich recommends not taking cash with you so when asked, you aren’t conflicted or distracted about how to respond. Ask if you can pray for them, their children or spouse. Ask them what’s going on in their life.

IMG_0175Rich Merkouis is a Pastor at King of Glory Church in Sioux Falls and helped start the Sioux Falls Ministry Center (a “ministry mall” which provides operational cost savings and empowerment to Christian outreach ministries and holistic services to guests for the glory of Jesus Christ) along with Empower Sioux Falls (a collaborative effort to enhance each church’s impact by improving the education, collaboration and coordination of congregations) and Compassion Child Care  (comprehensive and affordable childcare to empower the working-poor families of Sioux Falls). Rich has been leading various community efforts to fight poverty for the last eight years.

IMG_0177Barry Termaat and his wife Jill have been members of First Evangelical Free Church for 13 years. They sold their home in SE Sioux Falls to intentionally move into a struggling neighborhood in downtown. Barry brings a passion for people and real life experience of engaging with a variety of different people on a regular basis. His site, Lovin’ Every Day or L.E.D.  is a site dedicated to a passion for God through outdoor adventure.


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