Over the years, we have been blessed to work with many people who have a unique story and a passion to serve God. Our authors include some truly inspiring people dedicated to transforming the lives around them in positive ways. This is especially true with our author Larry James, executive director of CitySquare in central Dallas, Texas. This May, ACU Press is proud to release The Wealth of the Poor: How Valuing Every Neighbor Restores Hope in Our Cities, which chronicles James’ journey from minister at a large, suburban Dallas church to the creation and continuing growth of CitySquare and the incredible people Larry has met along the way.
One of those people is a woman named Josefina. As the new director of a food pantry, Larry was quickly overwhelmed, and one day when trying to communicate with Spanish-speaking families, he asked Josefina to help translate. She had come for assistance, but Josefina ended up helping Larry that day, and the next. She came back the next day for nine years.
Since that day Josefina began helping two decades ago, Larry has been asking neighbors to help solve their own problems, and this new way of serving side by side has transformed a small food pantry into one of the largest non-profit food distributors in the world. With a budget of fourteen million dollars annually, the organization—now called CitySquare—also develops housing for the formerly homeless and manages health clinics and community medical outreach in economically depressed and under-served places like East and South Dallas.
This book is not only the story of Larry James but of the incredible success of CitySquare, which has empowered thousands through the organization’s focus on Hunger, Health, Housing, and Hope. James offers anecdotes that not only inspire but also demonstrate how the model of CitySquare can be adapted to other cities and communities across the nation and around the world.
“Simply put, this is the best, the most readable, and the most powerful book on the social implications of the Christian religion that I have read. Couched as a compelling and vibrant memoir, James has written a revolutionary—but immensely practical—text for people concerned with battling hunger, poverty, and homelessness in America’s cities. If you care about your ‘neighbors,’ this is the one book you must read.”
—Richard T. Hughes, author of Myths America Lives By
“Larry James is an inspiration to my life. Each time he speaks, I learn something. May God use this book to do for many what Larry has done for me: to remind us of the value of every single human being.”
—Max Lucado, bestselling author