After completing a degree majoring in Linguistics in the 1980s, Mark Balla took a job working for Lonely Planet Publications, first as an editor and later as a travel writer. Among others, Mark was involved in writing travel guides to various European and Latin American countries. From there, he moved to the commercial shipbuilding industry with a particular focus on trade exhibitions and trade publishing. In the early 2000s, Mark and his wife Annie started their own business in the CD and DVD manufacturing industry. The business grew strongly and it was eventually sold to an Australian based supplier. The buyer established a joint venture manufacturing business in India and asked Mark to join the board. This is where his Indian adventure began.
Mark lives in Melbourne and is married to Annie. They have two adult children and a cat. Mark has a complicated relationship with both the cat and his golf handicap. He is an enthusiastic member of the Rotary Club of Box Hill Central where he will be club president in 2020/21. He and Annie are avid travelers, both believing that the world is far too interesting a place not to have a good look at it.
Poverty is much more than simply a lack of material resources, and it takes much more than donations and handouts to solve it. When Helping Hurts shows how some alleviation efforts, failing to consider the complexities of poverty, have actually (and unintentionally) done more harm than good.
But it looks ahead. It encourages us to see the dignity in everyone, to empower the materially poor, and to know that we are all uniquely needy—and that God in the gospel is reconciling all things to himself.
Focusing on both North American and Majority World contexts, When Helping Hurts provides proven strategies for effective poverty alleviation, catalyzing the idea that sustainable change comes not from the outside in, but from the inside out.
Aneta and Filip, the children’s parents, are distraught when their children are taken into care. Aneta maintains she is innocent of harming them, while Filip appears bewildered and out of his depth. It’s true the family has never come to the attention of the social services before and little Kit and Molly appear to have been well looked after, but Kit has a broken arm and bruises on his face. Could it be they were a result of a genuine accident as Aneta is claiming?
Both children become sick with a mysterious illness while, experienced foster carer, Cathy, is looking after them. Very worried, she asks for more hospital tests to be done. They’ve already had a lot. When Cathy’s daughter, Lucy, becomes ill too she believes she has found the cause of Kit and Molly’s illness and the parents aren’t to blame. However, nothing could be further from the truth and what comes to light is far more sinister and shocking.
It’s the night before Christmas when Casey and Mike get the call. A twelve year old girl, stuck between a rock and a hard place. Her father is on a ventilator, fighting for his life, while her mother is currently on remand in prison. Despite claiming she attacked him in self-defence, she’s been charged with his attempted murder.
The girl is called Bella, and she’s refusing to say anything. The trouble is that she is also the only witness...