I'd really like to encourage you to read this article "The End of Suffering" by our 'friend' Chris Huertz. Chris runs an organization called Word Made Flesh and has really shaped our ideas on to serve amongst the poor by his writing, friendship, and example. He is even in Durham this weekend celebrating the tenure of a professor at the Divinity School.
The article is a bit lengthy so sit back and be ready to be encouraged and challenged. Here is the link: http://www.qideas.org/essays/the-end-of-suffering.aspx
And you can check out Word Made Flesh at www.wordmadeflesh.org.