On June 2, 1944, General Dwight Eisenhower issued his Order of the Day to Allied troops preparing for the Normandy landing: “The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.”

There were lots of doubts and plenty of critics. Bad weather. Soldiers from different countries with different styles. Predictions of cost were high, both in human lives and military resources. It might not work.

The cause of liberty, the quest for victory and the knowledge that the enemy could only be defeated when allies joined together made this undertaking right.

The Bible has hundreds of references to poverty and the poor. In Deuteronomy 15:11, God lays out the challenge and what to do about it. “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.”

There are too many poor people for one of us or a single church to tackle the biblical challenge alone. But, together we can. Churches that may not agree on mode of baptism or style of worship can work together to operate a food shelf. Congregations on opposite sides of town can partner to support a homeless shelter. Together we can attack human trafficking, take meals to the elderly and advocate for laws that feed hungry children.

In most churches the unwritten rules are the same: 1.) The pastor must be a champion for the poor; 2.) Only a few lay people need to be passionate about making a difference; 3.) Getting on the church budget is essential; 4.) Reaching out to make other churches allies will make a massive difference.

To paraphrase General Eisenhower … the eyes of the community are upon us. The hopes and prayers of poor people everywhere march with us.

This article originally appeared in the NAE Insight.