I (Anne) just came back from Cary, North Carolina where I attended a one and a half day conference titled, “Unhealthy dependency to faith reliance.” It was hosted by Trans World Radio and HCJB (another radio related ministry) but about 27 organizations were represented with myself and one other person from Wycliffe Bible Translators.
It was a challenging two days both personally and for my work. This year alone, we in Wycliffe have been challenged to raise $40 million dollars for our projects world-wide. These projects range from printing a new Bible to AIDS awareness classes held in local churches. 80% of this money will come from the United States.
But when should our brothers and sisters in Christ take over the running of these programs? We in the “west” have made a lot of mistakes. We’ve started programs that others cannot replicate on their own. We’ve created an environment where people expect the west to supply the funds. And The Church world-wide has not learned generosity.
We need to make some changes…and fast. I’m challenged to share this with my pastor and see if we can promote good practices as we serve others…even the poor in our own neighborhoods.
I bought a book while at the conference after hearing the author, Brian Fikkert, speak so well. It’s called, “When Helping Hurts.” The subtitle is, “How to alleviate poverty without hurting the poor and yourself.” I have a lot of work to do. How can i share what I learned and try to make changes in a system/model that we’ve used for 100-200 years?
Brian Fikkert said, “How many people would have given Jesus a second grant after his first three years of ministry? What did he have to show for His work? Most of what matters is difficult to measure.”
What is my new measuring stick?
Here is an excellent video on a people who have done this well:
March 16, 2011 at 5:26 PM
Good point bro., I made the decision when we started our first orphanage (in India) that they had to maintain it.
In those days it was a shock (both to India and my own mission board of dirs), but the folk in India managed, and today do better without us.
That was perhaps 20 yrs ago, and since then I’ve maintained the same attitude (there are exceptions). Of course we aren’t a huge entity like Wycliffe, but still, if we teach our friends to fish, they fish for themselves (with some tips >> perhaps initially with rods and line >> but it starts with them finding the bate I think).
Tks for posting this!
Ken & Anne
March 17, 2011 at 6:27 PM
Anne here…thanks for your comment, Ron. So glad that you were able to make some good choices so long ago. I’m sure we’ve made good and bad ones along the way but I’d love to filter everything I do for work and in my own church with the question, “Am I helping or hurting them and ultimately me?” Just finished the first chapter of the book so I’m still working through this!