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: