On short-term teams: Where are we going?

Missions of Hope Staff lead a parents meeting in Turkana, prior to the opening of the newest school: MoHi Lodwar.
EMPOWERMENT: Missions of Hope Staff lead a parents meeting in Turkana, prior to the opening of the newest school: MoHi Lodwar.

In December, we hosted our first humanitarian group. It was interesting to observe the differences from faith based trip that our halls our normally filled with.

In many ways they are the same. Professionals committed to providing quality care. Compassionate individuals working for free – even raising money to be able to provide this care to disadvantaged communities.

I have seen this understood two ways within the faith community.

One questions the purpose of such trips, if the name of Jesus is not proclaimed by the participants.

The other sees Jesus in everything, and hopes that those working can see his presence as they work.

It leads me to ask another question.

What is the vision that they are working towards?

What is the vision that we are working towards?

No matter the starting point, those who want to challenge the oppressive presence of poverty in the world must see that relief is not enough. Community Development is needed – of nations, communities, and the individuals that they are composed of.

Development through empowerment, as a community grows, stretches its limbs and moves from where it was once – to somewhere else.

Where is the “other place” we are moving towards? That we hope those is poverty should move to?

People ask what I’ve learned about short-term teams. This is the beginning of my answer – a series of posts on things I have observed.

But first – we must know where we are going.

If we do not see the end,

If we cannot catch the vision,

Then we cannot in good faith,

Know how to expect for it to come.

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