November 24, 2014

How Do You Measure Transformation?

Blog Archives:

As part of our current Sponsorship Campaign to recruit 50 new Sponsors by December 5th, we'll be sharing a series of posts that explore the world of development and what transformation REALLY looks like - past our own perceptions and misconceptions and into the lives of those who have been working for change around the world.

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Today we'll be sharing a testimony from Alison Witt, who served for two years as a missionary in Sitio Lambak, a slum area in Manila,
the Philippines. Her story highlights the difference between how God brings about transformation and our expectation of what that looks like!

“During our first 2 years of marriage my husband and I lived in a small shack in the middle of a Manila slum area. This is not necessarily something we would recommend for most newlyweds since privacy is not a high value in Filipino culture. In fact they don’t even have a word for privacy in Tagalog! However, it was a great experience for us. We loved our neighbours and were excited about the opportunities to be involved in their lives.

We were part of a small multicultural team with hopes of seeing a church started and community development projects flourish. We had lots of big ideas and plans about how this would happen. Income development projects. Health and nutrition classes. Bible studies. Children’s programs. We had a big vision and were going to tackle it all.

It’s been 20 years since we moved out of that community and just recently we were able to return for a visit.  It was a very surreal experience to once again walk the alleyways of this community where we once lived.  We did not know what to expect. What would we find? Would people still remember us?

We were amazed that people not only remembered us but were delighted to see us again. The warmth and generosity of their welcome was so special.

However, no one mentioned any of the programs we ran or the initiatives we started or the content of our study groups.

Instead they talked about how great it was that we lived in their community. How happy they are that we are their friends. What they remember most is that we were present there in the slums with them. They remember that their kids spent hours and hours hanging out at our house. They remember that we spent so much time just doing life with them. That really struck me. We talk often about how relationships are the most important thing in ministry. I am not sure if I really believed it before. Now without a doubt I believe that 100%. Things had changed in the community, with many improvements.  But it was the relationships that remained in the minds of those we’d served with, and those were what were most highly treasured.”

It is a great reminder that often success isn't defined by what we set out to do, but by the relationships we form. People aren't numbers to be measured or programs to be managed. They are people to be seen, heard and loved - THAT is what makes a difference that counts!

Our Sponsorship Program focuses on just that, watching God transform hearts and minds through relationships of teachers, students and their families as we support our partner's efforts to promote quality, Christ-centred education in their communities!

Become Part of the Equation - enroll as a Sponsor today!

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Pablo melendez
Dec 2, 2014 at 10:49 am

Me parece excelente la experiencia de ambos hermanos y estoy de acuerdo que mas que los resultados, es mas importante generar cambios a traves de las relaciones y son mas significativos para ambas partes. bendiciones

[English translation] I think it's great experience both brothers and agree that more results, more importantly create change through relationships and are more significant for both parties. Blessings

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