January 16, 2012

Start small. Start soon. Succeed.

Blog Archives:

This past weekend several of our staff and volunteers attended the When Helping Hurts seminar in London, ON.  It was a great time to fellowship and learn together.  The workshop confirmed that EduDeo Ministries is doing many things from a developmentally healthy perspective.  This post will share some of the key insights from the conference.

However, before we look at these points in more detail, it is important to recognize there is no one, single, correct method of doing healthy development.  There is still so much to learn and no one organization has everything figured out.  Nor will they; the issues are too complex and sin still prevails in every community of our world.  It was deeply encouraging, however, to be part of about 500 other Christians who are wrestling with how best to serve others.

The conference confirmed we are on the right track in many ways.  First, we have a solid recognition that God created this world perfectly but sin has destroyed relationships.  The only way to counter poverty, at its core, is the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.  The conference also emphasized the importance of repentance and prayer in poverty alleviation. 

We were also reminded that organizations should have a central focus.  Our core focus was the result of our most recent strategic planning session, resulting in our rebrand.  We had no desire to be “everything to everybody everywhere.”  We desired to find our niche – which is integrating a Biblical worldview into education. 

Healthy international development takes time.  We need to constantly hear this message.  Efficiency should not be the driver.  This is often difficult for us from the West who are immediately concerned with ROI and systems/processes.  These result in “quick-fixes” but are not healthy for the long-term.  To combat this it is important not to lead with resources.  In fact, “don’t bring too early or too late” and “don’t bring too much or too little.”  It is therefore important to take small steps and evaluate often.  To sum it up: start small; start soon; succeed…and don’t be too afraid to make mistakes.   

This clearly distinguishes development from relief and rehabilitation.  The mistake is often made when we think we’re doing development but are using relief and rehabilitation principles.  We need to be patient.  Development is about providing people with “choice and voice.”

Obviously for any real change to take place we are dependent on the Holy Spirit and prayer.  We encourage and thank you for your faithful prayer support.  Please pray the Gospel continues to touch the lives of students in the schools we support.  Pray these students will impact their families, communities and the entire Kingdom of God for the sake of Jesus Christ. 

Thank you for being an integral part of this journey.

“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” - Colossians 1:19.

Comments:

Alice
Jan 16, 2012 at 10:29 pm

So was the conference just a confirmation of all we've been learning from his book, or digging deeper, or new insights? I'm sad I missed it, but glad to hear that lots of people showed interest and were able to benefit from this conference.

Hank
EduDeo Staff
Jan 17, 2012 at 9:33 am

Thanks for your comment, Alice. There are certainly areas where we need to grow. My intention was to add this to the post but it got too long! Stay tuned for later post ”Always learning - Always growing."

Ron
Jan 17, 2012 at 11:22 am

It was great to meet Hank on the weekend at Helping Without Hurting and to hear of the good work at EduDeo. I took a look over your website and am encouraged with how you are wrestling with these important issues. I find that people are either drawn into the work of thinking critically or they fall into a romantic idea of what serving the poor is all about. Thank God that EduDeo is stepping into the hard work of critical thinking. God's kindness on your journey.

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