When Helping Hurts – Part 3 – Practical Strategies for helping without hurting

Christian ministry, Cross-culture, Equipping, Good Practice, International, News, Poor, Relief and Development, To the Nations
Concluding the review of this excellent book we shall now look at one very practical application. Short term mission teams. Like the story of the elephant and the mouse dancing together at a celebration - both benefit and enjoy it until the mouse is squashed - such can also be the effect of a short-term mission team. Who is really benefitting? Perhaps neither. The team have a ‘life changing experience' - but may learn the wrong things. The hosts can feel crushed. At the root of the problem is lack of sensitivity to others' cultures eg "Mine is the plumbline so any deviation is ‘wrong'". Consider time. In the ‘west' time = productivity; the emphasis is on good stewardship and using every minute productively. In the majority world there is…
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When Helping Hurts – Part 2 – General Principles for helping without hurting.

Christian ministry, Cross-culture, Equipping, Good Practice, News, Poor, Relief and Development, To the Nations, Training
Continuing this somewhat protracted commentary on the strongly recommended book, When Helping Hurts, we will now see what the authors say about Principles that need to be followed to avoid causing damage to those who are in need. Relief, Rehabilitation and Development First, it is important to distinguish between Relief, Rehabilitation and Development. In true crisis (e.g. tsunami) people cannot help themselves and need Relief. After the crisis there is Rehabilitation when people can start to help themselves but need others alongside Development is about empowering, the point at which great discretion is needed - ‘handouts' can be very damaging, especially if the reason for needing help is of a person's own making e.g. through irresponsible living such as alcohol abuse. Cultural sensitivity At all times we must be careful…
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