IWMC: Terry Dalrymple

Terry currently serves as Coordinator of the Global CHE Network and as Vice President of the Alliance for Transformational Ministry. He provides leadership to a growing movement, equipping and mobilizing Christians to work together for effective Community Health Evangelism (CHE) ministries in rural poor communities and urban slums around the world.After a decade of service in the Philippines, Terry pioneered for Medical Ambassadors in 9 countries in Southeast Asia, working together with partners to establish CHE ministries in more than 400 communities. Later as International Coordinator he guided the expansion of a growing movement that now involves more than 500 organizations serving more than 4000 communities in 118 countries.

Below are my notes from his talk entitled, “Helping Without Hurting.”

Keys to helping without hurting:

Dignity | Integration | Local Ownership | People Before Projects | Multiplication

Dignity – Recovery of our identity and vocation

  • We are all people made in the image of God.
  • We are all stewards of resources, not victims of circumstances.
    • Feeling like a victim creates hopelessness, passivity, and fatalistic thinking
  • If we are going to alleviate poverty, we have to see everyone as stewards made in God’s image.
  • When we go with the intention of fixing people:
    • For the people we are fixing, we are reinforcing a victim mentality.
    • If we think we are going to do the fixing, we are reinforcing our own god-complex.
  • Community health workers must see beyond the need
  • Different kinds of relationships between the poor and non-poor:
    • The cow and the milker
    • The horse and the rider
    • Mutually transforming – two oxen yoked equally together

Integration – working across the disciplines

  • Good health is harmony with God, self, others, and the rest of creation.
  • Complex problems require integrated solutions
  • Solutions are not just within the disciplines, they are across them.
  • The western education system teaches us there are one-dimensional solutions to every problem.
  • Integrated solutions require multi-disciplined approaches.
  • Integration begins with me. Following jesus requires complete obedience to everything he commanded.
  • We are not calling for simple solutions, we are calling for greater commitment.
  • Example:
    • In the Philippines the government had been trying for 20 years to convince people to use latrines with little luck (3% compliance). A government official explained a common belief in the area: evil spirits live in human waste and in dark corners. When you build a latrine, you were basically building a house for the evil spirits to live in. No wonder no one wanted to go in there! After a few months of integrated community development (following the CHE model), there was a significant difference in the latrines. Now they were maintained well and there were even landscaped paths to each one. The same government official explained that just after a few months they were experience 100% compliance and the whole community was healthier. This problem would still exist without integrated solutions that were multi-disciplined. It was a physical problem with a spiritual root.

Local Ownership – Locals are subjects rather than objects of development.

  • Sustainable programs are owned by the people and built on local initiative.
  • Ownership in demonstrated through volunteerism and strengthened through capacity building.
  • Communities should be guiding their own development process.

People before projects – Building capacity instead of delivering services.

Multiplication – Making movements rather than managing projects.

  • We have to go beyond sustainable.
  • Focus on simple and transferable concepts.
  • Maximize local resources.
  • Solutions should be passed along from neighbor to neighbor.

Some ways to measure this kind of development work:

  • Shared vision – the community sees a better future and has hope it can be achieved.
  • Leadership – Godly Christian leaders are equipped and position to lead.
  • Ownership – People are taking responsibility for their own health.
  • Cooperation – People are united and working together for the common good.
  • Volunteers – Significant numbers of people are taking initiative and acting sacrificially to meet the legitimate needs of others.
  • Dignity – People have recovered their identify as made in the image of God.

The Monkey and The Fish

ARKive image GES136032 - Black howler monkeyI heard this story during the 2013 IWMC. It’s a great story for people who are preparing to go on a short-term missions trip. It’s actually a great story for anyone involved with cross-cultural ministry at all.

There was once a monkey who lived safe and sound on an island with his family. He lived there for years, had plenty of bananas, and the weather was usually nice. The monkey lived near a beautiful river on the middle of the island. One day, he saw a fish struggling in the river. The fish was caught on a rock in the running water. The monkey, at great risk to himself, climbed out on a tree branch and pulled the fish out of the water. He carried the fish to a safe place far away from the rushing river and laid him on the ground. The fish seemed very excited about his new found safety. He flopped around for a while showing much gratitude for the monkey’s selfless deed. It was only natural that after a little bit the fish began to fall asleep; after all, he had had a very rough day. The monkey walked away quietly so as not to disturb the fish after his near-death trial.

Some things to note:

  • The monkey was courageous, sacrificial, and acted out of compassion.
  • The monkey truly wanted to help the fish.
  • The fish had no say in the relief he received.
  • The monkey left before realizing what he had actually done.

Some questions to ask if you are telling this story in a group setting:

  •  What did the monkey assume about the fish?
  • How did the fish feel about receiving ‘help’ from the monkey?
  • What advice do we have for the monkey if he wants to help out in the future?
  • Does this apply to us?

IWMC: Joshua Kienzle

Joshua Kienzle has been serving at Food for the Hungry for the past eight years, working mainly in the area of Church Engagement. He is passionate about seeing churches find meaningful and healthy ways to engage their church body and impact vulnerable communities with the fullness of the Gospel. The following are notes I took during his talk called, “The Variables that Make for a Healthy Church Partnership in a Cross-Cultural Setting.”

It’s easy for partnerships to be based on friendships or existing relationships but that shouldn’t be the single qualifier for a healthy partnership, it is rarely the strongest indicator of future success. Just because you like someone doesn’t mean a partnership will be healthy.

First questions to ask a potential partner:

What is your vision? What are your passions? If these things don’t line up with your vision and passions, it is just a matter of time until the partnership falls apart.

Partnerships must be based on scripture.

You must be able to clearly see an alignment of vision, mission, and passion.

Equally as important as vision, mission, and passion is mutual trust.

Create goals, accountability, and expectations as early on in the process as possible.

Pre-determine communication patterns and expectations. For example, an international partner may like to pray a lot during what an American partner perceives as a logistics meeting. From the American perspective, you feel like you didn’t get anything done. From the international partner perspective, you feel like prayer is not a priority of your partner.

Determine a duration of partnership up front. Start small and slowly extend the time limits with each “duration” conversation. At least make sure you are having this conversation on the front end, because on the back end it’s always harder.

There needs to be mutual transformation. Clearly communicate how you are each measuring transformation and make sure there is a way to share those stories back and forth across the partnership.

Don’t forget about maintenance and oversight – who owns this partnership?

Some things to remember:

Transitions – People will change, organizations will change, churches will change, the world will change… make sure you’re aware of changes and try to stay in front of them.

Universal Depravity – Everyone will make mistakes, make sure you are aware of them and that you try to stay in front of them.

Celebrate – It’s extremely important in trust building to celebrate “wins” together when they happen.

Below is the “pyramid of partnerships” that can be followed to ensure a healthy partnership.

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 9.17.04 PM

Lastly, he passed out a copy of the latest Lausanne Standards (affirmations and agreements for giving and receiving money in missions). These are a very helpful starting place for creating partnerships if money will be exchanged.

IWMC: Brian Fikkert

Today, the International Wholistic Missions Conference started. I’ll be posting notes from the sessions I attend over the next few days.

Dr. Brian Fikkert is a professor of Economics and Community Development at Covenant College. He has a Ph.D. from Yale University, specializing in international economics and economic development. He has been a consultant to the World Bank and is the author of numerous articles and the book When Helping Hurts.

The following are notes I took during his talk titled, “When Helping Hurts.”

How do you define poverty? How we define poverty determines the solutions we choose for alleviation. Misdiagnosing the problem can result in not getting better or worse, devastation. If I go to the doctor with a headache and he gives me tylenol again and again when I really have a brain tumor, it will not be a neutral result; I’ll eventually die. So it goes with serving the poor.

The chart below explains how most organizations and government programs define (and try to alleviate) poverty.

Screen Shot 2013-01-09 at 10.13.50 PM

We have to get the diagnoses right, we must root poverty in a biblical worldview.

Four key relationships are important in defining poverty from a biblical worldview:

Screen Shot 2013-01-09 at 9.54.25 PM

Conservative evangelical Christians doubt how seriously the systems are broken. They are the most likely to not think systems are a cause of poverty.

There was a Ugandan school that was randomly closed one day. When someone asked why, one parent explained it: There was a man who has been a cobbler his whole life. All of his ancestors were cobblers. He wasn’t making enough money so he decided to change his profession. Everyone around him told him that his ancestral spirits would be upset with him so he decided to go to a witch doctor to appease the spirits. The witch doctor told the ex-cobbler that in order to appease his ancestral spirits, he needed to bring him the heads of 40 school children as a sacrifice. The community’s solution to this problem was to close the school.

Poverty is the result of relationships that are broken.

If poverty is rooted in broken relationships, who are the poor? All of us… everyone.

Poverty alleviation is fundamentally about reconciling these four key relationships.

Immediate implications for working with the poor:

  • Walk humbly WITH the poor as Christ transforms us together.
  • The verbal proclamation of the gospel is central.
  • The local church has a vital role to play.
  • Prayer is a central tool.
  • We must address broken systems AND broken individuals.
  • Use asset-based, instead of needs-based, approaches.

Repentance is the first step of poverty alleviation.

MY THOUGHTS: These are not things that Dr. Fikkert necessarily said himself but I’d like to make note of.

He said the first step of poverty alleviation is repentance. He didn’t mention a second step which makes me think that until we take the first step, it’s impossible to discover the second one.

We have pride and God complexes while the poor have marred identities and inferiority complexes. When a prideful person and a person that feels inferior interact, it can be a very bad combination. The prideful person can actually reinforce the inferior feelings of the other person without even knowing it. We must be especially careful of this when working with the poor.

In his book, and many of his talks he references World Bank study called, “Voices of the Poor.” It’s a great resource to go back to time and time again.

You’re invited!

I’ll be at the International Wholistic Missions Conference next week. If you are at all interested in missions, development work, CHE, or international aid I’d really encourage you to check out this year’s IWMC. There will be a lot of great speakers and workshops. Some of the biggest names in the Christian development world will be hanging out there all week.

It’s worth the money, it’s worth the trip to Phoenix, and it’s worth your time – I promise.