25 October 2007

Who owns the project?

The answer to this question sadly divides more ministries and projects than I can count... and reminds me of discussions I wish I had never heard...

It is amazing how we can throw our convictions and conscience out the window over land, buildings and resources that were meant to feed the hungry, care for the sick and evangelize and disciple the lost...

Yesterday one of the readers of this blog sent me an article that I am interested in for a number of reasons. Mainly because it addressed many of the thoughts I have been having about raising support for GBI. It can be found at www.christianvisionproject.com

To Give Or Not To Give
Rethinking Dependency, Restoring Generosity, and Redefining Sustainability
John Rowell    

Now I am not saying that I agree with everything in this article because it does seem as if he presents an "extreme view" of those on the other side of the fence. But there is a quote that caught my attention:

One root of unhealthy dependency has grown from the Western presumption that because we are often more wealthy, we are somehow more worthy to hold positions of authority over national leaders. This presumed connection between giving and governing is a uniquely Western contribution to the degrading dynamics of dependency. To end these dynamics, we must stop expecting undeserved deference from national leaders. More importantly, we must learn greater respect for the considerable leadership capabilities of believers in the majority world.

It caught my attention because of another email I received in response to this blog (names have been changed to protect the innocent):

Stones #1 Fan from Middle America writes:

Last week, a friend of his came into the office talking about how he was going to help finance a new orphanage in Africa. It was a substantial amount of money, but this friend had put stipulations on the spending. He would only help finance it if they added a new soccer field and a play structure. The people from the orphanage did not have this in their budget, so this friend was pressuring them to change their plans. So we asked him, " Have you ever read the Stones in Uganda webblog?"

Long story short - The friend reads several articles, calls the people from the orphanage, apologizes to them for making unreasonable demands, they are greatly relieved because it would have caused major problems in the village to have a soccer field and play structure, friend finances the orphanage with no strings attached.

So to "Generous Orphan Donor": I was floored by your generosity and willingness to let the nationals lead the project. I don't know if your a believer or not. I don't know if your name is Bono, Bill Gates or Mark Cuban. But what I do know is that your willingness to relinquish control was a greater gift than the money itself. Hats off...

And for me as I continue to struggle over issues of receiving aide and becoming self-sustaining one thing is becoming more and more certain... either way the project doesn't belong to me!

1 comment:

Teenietinyt said...

Jeff...you CRACK ME UP!