This week we had the privilege to hear Dave Noblet, from YWAM Perth, on Community Development. I knew it was going to be an interesting week when he challenged our way of thinking about “the poor”. Here’s just a little bit of what I got out of it…
Every human being is suffering from poverty. Whether it’d be spiritual, social, material, in self-actualization or stewardship. Then he went on to quote Bryant Myers: “Poverty is the result of relationships that do not work, that are not just, that are not for life, that are not harmonious or enjoyable. Poverty is the absence of shalom in all its meanings.” And how Shalom actually stands for peace, contentment, completeness, wellbeing, harmony, prosperity, and welfare. Think about it… If you’re not at peace, if you don’t feel complete or content, or aren’t well physically/emotionally… you are poor. I think we can all identify with the poor!
This is a quick read and a good introduction to the topic, hope you like it.
This was our practical application to our Community Development lectures :)
We spent most of two mornings making a water filter, which yielded far too little clean water for the energy that went into it. Something as simple and basic as Clean Water and Sanitation is easily taken for granted by us, yet can be the source of dehydration, cholera, typhoid fever and so much more in a developing nation. Bringing gallons of clean water is not only inefficient, but costly and paternalistic. Whereas empowering a community with the skills to build their own water reservoir is not only life bringing, but edifying and reduces helplessness.
As the old proverb would say: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”