10/10/11

But why?

Okay, it's been great reading about how Stacey and Kaleb  have run away from the United States and seem to be just living it up in the tropics, but what's the point?

The reason we're here is far from learning language, attending conferences, encountering freakishly huge bugs, and exploring Mayan ruins. Although we've been having a great time doing all these things, we wanted to take a minute to talk about why we're really here.

As many of you know, we've been quite passionate about serving the poor, the suffering, the oppressed, the orphan, and the widow for some time, and we have honestly wrestled and wrestled with the question of "How do we respond?" After much prayer, reading, and discussion, we felt that God was pointing toward a ministry of community development with the world's forgotten people.
For us right now, these people are Honduran. God happened to open a door to Honduras, but this process could easily occur in any corner of the world. But, what is community development?

Although it will be defined many different ways by many different people, we had to establish our own definition. According to Eldridge Standard Dictionary...
community development -(n,v)- Living in and among an impoverished community with the goal of helping the community recognize their potential and value in Christ.
This will play out in a specific way for us. Right now, we are working with Hondurans to identify a community where the greatest need intersects the greatest opportunity for improvement. We'll identify the community primarily by looking at the level of its need combined with the community's desire to improve itself. We are concentrating our search in communities that have an active Brazos Abiertos church (Open Arms - non-denominational affiliation that is associated with HtH). Due to the establishment of the churches in these communities, we have an easy-in to help us establish ourselves.

Once we've moved into a community, we'll begin the process of ABCD or Asset-based Community Development. This method proposes that the most effective way to inspire people to work together to improve their situation is by focusing primarily on their assets, their skills, talents, and resources, instead of their problems. Through the local church, we'll work to help the community identify their resources and determine how they would like to partner with HtH to create solutions together. This method of development is highly-relationally based and will provide us and the church with  the opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ to the community in a very tangible way.

As projects begin and end, the goal is to ensure that the community and local church remain the driving force behind any development work. We want to work ourselves out of a job and see the individuals come to recognize their true potential and worth.

To us, this process is intrinsically related to our faith. If we were not Christians, we would not be here. We are seeking to reflect the love of Christ that we have experienced in our own lives to the people around us here in Honduras. It is of the utmost importance for us to live our faith in an active and dynamic way in the lives of those that need it most. The Christian life was never meant to be one of condemnation, guilt, pain and death, but of love by a Savior that was passionate for our world. We recognize that Christians worldwide have earned a bitter name because of the pain they have occasionally inflicted on the world. However, we stand strongly on what the Bible says, and use that as our primary guideline for the way we live our lives. Through living out these biblical principles, we hope to regain some positive connotation for the words Jesus/Christian.


We're not perfect, in fact far from it. Regardless, we will hold strongly to the love of Christ, and try to make a positive impact in this world. At times, we will trip, fall and dirty His name. But, we will get up, rinse off and repeat that process until we have done our part to show our world that Someone loves them and that they are worth any effort.







3 comments:

  1. Absolutely the comments work - I just now figured out how to use them, tho. Excellent last paragraph - hoping Alivia grows up with a heart like her aunt and uncle...love you both!

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  2. Pat and Sandy CaseyOctober 30, 2011 at 1:36 PM

    Kaleb and Stacy -- it was a blessing to have met and worked alongside you during our short mission trip this past week. We are praying for you, confident that Jesus will be glorified in the work He accomplishes thru your hands and feet.
    LOVE IN CHRIST, PAT AND SANDY CASEY, A House of Prayer in Xenia, Oh.

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