Meeting to discuss Project 24 and 1001 Orphan work with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya
Detlev Schultz writes in “Mission from the Cross”, Concordia Publishing House St. Louis, 2009…..
The churches mission and that of every Christian is unselfish and
nature; it focuses on the neighbors welfare, regardless of his needs and
situation and without strings attached. Christians might not always be
prepared to assist others unconditionally. Unfortunately the church and
Christians often offers their assistance in a form of "self-help", to
the end of those receiving assistance will demonstrate a willingness to
improve their own condition! If they failed to gain control over their
own lives they do not deserve any longer. Moreover, preachers often
offer Christians the Gospel has a self-help tool so that they truly
believe and follow its principles they will learn to be "rich, healthy,
and trouble-free. "Those who do not show such improvements are blamed
for their lack of faith. Alternatives to the unconditional help of one's
neighbor stem from a secular political sphere and have little to do
with the cross of Christ. Whereas business ventures and other worldly
expectations confidently base their strategies on self attainable goals
and make prognoses of future success, Christian spirituality cannot
entertain such expectations. It alone can appreciate thankfully the
rewards of earthly and spiritual life is a gift of God."
We continue to struggle with mercy work and sustainable responsible help to partners. The issues involved are tough and range from cultural, political and ethnic problems faced by partners overseas, and expectations, motivations and the understanding of partners and donors here. Project 24 started as a very simple and straightforward proposition and that was to build 24 Orphan Centers (read boarding schools) connected with churches and schools to take pressure off of congregations and Pastors and provide vulnerable children with some stability. The concept was we supply the brick and mortar and the partners, knowing their own people and culture and needs would manage and decide where the centers would be. 1001 Orphans would supply orphan support. It has been a blessing to many but it has also been a difficult and sometimes troublesome endeavor as well. We will be talking about the issues and trying to explain means to work through some of these over the weeks ahead.
Sometimes the practical issue is that we can’t all be in the same place at the same time. Getting together for meetings and to share information is a challenge to say the least. A meeting planned for consultation several months ago was truncated by the illness of the Kenyan delegation. This meeting in Nairobi was missing the Project 24 delegation because the initial representative has a heart problem and his replacement when he decided to go began to develop another malady and was told by his Doctor not to travel. I still think that my old statement from years ago applies……You can go to many foreign countries and preach the Gospel and no one will care. You can go that same country and do mercy work and be welcomed. When you combine the two, the Devil goes crazy. Keep praying.