What helps and what doesn’t? When are we doing more harm that good? Those are the questions all of us need to ask when we do a mercy/human care trip, or a short term mission trip or even when we take offerings and support a project or LWML grant. I love the story about a group of women that banded together and shipped over a whole bunch of bicycles to a majority world country to help evangelists get around in the country side and do evangelism. Obviously that was a while back when we could afford to do things like that. What the well meaning women didn’t get was that this majority world country actually had bicycles and bicycles shops and bicycle repair guys that fed their families by fixing up broken down bicycles. They put the bicycle business out of business for about 6 months until the new bicycles started needing repairs. I would say they did more harm than good.
Now if you have followed this blog you know that we collected a bunch of books from Concordia Gospel Outreach – see blog for March 7 – and we are going to treat our travelers like mules and have them divide up the books and carry them over in their suitcases. So what is wrong with this picture? Normally I tell anyone that will listen that cash is the best thing to use. Let them buy their own supplies over in their country and everyone benefits. In this situation I don’t know of anywhere that has Concordia Gospel books. I am sure that there are Christian bookstores somewhere in Kenya but I don’t know where. These are very specific books for a very specific purpose and that is a Christian Day School that has no books at all. I am asking that anyone who wishes to help to also donate money so that we can take the teachers to the teacher store and let them buy the books that they need to fulfill the government requirements for educators. The Rongo rescue center is tied to the school and they have a great core of teachers. So there is the difference.