“Do you not know that you are God's building project and that God's Spirit dwells in you?” - 1 Cor. 3:16
There is so much in the bible to show that God concentrates his development efforts on people. As a development agency, though we do expend time and resources on enhancing environments so that they are hospitable to the people that live in them, our major efforts are aimed at the development of people. Not only do we believe THIS to be the work of God, but we also see it as the most effective, long-term solution, for the kind of empowerment that puts the responsibility for a healthy society in the hands of the people who are a part of it.
In other words, our investment into the development of the people of the land is a sustainable effort that has long-term, cumulative effects, which give the people a dignified opportunity to make a difference in their community, with their own resources, their own ideas, and their own sense of autonomy over which problems should be handled and how. It can be a very powerful thing to witness formerly powerless people, move into such powerful positions, without a political change, or an economic boom.
How does this happen? Education.
This week, we are facilitating educational seminars for the youth of our local area. There are about 40 young people from their late teens to late 20’s who are in attendance for our “SLAM” week; ready to engage questions of values and pursuits (i.e., “What are the benefits of working in the city, verses working locally, or on the farms?”); as well as real practical issues related to why things are the way they are in their own community, (i.e., “What affect has the war had on neighborly relations in your community?”)
On top of these discussions, Rafael Reyes, and Britt Edwards, are here to facilitate some workshops on songwriting with the hope to capture perspectives that otherwise would go unheard. These songs will be recorded and we’ll likely have some to share with you soon!
Starting today (Wed. Dec 10) at 4:30pm up until Saturday (Dec. 13) we will spend from 7am to 11pm with this group of young people. We will help them to evaluate their present realities, process the problems they face, explore biblically based, ethical principles that will help them effectively navigate those issues, and assist them in healthy self-expression that could lead to an enhanced communal awareness of their perspectives, and what possibilities exist for the future.
We’ll keep you updated!