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Tag: development (page 1 of 4)

Who is Serving Whom: A Dilemma for Short Term Mission?

There are some serious issues associated with short-term mission trips, but this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do them, it means me need to address the questions and do them better!

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The Cross and Mission Financing

Would reflecting on the Cross change the way we think about some of the problems inherent in funding mission projects?

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Getting the Balance

I am proud to belong to an organisation that believes in and practices holistic mission. We translate the Scriptures, working to proclaim the message of the Gospel to the most marginalised people on the planet and we work to provide those people literacy and basic education, the necessary precursors for economic and social development. Of course, holding these two strands together isn’t always easy. Despite Jesus’ example of meeting both physical and spiritual needs, the Church seems to swing from one to the other. When we first joined Wycliffe, many…

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From BandAid to RadiAid

Forgive me for posting one more video in this series, but this excellent TED talk gives the background to the RadiAid and Let’s Save Africa videos that I have mentioned recently. If the video isn’t showing, you can view it directly here. The principle of looking at the similarities between peoples rather than concentrating on the differences is one that I highlighted in an article I wrote years ago called the St Mary Mead Model of Intercultural Adaption; you can find it on our articles page.

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Playing with Stereotypes

Following on from last year’s brilliant Radi-aid: Africa for Norway video, comes this superb take on the way in which charity fundraising often relies on demeaning stereotypes (caution, there is a rude word in it).

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Books I’ve Read: Missionary, Mercenary, Mystic, Misfit

I’ve spent a good deal of my life around the fringes of the relief and aid ‘industries’ and I continue to be fascinated with the way in which development organisations go about their business. Many of the issues they deal with such as sustainability, dependency and donor expectations are ones that I come across in Bible translation and language development work. For most people, the complications or aid work (or mission work) are rather tedious. They don’t want to ask difficult questions they just want to give some money and…

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Paradigms and Pounds

A few days ago, I wrote a piece which suggested some of the elements which need to be taken into account in developing a new paradigm for Western involvement in mission – but I didn’t mention money. However, it is often suggested that the way to renew mission work is to stop sending missionaries and to send money instead. The new paradigm in mission is to support local/national/native (missionaries rather than send Westerners). This is a huge question and I’m not going to draw any satisfactory conclusions in a short…

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Issues in Mission: Elements of A New Paradigm

We need to completely rethink our approach to mission and to supporting mission work from the UK. Tinkering at the edges and solving problems are no longer enough. I wrote these words a few days ago in a blog post which suggested that we need a completely new paradigm or set of wineskins for overseas’ mission today. In this post, I’d like to suggest three elements for this new paradigm. We Need Structural Change: this is probably the easiest one to describe, but perhaps the hardest one to do. Surveys show…

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Asking the Hard Questions

I believe that it is without question that rich people have an obligation to share what they have with those who are not as well off as them. The haves should be generous towards the have-nots. This is as true of nations as it is of individuals. However… This doesn’t mean that all forms of generosity are wise, helpful or appropriate. “Give a person a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. So runs a popular traditional…

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Books I have Read: We Are Not the Hero

A few evenings ago, we had dinner with a friend who has been involved with a developing mission movement in one corner of the world. Over many years, our friend and her colleagues have been patiently building relationships with local church leaders and supporting them as they get involved in reaching outside of their church boundaries. Our friend feels that they are at a point where things are about to really take off. At the same time, she fears for the future of the work they are doing. A large,…

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