Categories
Observations

Issues with Voluntourism

“Imagine yourself as the survivor of a large disaster. Your house is gone, you have no assets, and no work–no option of working to make money to rebuild. Three neighborhoods away there’s an INGO paying the local residents to do clean-up, etc. But in your neighborhood there are a bunch of international volunteers doing the clean-up around you. They don’t speak your language, but you can see them laughing, having a great time. They eat three meals per day, but you eat only one. How do you feel?”

Categories
featured Mission

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!

Categories
Observations

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?

Categories
Observations

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 […]

Categories
Africa

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 […]

Categories
Africa Humour

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). This post is more than a year old. It is quite possible that any links to other websites, pictures or […]

Categories
Reviews

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 […]

Categories
Mission Observations

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 […]

Categories
Mission Observations

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’ […]

Categories
Observations

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 […]