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Unto the Least of These!

May 4, 2014 at 23:10

 

Friends, about 5:30 one morning I was gazing over the packed departure lounge of Dushanbe International while waiting to board my flight to leave Tajikistan.  Any westerners tend to stick out and that morning was no exception.  I spotted another older white guy near the windows and began elbowing my way towards him.  We said, "Hello" and began to talk.  He had started his career as the financial guru for IKEA and grew with the company until the World Bank poached him to help run their programs.  Their purpose in Tajikistan was to encourage development to slow down economic migration from the country.  Like many poor nations the largest portion of GDP in Tajikistan is money sent home from those working abroad.  (A least 60% of heads of households were working away from home.  About a third actually do send money home for their families.  Another third take up with another woman and abandon their families.  Another third become addicted, contract TB & aids and then come home to infect their families and villages.)  

He then asked me why I was there so I shared about our friends in Tajikistan, their bee keeping and how we helped them with the tools to begin building beehives.  It is a simple story of ten or so men finding freedom from addictions through Jesus and worth through work and community.  He asked a few questions and then said to me, "You are doing more to help this nation than we are."   Some one in charge of multi million dollar programs complimenting someone whose programs have cost a few hundred dollars for bees, wood and wood working tools.  To those of you involved in relational, grass roots, simple co working projects with the poor, please be encouraged!  "WHATEVER you have done unto the least of these, my brothers, you have done unto Me", Jesus.

It has become a truism in the development and aid industries that government to government aid only fuels corruption and civil wars.  It does not help the poor.  It does, however, provide very good incomes to all the social engineers and bureaucrats that run the programs.  They are the main beneficiaries.  Top down programs do not work.  But if you are going to work bottom up you have to start at the bottom.  Live there. Work there. Listen to those who live there and find out what they want.  

We are committed to helping those who incarnate Jesus amongst the least of their cultures.  We are committed to helping them share Jesus in those cultures.  We are committed to listening to them and serving them.  For over two years now we have taken nothing from your donations for our living expenses so that we could give everything away.  We have several initiatives for which we are praying for funds.  Will you help?

A friend in Pakistan is seeking help for sewing machines to help tribal families provide for themselves and as a way for him to find houses of peace in Taliban territory.

Friends in India are seeking $300 per month towards food & school fees for 30 orphaned & poor children. The street is no place for a small child.

Friends in Tajikistan are seeking $100 a pop to provide identity papers for those coming out of sexual slavery.  Their 3 are the only homes for women at risk that we know of in that nation of 7 million.

A friend in Rwanda wants to print another 1,200 Swahili Luke 10 Manuals to encourage those in the devastation of the DCR that they can make disciples without buildings & sound systems.

A friend in Pakistan is praying to print another 2,000 copies of the Urdu Luke 10 Manual.  His life has been totally transformed by the book & wants to share it across his nation.

Friends in the Philippines are seeking help to continue to rebuild houses & lives smashed by the hurricanes.  Long after the news cycle ends lives wait to be rebuilt!

Friends in Kazakhstan have three residential communities for former addicts, prostitutes & street people. They are believing for two more this year. Will you sow into these lives?

Would you pray about helping them? 

Would you help us raise funds?  

How can we do this better?

Do you think I am being too hard on the Aid Industry?  Want to do some research? "Dead Aid" by Dambesa Moyo is a good start  and "The White Man's Burden" by William Easterly is excellent and both are scholarly, researched works by former World Bank experts.  Think that Micro Finance is the answer?  Please read "Confessions of a Micro Finance Heretic" by Hugh Sinclair.  Christian perspective?   www.chalmers.org/when-helping-hurts .

To those who give, a big "Thanks!"  Some of you have given in the past, would you share why you stopped? Would you help me learn how to do this better?

Do you wish to be removed from this mailing list? Simply hit "reply" and tap  "Unsubscribe" in the subject line and send.  

To those who appreciate these letters and forward them to friends, "Thank you so much".

Your brother

Steve

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