My experience as a civil engineer working on development projects for many years in 10 African countries taught me a lot. I discovered that the most effective and sustainable outcomes always come from projects that are bottom up and not top down. I am not just talking about money but ideas, leadership and information.
‘Listen to the poor‘ was the advice I was given by UNHCR before one of my missions to Tanzania. Following this advice blessed me greatly. I learned so much from the farmers, community workers, mechanics and labourers. More importantly they learned to express their feelings and formulate ideas which in turn empowered them.
The same principles apply to us here today in the UK. The poor are feeling disempowered because they are not being listened to. The church has a vital part to play in leading by example. We have God as our partner, we are not alone. It is important that the local churches send out their public, private and voluntary sector workers fully equipped with prayer, encouragement and training. ‘We are not wrestling against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers in high places.’
This mission is urgent and important. Start this week with your prayer triplet or home group. Discuss how each member can be supported in their work place.