The word we use is linkages. Poverty is the absence of linkages, the absence of connections with others. So we look for opportunities to link powerless communities with people with good intentions, people with good hearts—government officials, health officials, panchayat presidents, headmasters in schools—who have an influence in the local area and who mean good. We work closely with them.
We need to influence the powerful on behalf of the poor.
We are learning how much we need to be transformed ourselves. As much as the poor are in need of transformation, World Vision is in need of real, desperate transformation: in our understanding of power, our tendency to play God, our tendency to become the spectacular "savior." We need to be continuously confronted with those brutal facts. It is the transformed quality of our lives that will ultimately make the difference. Not our strategies, not our money—we must constantly ask ourselves whether these tools get in the way of investing our lives.
We constantly remind ourselves that our organization is dependent on God. We might have budgets, strategies, professionalism, and sophistication in organizational practices, but those do not explain our effectiveness. Our effectiveness is explained by our dependence on God.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Poverty and the Absence of Linkages
Here's a link to an interesting interview by Andy Crouch with Jayakumar Christian, executive director of World Vision India, entitled, Powering Down. At Breakthrough we talk alot about isolation and how it leads to poverty. We are trying to reweave the fabric of the community, linking people together. We also talk about our own transformation and about our dependence upon God. Below are some quotes from the article that show that even though we are different organizations on opposite sides of the world and in very different cultures, God is teaching us the same lessons.