A Change in Mindset: Redevelopment Over Relief

A Change in Mindset: Redevelopment Over Relief

by Rachel Thornton

In our previous post we broke through poverty as a concept. We walked through the heart issue of hopelessness which leads to communities without hope, not as a result of poverty, but as an expression of the cyclical reality of it. We learned that as a people of God, we are bound to love one another and carry the burdens of our fellow man through the hopelessness of poverty (Galatians 6:2, John 13:34). However, relief is not always the answer. We recalled that within Restoring Hope Ministries and our aHOME initiative we are walking toward developmental change in partnership with our brothers and sisters in Dungu.

If we can acknowledge poverty as a condition of the soul, we can also acknowledge the appropriate response to poverty as a condition and an act of the soul.

It is safe to say that no one wants their fellow man to live without hope. We can all agree that we, simply in associative thought process, can look at a person living in squalor, or even in a state of the mind that depicts a sense of hopelessness, and want more for them. We want to shoulder some part of their burden. We hurt, because we too are human, and are able to acknowledge that pain in any sense is indicative that something is wrong. We want to correct that wrong in the most immediate way possible. Simply because hurt hurts, and we want the hurt to stop.

Taking that a step further, intentions are wonderful. They are indicative of a heart which sits in the right place–a heart that beats for others, but a heart that merely beats for the well-being of others is not enough to incite real, permanent change on a developmental level. Without appropriate exploration of the problem areas which lead to the heart condition of hopelessness and poverty, we do nothing to solve it.

Enter aHOME–Restoring Hope Ministries’ latest initiative to restore through trauma healing, train through vocational and post-secondary education, and sustain, through microfinance and asset-based development in Dungu.

We can table the expanded explanation of this initiative for another post, another day. Let’s process a-agriculture today.

“Chronic malnutrition affects 43% of children under five years of age or totaling more than 7 million children in the DRC” (The Food and Agriculture Organization, 2017). This number is related specifically to political discourse, and general inability to farm the land, be it a result of lack of know-how, or poor water quality. With plans modeled after organizations such as Farming-God’s-Way.org, and Foundations for Farming, we are finding examples on post-secondary training and vocational training as it pertains to agriculture. Training such as compost production, field mapping and rotation, and alternative crops as well as vegetable and herb production, are all opportunities being currently explored.

We are finding the circumstance to be a greater can and will, than cannot. Hope present even in absence of activity.

As God continues to facilitate growth and hope through our partnership of restoration of hearts and minds through trauma healing, training in vocational skills such as water purification and crop management, and sustainability in asset-based business, we have seen firsthand how these glimpses at hope and redemption through the hands-on empowering of the family unit alter the cyclical nature of poverty, trauma, widowed families, orphaned children, and the courses of lives and communities as a whole. As the family unit grows and extends throughout the community, so grows faith within Christ’s redemption of all things in societal change. God continues to break the chains of war and sin, healing on a generational level.

This is such an inspiring time, within Restoring Hope Ministries, and the best is yet to come. For more information on The Chalmers Center material, see Chalmers.org.

Join us. Even riding your bike can go a long way. Curious about how? Reach out to us at RHM@RestoringHopeMinistries.org.


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