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actMED e. V.

Bank für Kirche und Diakonie

IBAN: DE06 3506 0190 1011 1080 12

BIC: GENODED1DKD

 Copyright 2015 actMED [accompanied Church-based community Transformation, Medical care and EDucation] 

Just another charity?

October 16, 2015

It’s not about charity. It’s about ideas, worldviews, personal set of beliefs. We don’t want to impose our solutions to the poor. Building a school or digging a well will not touch the underlying problem of poverty, will not bring development. History and millions of charity organizations have proven, that sustainable poverty alleviation is more than getting the poor equipped to change their living conditions. We want to learn about the root of poverty that lies within every individual- in every one of us. Me and you. Poverty has many faces. More than just the well-known and analyzed complex of economic deficiencies and emotional needs. The reason why humanity is unable to stop the degrading world order that creates economic wealth up to an excess for few and leaves the many living a deprived existence, is poverty in its perfection. It affects the all of us. Following this definition, we can’t search for a solution within us. We started a journey, and we found the solution for this disaster in Jesus teachings. Wherever and whenever we saw people applying biblical principles to all aspects of their life, we saw them thriving irrespective of their external circumstances. We believe that the power that is available for one person is also available for a whole nation. Inspired by the creator of mankind, we solidarize with the marginalized to get to know God and make Him known. We want to encourage and be encouraged by and with the poor to live out a lifestyle described in God’s word. Be excited with us, what happens.

 

Our secular western mind can’t give an intellectual basis for affirming hope. Our current dark mood has resulted from the collapse of the western Enlightenment. The logic of the Enlightenment asserts that because there is no God, man is only a part of random, physical nature and therefore is able to discover scientific laws that regulate human behavior. In the idea of social engineering, a notion of the nineteen century, the social engineers ought to able to build utopia- perfect societies. The two most ambitious attempts to build scientific utopia (Fascism, including Nazism, and communism, including some versions of socialism) have demolished the optimism of the secular Enlightenment due to the horrors these ideas have created. Now we know: we are neither good enough nor capable enough to be our own saviors. So we are still asking the question: what is the most essential resource of a successful relief and development project? How can we ensure justice? With our secular western mind we focus on logistics, structural issues, scientific laws and systems. But the uncountable number of best intentioned efforts with brilliant strategies and determined programs has been insufficient when compromised by inconsistent and inadequate philosophies. There is a simple reason for this: ideas have consequences. In fact, ideas have the most powerful consequences. Bad ideas compromise the best plans we have to offer. In his classic work “Republic”, Plato says to his fellow Greek’s that they cannot even start to build a just society without getting rid of their foul stories of their gods and goddesses. A people cannot be better than their gods and ideas. Ideas have consequences. They are the grid of reality. We fit the information that we receive through experience and education onto that grid of reality as we understand and practice it. Our assumptions have a profound impact on the way we understand the world, its problems and answers to be. We pay the price of poverty alleviation not with money or time, but with the challenge of our mind. If we really want to end poverty, we have to slaughter our sacred beliefs. The fight against poverty means to fight ideas that produce poverty.

We have to follow a savior who was willing to be crucified by his very people he came to save.

No man is an island. Personality demands community. Even the one God exists as three persons. God is in ownership of creation, but He put man in submission to him in authority over the world and its resources. Man’s primary relationship is therefore the fellowship with God. Our humanness is fully esteemed when we are at home with our creator, and it will atrophy as we separate us from God. Our secondary relationship- the stewardship over creation, includes man and others (community, sociology), man and self (soul, spirit, psychology), man and creation (Ecology and Economics) and man and metaphysics like e.g. the study of knowledge and truth, good and evil ethics and morals. If our secondary relationships to self, others, creation and metaphysics are not based on in our primary relationship to God, they will collapse. Following this definition, poverty is a result of the separation of secondary relationships from the primary one. Wealth is therefore the wholeness of relationship between God and man and between man and self, others, creation. Studying God is the queen of sciences.

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