“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Genesis 2:15 (NIV)
One book that changed my perspective on social services and poverty alleviation was “When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor….and Yourself”, by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert. They start the book with an exploration of the Book of Genesis and the four relationships God established:
1) The relationship with God;
2) The relationship with Self;
3) The relationship with Others; and
4) The relationship with the rest of Creation
Corbett and Fikkert take the position that poverty begins to grow and thrive when any one of these relationships is broken. Attempting to alleviate poverty without addressing its root causes is an endless, ineffective process. Within the chapters of this book, the authors suggest a holistic approach, taking into consideration existing community assets and supporting community-based critical thinking and problem solving should be the starting point.
When I first heard about the people who live in Koi Village, Kratie Province, Cambodia who had met together and determined their community assets, biggest challenges, and possible solution, I thought of Corbett and Fikkert’s book. This community determined they needed a school, an eco-farm, and a sewing school, using community asset assessment techniques and decision-making tools similar to those mentioned in the book. I can’t wait to get there in August!
I am also really excited that our Cambodia 2015 Missions Team is being supported by some amazing Jeepers, Off-roaders, and Mudders. They are busy gathering school supplies, hygiene products, and finances for the September 2015 Grand Opening of Light of Future School #3 in Kratie Province in this village. They are driving as a caravan to Trinity Church this Sunday at 4:00 p.m. to bring everything they have collected. (If you are in town, come join us in the North Parking Lot, 17801 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami Gardens, Florida 33169) I just wish they were driving with us on the five hour drive between Phnom Penh and Kratie Province. Here’s what our team will be seeing on the road leading to the new school property. Looks like some off-road situations are a possibility.
“Ingenuity, plus courage, plus work, equals miracles.” ~ Bob Richards, American Olympic Champion
(Photo Credits: Kratie Province, Koy Chiim, June 2015; Tulips, Linda Freeman, Stockholm, Sweden, May 2015; Big Trees, Linda Freeman, Key West, Florida, August 2013; Jeeps, LightWeight 4×4 Jeep Club, Miami, Florida, 2015; Waterfall, Linda Freeman, Davie, Florida, 2014)