If you have been reading the For the Love of Missions blogs over the last several weeks, you know that For the Love of Missions took its time to learn and grow before creating new programs to help the community we love in the zone 3 garbage dump. We can effectively agree with what Brad Smith in his book, City Signals, states needs to happen before attempting any ministry work
“Good urban ministry practice requires learning the uniqueness of the city and the communities where we serve. Each city has a distinct history and culture. As a result, we should seek to understand and respect the people and capacities that are already in the neighborhoods. An important urban ministry practice is, therefore, to research the neighborhood before attempting to do urban ministry within it.”
For the Love of Missions is now pursuing a community development approach in the garbage dump community. The specifics of what this looks like will be shared in the coming weeks, but for now it is important to further explore what Community Development means to us.
Smith gives us some thoughts to help build an understanding of Community Development.
Community. Long- term gains will be much greater if the solutions are community-driven by leaders inside the community rather than resource-driven by outside agencies. It is also assumed that community driven solutions may start off slower with fewer visible gains, but in the long term, the benefits far outweigh the loss of quick results.
Development. The focus of the work is not short-term relief, but the development of ongoing economic, health, social, governmental, and sometimes spiritual solutions.
As we share our efforts in Community Development, we hope that you see they are driven by the community rather than by us in the United States, and that the focus is long-term development rather than short term relief.
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