So much of the current charity model culture is based on one- way giving. Non-materially poor people giving something to materially poor people. This happens in the United States and throughout the world on international mission trips. Something harmful can happen though when this model continues over and over in situations of chronic (on-going) poverty. [In a crisis situation, one way giving can be the proper response.] For example, in one of the communities that For the Love of Missions is focused, the Guatemala City garbage dump, more than 100 mission teams a year and over 30 organizations participate in various forms of one-way giving. This environment has harmed the residents of the community. In many ways, dignity, initiative, and thinking processes have been corrupted to create a hand out mentality. We are committed to do things differently in this community, but we are a fish swimming against the current here.
Take a few moments to explore your own giving practices and those of churches and organizations you support. Do they focus on one-way giving? Are they creating systems of defeat and dependence or initiative and dignity? What questions can you ask to gently challenge and explore the work of churches and organizations you are connected to?