the weblog of Alan Knox

More on serving people

Posted by on Sep 14, 2010 in blog links, love, missional, service | Comments Off

More on serving people

As I’ve said before, one of my favorite bloggers (and storytellers) is “Strider” from “Tales from Middle Earth.” His latest post, “On Finding Water,” goes along well with my previous post “They don’t want cake.” In fact, I was excited to read Strider’s post while I was working on my post a few days ago.

Here’s an excerpt from Strider’s post:

Of course, we love doing humanitarian work. Jesus has called us to love people and in loving them we find that they need two things: a relationship with Him and a standard of living that will enable them to survive. We live in a very poor Country that needs multitudes of things. I hope we choose the things we do by listening to and obeying the Holy Spirit.

In order to hear His voice we pay attention to several things. One, we help people with some of their deepest felt needs. People may need sanitation but if they don’t know this then there is no sense in providing it. We go to a community and asked them what they need rather than provide for them what is convenient for us to do. In following this line we have been asked repeatedly for fresh drinking water. Many people- possibly several hundred villages- need clean drinking water and are suffering greatly with water borne illnesses as a result of not having access to any. Two, we need a project that gives us sustained access. Many teams have come in and dropped off a load of much needed aid, prayed a quick prayer, and then moved on. This is somewhat helpful… sometimes, but a viable church is not likely to result from this. Too often people do aid work which makes them feel better and successful and humanitarian and even spiritual but if we measure success by lives impacted then these kinds of fly by night projects don’t add up to much. We need relationship. So, digging multiple wells in villages has been very good for us. We have spent all summer in a remote village in the south, going down, spending the night, serving and being served. It has provided good ground for great conversation and the opportunity to share much love.

I’ve learned that people know whether or not you truly love them and want to serve them, or if you are just doing something to make yourself feel better.