When helping… HELPS!

Allow me to introduce Margaret Callahan, the newest addition to the Her Passion & Passion Partners team as the Strategic Development & Project Manager for Africa. After living in Africa, herself, I can see the depth of her experience transcends her hands and reaches the heart of others. Welcome Margaret!

Candice (widow, mother & Executive Director, Passion Partners)

 

When helping… HELPS!!

I joined the Passion Partners team just over 2 weeks ago and my mind is wrapping its way around the calling of this ministry… to BUILD COMMUNITIES on the foundation of CHRIST… all for the glory of God. I have previously been in ministry stateside and in Africa and have seen firsthand that it can be so easy for helping “to hurt” (and not “help”).  But the more I learn about Passion Partners and our international staff and the mission that they live out each day, the beauty of actually helping overwhelms me.

I have not met them face-to-face (yet) . . . so I must imagine what their days look like. For some of our partners, they are ministering to teen girls – counseling them, encouraging them, providing a way for them to finish high school when there was no way before. For other partners, they are providing medical treatment for basic diseases that would have led to death without intervention. And then for some, they are providing daily meals and basic necessities . . . a home where 42 girls can rest their head, and a have safe place where God can restore not only their lives here on earth, but their hearts.

One of the sweetest parts to me about our African partners is that many of them were already serving in their respective ministries everyday daily as unpaid staff before God allowed our paths to intersect. God placed a passion in them to HELP their own people, their own communities, and their own country. And with the resources they had, they were doing it.  But the need is greater and their resources.  And so He called Passion Partners to partner with them to help fulfill God’s calling on their lives. And what a joy it is to HELP… to see that there is a way to help without hurting. It is possible to actually HELP without crippling, to help without enabling. And that is what Passion Partners does… we empower, we encourage, we equip. And through that we BUILD COMMUNITIES… all to the glory of God.

Having believed I was called into ministry, I read Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert’s book, When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor and Yourself. Below is an excerpt that I believe Passion Partners exemplifies in the way we do ministry and in our partnerships… in such a way as to HELP and not to hurt.

 “A helpful first step in thinking about working with the poor in any context is to discern whether the situation calls for relief, rehabilitation, or development. The failure to distinguish among these situations is one of the most common reasons that poverty-alleviation efforts often do harm. (p. 104-105)

 “Relief: the urgent and temporary provision of emergency aid to reduce immediate suffering from a natural or man-made crisis; to stop the bleeding; ie the Good Samaritan.

 “Rehabilitation: seeking to restore people and their communities to the positive elements of their pre-crisis conditions; beings when the bleeding stops; key element is to work with the victim as they participate in their own recovery.

“Development: the process of ongoing change that moves all the people involved—both the “helpers” and the “helped”—closer to being in right relationship with God, self, others and the rest of creation; not done to or for people but with people. (p. 104-105)

 “Consider Assets-Based Community Development (ABCD)…which puts the emphasis on what the materially poor people already have and asks them to consider from the outset, ‘What is right with you? What gifts has God given you that you can use to improve your life and that of your neighbors? How can the individuals and organizations in your community work together to improve your community?’ VERSUS Needs-Based Community Development, which focuses on what is lacking in the life of a community or person, asking the questions ‘What is wrong with you? How can I fix you?’” (p. 125-126)

As I joyfully embrace PASSION PARTNERS and God’s calling on my life to partner with them, I want to leave you with their mission and vision. I believe it sums up why we do what we do… help.

OUR MISSION:  To mobilize people to be the hands and feet of Jesus with the sole purpose of reconciling the GREAT COMMANDMENT & the GREAT COMMISSION – “ . . . love your neighbor as yourself . . .” (Mark 12:31) & “ . . . go and make disciples of all nations . . .” (Mark 28:19) .  . . all for the glory of God.

OUR VISION:  To provide leadership and funding to existing ministries, as well as emerging ministries around the world, with the express goal of walking alongside our partners in a collaborative effort, allowing them to be more productive in their call and fulfilling their passion.

Margaret

Strategic Development & Project Manager Africa

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