Tuesday, 30 March 2010

strategic, mission, holistic, money - same sentence?

I received an e-mail this morning from a friend in South Africa, which has acted as a reminder we're not quite the island we think we are. If I'm critical of my friends from the USA, not individually but generally, it's their assumptions our cultural context matches theirs to any helpful degree. However, we also need to be careful we disengage from what we hear from wherever on the basis 'it's different here', SA included. It always is different and always will be, but there are some constants in mission too.
My friend is talking about the appointment of a full-time person, they've made, who will enable their dream of being a 24/7 shelter 'where the specific needs of the shelter dweller can be met in a strategic and holistic way' (I liked that) move towards fruition. The money they'd been given, which they assumed would be ploughed into a better facility is now being used to finance this new post. This is terrific and I rejoice in it. One of my problems, however, is when we try and translate it into the UK scene. We too easily assume this kind of ministry is dependent upon paid staffing and because funds are more seriously limited we assume it can't happen, which in turn seems to be part of the conundrum we're in.
So, what do I need to hear here, apart from the encouragement, from what's taking place elsewhere?

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