What does partnership across the world look like? (and what SHOULD it look like?)
by Kathy Cathey
This is a question many of us have struggled with.
All Souls (Wheaton, IL) has the privilege of partnering with a school in the slums of Dandora, shop one of over 40 slums surrounding Nairobi, clinic Kenya. How this happened is a clear work of God, but I will tell that story another day. We sponsor 10 children as a church, write to them, and actually share a prayer schedule with them – praying each week for each other by name. We have had several fund-raising events that many of you have graciously and generously been a part of – even the children! On Thursday mornings at 7:00 we have a prayer time for them at the church, to which one and all are invited.
But now what? Shouldn’t there be more? What does a true partnership look like?
Recently there have been a lot of articles and books written on this subject, many of them focusing on what a partnership should NOT be. About many points, we can readily agree – that there is no place for superiority, arrogance, or disrespect, for example. Or magnanimously riding in on our cultural white horses with our ideals, or even offering selfless (but uninformed) ideas which may not be truly helpful in the long run.
There are other Mistakes We Make listed, and that list of negatives can get depressing, even paralyzing, and may even tempt us to give up entirely, rather than be “THAT” kind of person. But then nothing happens, and we are all the losers.
So, accepting our own human limitations, and the limitations of those we seek to partner with, we go forth humbly under the mercy of God. Praying for His leading and His Grace.
Some of us are feeling called to do this very thing, by heading to Kenya in February. To learn. To listen. To try and understand those to whom we are called.
We pray we do not go alone. We want our church team with us! We really value your prayers, your support, yourideas and thoughts!
On October 3, at the Baker home, we will be discussing the book Slow Kingdom Coming, by Kent Annan. This book offers 5 POSITIVE practices for doing partnership well as a church, and I tell you, after all, those negative articles, this outlook is like a fresh cup of cold water! We not only invite you but urge you to read this engaging book and come discuss it with us. Kent will entertain you with his real life stories, and challenge you with his thoughtful and life-tested practices.
Please come explore with us!