What is dependency? I had to think about this. All the forms I fill in, they ask for dependents I have to mention my presently 3 year old son. He is dependent on us to supply all his needs. (all bar the need to cause trouble!). As a husband, inter-dependent with my wife.
David Ker wrote a provocative piece ..
Imagine for a minute some beautiful thing that you’d like to do to help the poor suffering people in Africa. Maybe you want to dig wells or hand out Bibles. Maybe you’d like to help protect small children or stop deforestation. Great stuff. Huge need. It’ll never work. In fact, in the process of solving these problems, I’ve seen again and again pie-in-the-sky optimists and goody two-shoes like myself crushed by the Aid Monster. The Aid Monster is this enormous demonic being that waits with its slavering mouth and grasping tentacles to divert aid from the needy and fatten its own belly.
The problem is we’re such easy prey. Idealists and change-the-world kinds of people are always blinded by their own self-righteousness to the human depravity that waits to divert their good intentions for personal gain.
I am off to Togo in a couple weeks with a team of WYnet young people to visit a rather under-fund translation project that we’ve been involved in for the last 11 years. Three translators 1 office, a few churches, a guardian, a few computers, a server, electricity bills and soon The project set up is quite complex, or so I thought a partnership between a committee made up from a bunch of local churches, and the Bible Society Togo. Our involvement is to help with the committee’s contributions to the costs. I foresee three problems.
1) There obviously isn’t enough money
2) The translators wages are the 1st thing to be compromised.
3) The obvious answer is very root of the questions.
The easy solution is to throw money at it, but i am hesitant. I don’t want to continue the dependency. When we were they 2 years ago, we did some travelling around to encourage some of the churches and youth in the language area to get involved in praying and fundraising. They did for a while, but then not seeing the progress made, no more bible yet 🙁 Their interest has wained. There is talk of an income generation project, but a few people I have spoken too have said don’t bother, they generally turn out to be unsustainable.
So what do we do? Knowing that greater buy in from the local churches will result in more ownership, and eventually better use of the translated word. However, the churches don’t even have enough money to fix their own windows, how are they going to give more money to bible translation project?
I would LOVE a simple and quick answer, but i suspect there isn’t one. Anyone else had to tackle this kinda thing?