I had the opportunity to ask the founder of Unite 4 Africa what message might need to be drilled down a bit and I found his response to be that of many who mentor, coach or instruct. He said, “The basics of empowerment must always be emphasized.” That process is a core value and life-giving step when Unite 4 Africa sets about its business on the ground in the areas where we work.
While relief work has its place, it often sets a standard for its recipients of waiting for others to fulfill needs and inactivity. There is nothing edifying to an individual in this in the long run. The self-empowerment paradigm on the other hand may include a hand-out, but it also comes with responsibility and accountability.
When a goat or a chicken is given to a youngster, they are responsible for its care and survival so that it will produce milk, eggs and offspring. What the animal produces in food is an accountable family feeding necessity. What it produces in offspring increases both responsibility and accountability in its owner. And moreover, a sense of accomplishment, contribution to the family, and many life lessons.
In Jeremiah 6:16 we find: “This is what the Lord says, “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.” Self-empowerment, the old, godly way, simple and basic. The legendary Green Bay football coach, Vince Lombardi, it is said, would start every new season with “This is a football.” Simple and basic. We too should remember that our simple and basic need is to read God’s word daily for the renewing of our minds (Rom 12:2).
May you be empowered to live a life that glorifies God in thought, word, and action. Amen
Unite 4 Africa