Saturday, October 8, 2011

Using Our Assets

      Most of the people in Belize who don't have enough money to buy "anything they want" for supper, tend to eat flour tortilla and beans for la cena (the evening meal).  Knowing how to make tortilla is a lesson taught from mothers to their daughters and sometimes their sons as well.  You can make enough tortilla for a family of 6 with about $1.50 US and you don't even need a gas stove.  A fire works great.  Although I am a pretty good tortilla maker, it takes about an hour (or more) that i don't have.  When we have Girl's Night and need about 30, I buy them from a woman up the street.  They are delicious, fast, warm, ready to eat...and I feel good about helping the woman sustain her business.
      I am finally learning about this thing called the Kingdom.  One of the ways we recognize the Kingdom is here is how the community loves and helps each other.  I am also reading a book called When Helping Hurts How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor.   One of the concepts in the book is that we as missionaries are hurting the poor if we become their resource when there are assets in their community that they can use or develop. 

So...I started thinking about the tortilla for Bible study. I know that Angelica makes tortilla EVERY night.  She's good at it and could use the income.  Then I thought about Alva.  Alva was abandonned when she was 12 years old.  Her mother never taught her how to make tortilla.  She wants to learn.

Ah ha!  Praise God for shining a light on our paths.
Last week at Girl's Night I asked Anegelica if she would be willing to make the tortilla for the following week.  She said sure.  Then I asked her to teach Alva how.

So the girls decided to meet at Angelica's house.  When I picked them up, Alva was beeming.

At Girl's night we are learning about "worship". We read Psalm 145 and are making these embroidered plaques with a phrase from the psalm.  Again I was tempted to be the resource.  Kristel wanted to know how to make a stitch. I started to show her and Alva jumped I backed off thinking, "Right.  The older girls know. Let them be the resources."  That's empowering.   It builds self-esteem. I thank God for teaching me this lesson this week.  It will change how I minister.

1 comment:

  1. So much to learn! They learn from each other. You, from them. Me, from you.

    We need these reminders here in the states too.