should have me come and build anything.
What I’m really hearing is the desire for
friendship. The Church in Jordan wants
the West to know there is a Church in
Jordan. Sierra Leone wants to know we’re
going to stay friends. To throw the baby
out with the bathwater would be missing
out on our participation in the global
Body of Christ.
FT: How do we figure out what is really helpful,
building on your unbuilding of the dry composting toilet example?
SC: We have a tendency and history of
focusing on doing rather than being with
people. How well are we listening? Sometimes to even indirect communication?
Are our partners feeling free to be direct?
This is where learning in relationship and
building trust comes in. I have to believe
over time there is going to be more facility to say, “That thing you built two
years ago, we didn’t really need that.”
Then we can say, “Let’s not repeat that.
What would be helpful?”
FT: How does a Canadian church go about finding a “good” trip to go on, and building a strong
SC: I would spend a lot of time talking on
the phone or Skype, or even visiting the
local Christians, the local church and the
local organization, to get to know them. To
celebrate what God is already doing in
them. To find what I can learn from them
and be keen about that being part of it. That
should be there from the beginning, that
we are learners coming and wanting also
to bring something. It’s usually something
less than what my pride would hope for.
We all have a pride-ometer that needs
to be adjusted about what is actually
helpful. We tend to feel we have a lot to
contribute, which we do, but coming with
a huge amount and dumping on people
may not be helpful. Out of that first experience, then doing follow-up really
well, and saying that prayerfully we want
to see this relationship continue.
FT: We’ve talked about going as learners. What
happens on a short-term mission trip, or during
global partnership, that is so powerful in the
spiritual lives of people?
SC: I think that the miracle that happens
is we’re actually called, invited by Jesus
THE FT INTERVIEW