A Generous Grace

ideas on practical spirituality and loving each other

Tag: when helping hurts

Ways to Help your Giving Keep from Hurting the Poor, Part I

The stories happened more often than I’d like to admit, and echoed a truth a friend had told me within my first few months of moving to Africa. “The longer I’m here, the more I realize just how hard it is to help without hurting.”

I’ve heard heartrending stories of boxes of early reading books collecting dust. Sewing machines gone into disrepair, sitting idle for years. Business owners possessing the equipment they need, but selling their goods for less than the goods cost, for lack of basic business training. Adoption funding such widespread corruption that an entire nation must close nearly entirely its adoption doors.

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For the Days When Helping Hurts [You], Part II: When Helping Breaks Your Heart

helping hurts

Missed part I? Get it here.

I knew last week was going to be killer.

I was stoked for the opportunities, while bracing myself for days of training students 9-5 (and honestly, the three hours of traffic. Yuck). I confess to spending some lunches in the reclined driver’s seat of my minivan, snoozing until my phone’s alarm set me back in full gear.

And it was killer: an incredible chance to take every class at our refugee center through a peacemaking/conflict management training, building on a clear message of what God had done—and is doing—for us in our conflict with Him.

Considering the vast majority had trickled into Uganda from war-ravaged nations, a message of how to make peace practically in all our relationships was, I discovered, diametrically opposed to what many of them had been taught—or were teaching their children—from the time they could speak. Realistically, many emerged from nations that had been in conflict from before they were born. More than one student told me they had never known peace until they moved to Uganda.

What I didn’t anticipate was my own heart twisting inside me like a dishrag.

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