Saturday, December 11, 2010

More than a band-aid

Sometimes I wonder if my efforts to help people struggling in poverty are nothing more than a band-aid on a huge, gaping wound.  Maybe what I do will stop some of the bleeding temporarily but will it really have any impact on the larger problem?  Sure  . . . every small thing done to help impoverished people can be honored by God but what about stepping back and looking at the BIG PICTURE?  How can I come alongside of God by investing in tomorrow's leaders in such a way that they will become the force that God uses to change the course of history and reverse the cycle of poverty, despair and abuse.  Are the ultra-wealthy like Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett, or Mark Zuckerberg the only ones that have the resources to invest in things that may alter the course of history?  Just recently, I learned about a ministry in Ecuador that is taking on just such a challenge.

Imago Dei, a project of  It's Just About Kids, has set it's sights on changing history by approaching education in a unique way.  I could try, but allow me to let Ron Stiff, Missionary in Ecuador and Project Director of the Imago Dei project, tell you a bit about it:
"We have an interesting and unique approach to the Commission of Jesus to reach the world with the Gospel.  Successful Ecuadorian professionals are putting their kids in our school to get what they believe is the best education in the country. At the same time, we are doing the culturally unthinkable thing (most thought it would be impossible) of offering the same education, at the same facilities, to orphaned, abandoned and the desperately poor in this tiny country.
The education is designed to produce critical thinkers and problem solvers inside of a project-driven learning structure that prepares our kids for a high level of adaptability in an environment where it will be increasingly impossible to train to specific professions. There is an evangelical objective on the leading edge of the project--besides breaking the cycle of poverty, the lives of these poor kids (the more privileged too) will be so revolutionized that when they go out into the world, their very presence there (especially the poor) will provoke interest in the reason for the transformation---a story that we believe they will be all too happy to tell. We can’t make them taller, nor make their skin lighter… or their indigenous features  less distinct, but we can give them something so staggeringly compelling that as soon as they open their mouths everyone will know that something extraordinary has happened….then comes the story."
Does Ron's introduction pique your interest as it did mine?  Click here to go to their website and learn more.  I think you'll be impressed, especially if you have a passion for excellence.   Maybe this is the place that God would have you invest as a teacher, volunteer or financial supporter?  Maybe it's not just the Gates, Zuckerbergs and Buffets of the world that can be a part of something this potentially history-changing?

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