Reflections on Healthy Helping

By Jeremy Fields, serving in Mongolia

Jeremy was a member of an assessment team that traveled to western Mongolia in March on behalf of Compassion and Mercy Associates (CAMA)-the relief and development arm of the C&MA-to offer assistance in the aftermath of Mongolia’s worst winter in some 20 years. The following is an adapted excerpt from the Fields’ May 2010 prayer letter.

Our last update referred to my failure at relief work. This wasn’t a reflection on my God-given abilities; rather it was about my delightful surprise that the people I went to serve in western Mongolia did not need or want relief!

Sometimes we meet people who need help but are too proud to ask, while others who ask for handouts are not in real emergencies. It is wonderful to find people ready to contribute their own God-given resources in order to pursue long-lasting personal and community growth.

I find that the best development principles often reflect the keys to our spiritual growth. Are we sometimes too proud to seek help in spiritual emergencies? Do we tend to rely on our pastors or church staff workers in areas where we are capable of serving? Or, are we always ready to invest ourselves in God’s family, working together to build the eternal Kingdom?

“When Helping Hurts”

The above thoughts are taken from the excellent book When Helping Hurts, by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert, which all of our Alliance and CAMA workers in Mongolia are currently reading. It clarifies a lot of the issues we deal with and values we try to implement in our ministries here. The book also provides a great overview of key development principles for believers and churches.

What You Can Do

Pray with Jeremy for the hiring and training of another staff person to work with Dawaa (a bi-vocational pastor/CAMA worker) on financial literacy and savings groups for Mongolians.

Learn More

Check out CAMA.

Read more about When Helping Hurts. (Note: Clicking on this link will take you off of the C&MA Web site.)


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