My friend, Mark Petersen, who hasn't been blogging as often of late, made me aware of his most recent post.
He warned me that I might blow a gasket.
Right after I finish banging the keyboard with this post whilst muttering things that will get my mouth washed out with soap if Imbi hears me.
Go read Mark's post on Canadians whose big hearts have them sharing the One True Western Religion™, to the rest of the World. God help us all.
UPDATE: My response to Mark's post on his blog was overheated and in terms of me citing the Napoleon Dynamite epithet there, inappropriate. I've apologized there, let me do the same here and suggest that it would have been helpful for my words to have been more measured. There was too much heat and not enough light in the original blog post above. My reasons for that can be found in the comment section of this post.
Just a quick word in this hailstorm…
A shopping trip will not restore a sense of worth and dignity. Just won't. Clothes wear out and expectations for the next dignity-restoration session set in, because these kids are human.
We have to revamp our whole short-term missions mentality where it's not about us feeling good about "giving dignity," but is about us sacrificing our lives for others while accepting their worth and value. Probably takes longer than 2 weeks. Probably costs more than a short-term mission trip.
Dignity is restored through identification and identification is a costly way of living. We who have much cannot restore dignity to those who have little by giving tokens from our wealth.
Actually it's kinda demeaning when you think it through. And creates a dependency that is dehumanizing.
And it's complicated as heck because we've inherited a screwy philosophy of missions that is more about "me" than about "them" or the Kingdom.