Poverty- what’s God got to do with it

Saint Clare and sisters of her order, San Dami...
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It is Day 11 of the 30 day blog challenge and I must say I have failed in today’s post! My challenge was to find a guest to write today’s task but found no takers..so I have to write today’s post myself

Note to self- must correct this

On day 4 I told you about a workshop I attended in London that explored gender equality at the same workshop we discussed the role of the new UN agency for women and in this post my thoughts turn to the delegates. As we networked with each other and learned about each others overseas projects I observed a common ground amongst some of the delegates. GOD. I recall asking myself a question that i don’t have an answer to

DOES RELIGION HAVE A ROLE IN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT?

There were several leaflets handed out on the day, one had to do with a project  that calls itself  PRAYER FOR FOR CONGO  but the one that really caught my attention was from  WOMEN CHANGING THE WORLD who were founded by the ORDER OF POOR LADIES known as Poor Clares after St Clare of Assisi

I have reproduced here elements of the leaflet that I found interesting and which according to the leaflet are an extract and adaptation from LIVING A SPIRITUALITY OF ACTION (A WOMAN’S PERSPECTIVE by Joan Muller

A SPIRITUALITY OF EFFECTIVE ACTION

  1. Honestly assess what is needed in a community- this assessment attends to what the poor really need and not what I want to give them. An honest assessment means that I put my agenda aside and see life from the  perspective of disadvantaged
  2. Honestly assess my ability to address the need- what are my training passions, my connection, and my financial resources? Who might work with me to address the issue and what resources are available? What partnerships are available
  3. Be willing to devote time and effort to the project. Making a difference in the lives of the vulnerable  requires dedication . this doesn’t mean that I can’t take my vacation or long deserved time off but it does mean that I am willing to stick with a project until it is complete
  4. Plan carefully- to effect social change, planning is needed. Planning gives order to an effort
  5. Understand that failure is part of the process. Everyone who has tried to make a difference has made mistakes. If this happens to you, you are in a well-populated  club. Get up, reflect on what wnet wrong, rework the plan and begin again
  6. Work against grumpiness, becoming worried and upset helps no one. If needed take a break. Put yourself back together again. Go to a Spa, eat a chocolate bar, buy yourself a new pair of shoes and then to back refreshed. Grumpiness is a sing that one needs to step back and sit out for a while
  7. Get out there- while women together can change the world, you alone probably will not. Juts do something, join others involved in service and offer your small effort to God
  8. Watch for the hundredfold. If we avoid grumpiness and give God our best, the hundredfold is guaranteed by God. God is not a miser. For every pound we give wisely . God will invest one hundred. For every ounce of sweat, God will labour harder. For every word of cheer God will give happiness. For every word of forgiveness, God will offer peace. In the end, we are ordinary men and women with talents and gifts who wish to give what we can to those in need. We bring our few loaves and fish and believe that by lovingly offering our small gifts, God will take them, multiply them and make a difference in our world. Our gifts are as many and varied as the world’s needs. May  God abundantly   bless our efforts to better the lives of the poor and needy in our world

I was intrigued by most of what is contained in those 8 points. It is mostly a common sense approach to development but I am not quite sure about the parts that I have highlighted not that I am not spiritual, instead that my interpretation of it is one of making others guilty. I believe that folk should reach out others in need but only if that is a core value to their value system and because they feel guilty.

That is my interpretation and I would love to hear yours, so please join the discussion by leaving a response. Do you believe Religion has a role to play in International development if so and if not why not?

 

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