Recently a TEDS video was forwarded to me by one of my pastor friends, Jim Ost who pastors a church in Texas.
David Damberger, who is the founder of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) which is stationed in Calgary was the speaker. In the video, Damberger shares the experience about his previous work in Africa. But the clincher of this video was the lesson on publicly admitting failure in the development aid sector. He believed that this sector of society (the various non-profit organizations) lacks accountability, creativity and transparency.
As the old adage states, “failure is our friend.” We can learn so much from failure. We can learn things about ourselves, about God and even about the world around us. This is why failure is helpful in our growth process.
I was able put the lessons that Damberger was sharing in the context of how we do missions and community development. In our generation, there are so many people who are passionate about non-profit work and community development, which is an awesome thing; but I don’t think we have given serious consideration to the ramifications of our actions.
This is why, it is important to think through some of the ripple effects of our actions, both good and bad. Therefore, before the church or Christian workers build another water well or some kind of agricultural system, in is important to think through some long-term solutions.
It is one thing to get excited about helping people and developing a city or a country, but it is an entirely different thing when it comes to sustainability and accountability.