Band-Aids for the Poor
This week a member of our original Short-Term Missions think tank, Cari Jenkins, pointed out to us an entry on the Invisible Children blog: Discuss: putting Band-Aids on the developing worldliterally, or, Does being a foreigner make you qualified to help in the developing world?
The author tells stories that feel all-too-close-to-home for many of us, about short-term teams attempting to do things they arent equipped to do, often with great intentions but misplaced effort and money. Quoting the post directly:
Since coming to Gulu, Ive had the chance to meet hundreds of foreign visitors, many of whom saw their time in Uganda as a chance to do something, to achieve something. Ive met short-term missionaries who paid $4,000 US each to spend 10 days in an internally displaced peoples camp. Every morning they evangelized to camp residents; every afternoon they cleaned wounds and put Band-Aids on people. When I asked if any trained medical staff were among the groupmostly teenagersthe group leader, a first-time visitor to Uganda, shook her head.
Im still all for short-term missions. But as we navigate the waters of respectfully coming alongside locals in our preparation and action, lets keep in mind that Band-Aids really arent always the best answer to systemic problems
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