Thursday, October 30, 2008

'Urgency & Sustenance'

We were looking at this article on Tuesday afternoon, as part of working out how we make decisions as a household about when we should let people (generally people who have been sleeping rough) come and stay with us. It's an article Dave Fagg (from the Seeds mob in Bendigo) wrote about the tension between urgency and sustenance in mission:

As an 18 year old, I helped to organise a national conference on poverty, for Year 12 students. The CEO of an organisation that served people on the street gave a firebrand address on the need for young adults who would burn themselves out in service to the poor. I thought it was a great message for the high-achieving audience for whom ‘service to the poor’ would be squeezed around careers. But the conference organisers gave a corrective speech the next day, explicitly rejecting the CEO’s message, and emphasising that doing the little things is what matters, doing what you are able to. Which for those listening meant serving the poor in the context of a career which would give them status and wealth. Although I said nothing, I realised that I disagreed with this corrective. The state of the world requires urgency, a desperate plunge into the pain of the world and of its people.
Read the full article here.


David said...

Thanks for posting that. It was really good to read and engage with.

It is interesting how what Dave wrote extends past the context of homelessness and into global poverty.

Thinking about the work of people in my sector (NGO's working towards poverty alleviation) the balance between crises response, and long term development is important too.

Christop said...

Thanks for your feedback, Dave.