Monika Goes to Guatemala
March 31, 2015 | CFA Staff | Uncategorized | Comments

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They laughed at us!

Should we feel indignant? Angry? Laugh with them? Be upset?
Watching California farmers and Mayan men work together made me laugh too! But it was a good laugh… because as I was watching them, I saw how they learned from each other, how they really appreciated each other’s abilities and worked together to get the job done.

I just returned from a week in Guatemala where I had the opportunity to coach an upper middle class church group in Asset Based Community Development principles and practices. This CRC church is creating a long-term partnership with a local non-profit in Huehuetenango in the high mountains of Guatemala and this was their 3rd trip to learn how to empower people without making them dependent on the US.

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 5.24.16 PMThe beauty of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) is that it assumes that everyone has gifts, abilities and skills and that we need each other to become better communities. Like Betty, our oldest traveler of 83 whose smile made everyone feel loved and cared for, or Sarah, a young mom who helped other moms understand about personal hygiene during the menstrual cycle. ABCD means we hear and value each other’s stories and learn from the people around us. It means we don’t come in with answers but we let them discover their own answers by asking good questions. It means we seek God’s Shalom together and pray over the tilapia fish farm.

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 5.24.31 PMWorking in Guatemala also reminded me that we all seek the same things: safety for our families, food on the table, opportunities to grow and develop, and time for laughter over a hot meal with family and friends. – in short – the Shalom of God.

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