Here is a truism: the most necessary ministries, the most innovative, grassroots ones, are often the least funded. It is also an unfortunate truth that Western Christians, who hold the purse strings of much of the world’s wealth, are more likely to support Western missionaries than local Christian workers in places like Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
This is understandable–after all, we want to support people we know, people we understand–but from a strategic standpoint, it’s disastrous. Not only does it propagate the myth that Christianity is basically a European export, but a well-resourced local person can do a lot more good, in a lot less time, for a lot less money than most Western missionaries can. Which is probably why most of the missionaries I know spend most of their time resourcing local people.
I am going to cash in a little equity in this post, and unabashedly ask you to consider making a donation (I’ve been blogging in one capacity or another for over five years, and I think I’ve done this once, during the famine in the Horn of Africa, so it’s probably time).
Here’s the deal. You probably already know that I am going to Kenya in November to teach a group of teachers and clergy who will be implementing the youth curriculum I wrote (read: I will be acting as a resource for the people who will be doing the actual work). My incredible church is covering my travel expenses, and CBE is donating the curriculum. But EFOGE, the African ministry that has permission to work in the public school system in Kenya, and is putting on the conference, does not have the financial pool to draw on that Western ministries like my church or CBE does. EFOGE has all the relational equity, all the people, all the commitment, and a trickle of Kenyan shillings.
Let’s fix that, shall we?
Here’s the situation. EFOGE is still trying to raise money to feed and house the teachers and clergy people who are coming in from out of town. We’re talking $2,400.00. To help out a team pastors, priests, and public school teachers who will be reaching an estimated 15,000 youths per year.
So let’s break it down. There are 28 committed African educators who need three days worth of food and housing (the people within driving distance are covering their own expenses). That means $85 would cover one person’s expenses for the entire conference. $30 would cover for one day. Or maybe you could chip in five bucks, symbolically taking a Kenyan teacher out to lunch. Doable?
The focus of this blog is gender justice, because I believe that is a huge part of the reconciliation and restoration Christ wants to bring about in this world. EFOGE is on the front lines of this spiritual battle, dealing with issues like polygamy, child marriage, gender-based violence, and education for girls every day. Most of us can’t go over there and engage in this work directly, but we could sure help out our brothers and sisters in Christ who are. Would you?
You can follow this link to donate help EFOGE cover the conference costs. Thanks so much!
(P.S. Because it’s important to know that the ministries you support have been thoroughly vetted, please know that EFOGE has the support of Tearfund, the Anglican Church in Kenya, Christians for Biblical Equality, and, yanno, the Kenyan public school system.)