We helped Mirana evacuate her home during the Cyclone because the river flooded it, damaging the foundation. She has returned to IFD recently and is still living with us. PRAY SHE CAN FIND A HOUSE BY THURSDAY. If she cannot, the lack of housing here in IFD may adversely affect her ability to partner with us in the forest.
[stepping onto soapbox]
While we want to help in a time of transition, we also want to set an example for other nationals who join our work in the forest. We want to be clear that as IMB Ms we are not funding, housing, or subsidizing national partners work among the Tanala in order to prevent dependency issues that have plagued previous IMB mission work in Sub-Saharan Africa. (Certainly a housing exception was made when loss of life was involved in March.) We should not pay national believers to do ministry along side us, build buildings and call them church, or give aid that does not help a group of believers in their understanding of “what is church?” and their relationship with other same-faith local bodies.
Yet, even today within IMB personnel in Sub-Saharan Africa there are examples of Ms staffing ministry partners. We desire to see healthy churches grow in the forest that are self-funding, self-propagating, self-reproducing, self-governing, self-feeding. These “self” principles are in a book somewhere (and a list one must memorize as a seminary student to pass a test to better his GPA.?.?.?.). Though I don’t remember the title of the work, the ideology is a noble goal. Funding nationals to work alongside a Missionary during a church plant may prove to be a self-defeating practice in trying to teach and model for a new group of believers the “self” principles.
[stepping off soapbox]
The primary purpose of the post is to request prayer for Mirana’s housing situation. The rest are opinions I’ll gladly support with Scripture, reason, and experience at a later time if necessary. Most importantly please pray.