Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Holistic Christian Transformation - Shalom

When you happen to meet someone who shares the exactly same view on critical thoughts, you get chilled and excited with goose bumps, to put it mildly. That was the case. I had that experience at the Hope Leadership Summit.

Luis Sena is Director of Institute for Christian Transformation in Dominican Republic. He is now collaborating with Esperanza International, DR, reaching out Haiti. He was serving for Food for the Hungry for 28 years with 24 years as National Director before he retired to this institute.

He was talking about Holistic Transformation that should be manifest in microfinance. In other words, micro finance is not just a means or tool to achieve the holism but microfinance itself should be holistically redeemed by God's grace according to His salvation plan. Microfinance is to help the poor. But the poverty is not just material. It is also mental, psychological, emotional and spiritual. When we sin, our relationships with God, others, self and other creation are all broken. Salvation is the process of restoring these broken relationships to the original sinless perfect harmony, called Shalom. In the bible, all things, not one thing left, but all things need to be reconciled to God, thus achieving the redemptive work in whatever we do. All things include micro finance or any thing that may look trivial in human eyes.

I think this is well summarized in the following sentence.

"the NATURE of poverty is fundamental RELATIONAL and the CAUSE of poverty is fundamentally SPIRITUAL" - Bryant Myers

This sentence is quite profound. In other words, our poverty is caused by the spiritual reasons: i.e. fall of humanity and the way it is manifest is through our relationships. Thus, all things, whether sacred or secular, need to be reconciled to God to restore the Shalom that God desires.

Even those who are living in affluent countries and who appear to be happy may want more (greed in the state of poverty) or unhappy because of complex relational challenges due mainly to human greed. We all have some state of poverty. We all are impoverished in one form or another.

Thus, all our efforts should focus on holistic outcome/transformation no matter what we do and how we do. That is walking the talk and living out the belief. May this truthful presentation transform many hearts and minds of Christians to help transform the world to be closer to the world to come when our Lord Jesus returns.

Luis and I agreed to stay in touch to learn from each other and to sharpen each other. May we experience mutual learning and edification. - Jeffrey

1 comment:

gonzo39 said...

Great post. I really enjoyed reading it and I really do think people like yourselves deserve a knighthood for what you do. It really is inspiring for me. Please keep up the good work. I would really appreciate if you could take a look at my blog if and when you get the chance...New Build Planning Permission