Don’t Buy M&M’s – Transforming Mission Update

First, let me apologize for those of you who don’t like to read thoughts on mission/church/theology.  I made a deal with some folks that read this blog that I would post some insights from my reading group going through David Bosch’s “Transforming Mission”.  I promise not to use this space to voice too many opinions on church/theology/culture/etc… I’m considering another blog for that ;).

Thursday this week, we met again.  So much stood out to me in the discussion, it was hard to summarize one point.  So let me pull a few things out that I think connect.

We are all… every human on the planet… called to care for the poor.  So much of what Jesus said in his short three years on earth mandates us to this end.  I don’t believe the lie that I so easily fell into when living in the States that said “well, I support missionaries in Africa or wherever, and that’s my part”.  That’s fine, and that’s a start, but there’s actually quite a lot of things that I contributed to in my day to day life that actually perpetuated world poverty.  Sometimes I even knew about it, but let’s be honest, shopping at Walmart was just easier than figuring out where I could get clothes NOT produced by kids in sweat shops (I don’t think I will be apologizing for being blunt here).

Further more, I’m concerned about some of the initiatives I see when it comes to church outreach.  Far too often, a small percentage of the church actually sees injustice in their communities and moves to address those issues.  What’s easy is for the majority to write off their part and say “well my community does it, so I don’t have to.”  That’s a pretty unbiblical response I’d say.

So what’s my part?  Yeah, welcome to my world of tension!  I think there’s actually something intrinsically crucial to how we set up our communities that lead me to my response to this question.  Rather than 10% doing something and 90% taking credit, I wonder if the 10% could help the 90% by finding places where every member of the community could get involved in addressing the problem.  SO, with that, let me be a help to you, my dear friends in America, by giving you a copy of a link my friend sent me this week.  CLICK HERE

If you’re unaware, there’s a global crisis within the impoverished world, of young people being sold into the sex industry (common day slavery).  Unfortunately, I found out that one of my favorite chocolate companies, Mars, has been contributing to horrific child labor so as to alleviate their costs and increase their profits.  Here’s a small step for all of us to take:  DON’T BY MARS CHOCOLATE!  That’s simple, but we must continue to push and do more.

I fear there are HUGE social systems that cause us to NOT deal with the issues we’re facing in the world.  The proof came when the first bailout package was signed last year in America.  What I witnessed was how that had effect on making the South African currency drop 5 points.  We don’t think our choices affect the world so significantly… but we all have played a part in the destruction of others.  It’s our duty to reverse the course of our actions and the actions of previous generations to put an end to the destruction of others for the betterment of ourselves.

My friends who are blogging on this topic:

Cobus

Tom

Chris

6 thoughts on “Don’t Buy M&M’s – Transforming Mission Update

  1. WOW… thanks Lisa. I really think conscious purchasing is a mandate for us all… this helps. please add more as you find things and we can help each other do our parts!

  2. Pingback: Transforming Mission - Chapter 2 « my contemplations

  3. When I was a kid growing up in West Africa one of the things we loved to do in the summer was go with our friends to their parent’s rice farm. We would spend the day on raised platforms using slings to chase away birds. Imagine my shock when, as an adult, I was told by an ILO employee that such practice constituted child labor. It was no different than kids baling hay on the farm here in the USA.

    Granted there is tons of abuse and exploitation out there. But in my experience, though organizations like ILO mean well, they often make matters worse. They end up unintentionally empowering the wrong individuals who cause even more abuse and exploitation.

    These types of issues are extremely complex and I agree that they should be a priority for Christians. But the answer lies in the hard work of building authentic relationships. All the medical clinics conducted, wells dug, seminars given, demonstrations presented, or policies passed, in the world won’t make much difference without relationship. Unfortunately, we seem to have neither the time nor the patience for that to work.

  4. tom, that’s a really helpful point. we discussed that to great lengths and how in relationship with one, you actually move into a network of relationships. That really changes perspective on poverty. Thanks for the comment

  5. Pingback: Bosch part 2.1 « Soulgardeners

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