One thing that I would like your input on is the question of what Empower pays for during our ministry trips in Africa. This is in reference to, “When helping hurts: How to alleviate poverty without hurting the poor and yourself” by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert.
Sorting out appropriate boundaries for what we pay for while in Africa is an obviously a practical issue as we run programs with limited financial resources. On a deeper level, however, lies the question of how we truly empower people — as opposed to making them even more dependent. The African leaders we are working with struggle with this issue themselves. Some have what seems like a frantic need to provide material resources (which they themselves don’t have) to everyone who asks. This interfers with our working relations as some as less interested in the message than in getting support from us. It also interfers with the work itself.