With the long weekend on Monday, this week felt a little bit out of whack and seemed to go by super quickly. Nevertheless, classes commenced on Tuesday with our very own KJ Appelt, who is a staff member of YWAM Vancouver. KJ has a Master's Degree in International Development and helped pioneer an organization called JUSTICE WATER, which empowers developing nations with sustainable water technologies.
KJ spoke about Community Development this week, providing us with some very helpful lessons for our outreach to Cambodia. The DTS and SOMLD (School of Ministry and Leadership Development) students were together for lectures this week, as we will all be doing some form of urban or overseas mission during July and August.
This week KJ really challenged us as she got thinking about how we define poverty. She highlighted that poverty is more than just lacking material things, but affects the whole person. When diagnosing and treating the symptoms, we need to look deeper at the underlying root cause, with our solutions addressing the whole person too.
We also explored the connection between poverty and relationships, and how it is rooted in us not living in relationship with God and each other. The saying, “give a man a fish, you feed him for a day...teach a man to fish, and feed him for a lifetime” became very apparent as we discovered that community development is all about doing life with people, and being a hand up not just a hand out. To create sustainable change we need to empower people to move beyond where they were before so they can stand on their own two feet.
On Friday morning, KJ taught us how to build Bio-Sand Filters to create clean and safe drinking water. This is a project we will be doing on our outreach to Cambodia with JUSTICEWATER as we equip locals in a few different villages. This time was a lot of fun and got us all really excited for our mission trip. Some of us (aka me) even learnt how to use a power drill for the first time which was an added bonus!
The weekend began with S’mores galore on Friday night, which is basically a concoction of toasted marshmallows and melted chocolate between two graham crackers. However we went next level and made a S’mores skillet dip which you will all have to Google right now. Yes, it was amazing.
On Saturday we woke up to what is known as “typical Vancouver weather” with lots and lots of rain. Again we were spoiled with a lunchtime feast of waffles, blueberries, strawberries, mango, whipped cream, syrup and sausages (we certainly eat well here). A few us then spent the day baking, others went around town and did a bit of evangelism, and the rest just relaxed at home. In the evening the ladies of the house took over the living room and did a “Just Dance” session, which is pretty much another form of Zumba. On Sunday morning we all headed to church and then took advantage of the emerging sunshine. Some of us headed to Central Park for a game of frisbee, while others took an evening walk to New Brighton Park as it is still light out till 9PM!
Next week we have Kay Charlotte McClurg speaking about “Relationships”, wish us luck!