Fine-tuning the work has been a work in progress. While Capturing Courage is now four years old, the launch into overseas work is little over a year old, and as such has been in some flux as we figure out the scope of our work.
Thankfully we started with a really good sense of what we were to be doing and what we are not to be doing. All the same, even that sense has needed fine-tuning and honing in.
The most prevalent reality within which we are to work is the matter of selves or of money.
1. Are we called to bring money upon peoples and communities or,
2. Are we called to bring ourselves to peoples and communities?
We’ve tried a few things to figure this out. Back in October we did a short fundraising blast looking to raise money to help build a toilet in Uganda.
We weren’t looking for a lot of money and took it on as a test of sorts to see if we were to be involved in projects. The answer came back loud and clear. ‘NO!’ With not a single person responding to our fundraising plea we saw loud and clear that we are not called to support projects.
Of course we kinda knew this already. Right from the start it had been stuck in my heart and mind the verse from Acts 3:6 where Peter says, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”
(and yet it is amazing how easy it is to get sidetracked)
More recently we have been raising money for a Bible School in Uganda. There was the money for the hosting and then the money for the curriculum (from another organization), and while we raised all of the money spot-on for the hosting not a speck came in for the curriculum.
So we are paying attention. Taking our cues. And allowing the scope to be determined by this very clear direction. Again we must ask, “Are we called to bring to bear our resources upon a people, or are we called to bring to bear ourselves?”
The answer is loud and clear. We are called to bring ourselves. End of story. Period.
And in the wake of this clarity we must take hard stands. We must continue to communicate what we can and cannot do. We are, after all, to move with the blessing of God or not at all.
We must move according to the Lord’s heart and plan for and through Capturing Courage, not our own good ideas, not others good ideas for us.
The hardest part is that we are pushing against a very long history and world-wide habit of financial aid and support to developing nations.
And so while we can say we are bringing heart healing of Christ, spiritual training and leadership development, there is still in the back of the minds of those to whom we take ourselves, the thought that maybe we will help with students and schooling, maybe we will build a building, maybe we will give money for this endeavor and that project.
But of course we are not. We are bringing nothing but ourselves and the healing power of Christ.
It is like trying to swim upstream against a very large current.
And yet for all the potential and very real misunderstandings of who and what we are about, this mandate to bring ourselves and Christ and nothing more has made things very simple.
In constraint is much freedom. In less there is so much more. In limitation we find bounty and sufficiency.
Long story short we realize we are not to be hosting Bible School, for in that we are merely a conduit for yet another project, and as good a project as Bible School might be, we are not called to projects in any way whatsoever.
Rather, with the power of relationships and mentoring, of leadership development but most of all deep freedoms of heart and soul by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are all simply transformed.
Change from the inside out is the only long-term way of development whether in North America or in Africa or anywhere else.
Capturing Courage is called to transformation of heart and spirit, nothing more and nothing less.
It’s very good to have this straightened out.