voluntourism. or, when helping hurts

This is a good article to get you thinking about paternalism, our white-savior complex, the industry of volunteering, etc.

http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/4/volunter-tourismwhitevoluntouristsafricaaidsorphans.html

“Western nations are full of well-fed individuals plagued by less explicit hardships such as the disintegration of communities and the fraying of relationships against the possibilities of endless choices. The burdens of manic consumption and unabated careerism are not as easily pitied as crumbling shanties and begging babies. Against this landscape, volunteerism presents an escape, a rare encounter with an authenticity sorely missed, hardship palpably and physically felt — for a small price.”

Also, if you ever work with people in poverty, directly or indirectly, you need to read this book: When Helping Hurts, by Steve Corbett and Brian Frikkert.  Find it on Amazon here :)

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one-way ticket: check

In case you hadn’t already heard, I am officially moving to Southeast Asia!  I have purchased a one-way ticket and will leave on May 1st.

I haven’t quite reached my budget, though.  I still need about $200/month.  But PBT and I decided to take a step of faith and go ahead and purchase tickets.  So keep praying that more people will understand the vision and want to join the team!

It has been a journey getting to this point and I’m so thankful for all of you who have supported me in so many different ways- in love, encouragement, prayers, inviting me to speak, etc., etc.  There is no way I would be at this point without all of you.  I can’t believe I’m actually leaving in 3 weeks.  In case you missed out on the last 4 years, you can browse previous blog posts; they’ve chronicled the journey.

So thank you again!  Please keep in touch, let me know what’s going on in your life (and in the States- unless it has to do with sports; I cannot tell you how much I don’t care who wins the Super Bowl), and how I can be praying for you!

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…getting closer

Well, thanks to you all and your generous support, I am officially registered for the orientation course in May!  This is both exciting and scary.  (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read about it here.)

I was approved by the leadership in Dallas to register for the month-long course in Thailand with the stipulation that I raise less than $300 a month more before buying plane tickets.  So I’ve got a couple weeks to raise the rest of my required support.

This is where I ask you if you would think about your friends, family, and other networks.  Do you know anyone who would like to be apart of this ministry, who shares the vision of reaching all peoples?  If you do, would you introduce me to them, invite me to speak, or tell them about this ministry?

You all know I couldn’t do this without your support, so thank you again for your generosity and care!

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almost there

As you probably know, I have to leave the States at the beginning of May for a required orientation course.  In order to sign up for this course I have to be at 90% of my budget.  I also have to sign up by the end of this week.

To be at 90% of my budget, I need less than $400/month!  That is not much more!

So, would you pray that I receive $400/month by this Friday?  Can it be done?!  We’ll see…

I’m so thankful for all of you who have supported and encouraged me in so many ways; especially for those who have invited me to share and those who have welcomed me into their homes.  Clearly, I would not be at this point without you.  So thank you!!

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asia

Most of you probably know that I just spent about a month in Asia.  There’s a lot I could share with you but instead of picking and choosing stories, I decided a few pictures would suffice for now.  Enjoy!

P.S. I also discovered that I need to leave the States by May!  That’s soon!  Pray that all my monthly financial needs will be met by that time!

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Neighborhood market on the street where I stayed.

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Shan kaw swe is a typical (and delicious) breakfast.

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Pagodas are very common here. This one is the biggest and oldest in Southeast Asia.

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It is very common to see monks in this part of the world.

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There are also some churches in this city. Before World War II, there were many missionaries who came to this country and their legacy is evident.

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I also got to visit a couple of friends in Taiwan. This is the former tallest building in the world, Taipei 101.

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it’s that time of year

New Perspectives classes are starting – this week and next!  For those of you who don’t know, Perspectives was instrumental in my life in getting me to this point.  And I loved the class!  So I encourage all of you – high schoolers, college students, adults – to take this class!  I don’t think you’ll regret it.  If you’ve been confused as to what it is I’m doing with my life and why, the answers are in this class :)!

You can check out the curriculum and speakers for Texas here.  In DFW, classes are being held in Richardson, McKinney, Arlington, Irving, and Fort Worth.

If this week is too last minute, don’t worry!  The first week is registration and orientation, so you won’t miss anything, just register online.  If you’re scared of technology, contact the class coordinator (as shown on the website) and he or she can get you set up.  Or, ask a friend or family member to help; maybe you can convince them to go with you.

Find out everything you need to know at www.perspectives.org

You can also watch this video:

Or this video:

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language

I often find myself with people who are very aware of, and often offended by, the grammatical mistakes of others.  I could be enjoying tacos from a food truck and a friend will point out the errors on the whiteboard which lists your taco options.  Knowing I am a linguist, they assume my empathetic understanding and, let’s be honest, disdain for such ‘mistakes.’  What they don’t understand is that I am a descriptivist, not a prescriptivist.  I do not share your pain.  Language is what you say.  Or would you rather us demand that everyone speak in Old English?

And yes, I did use ‘they’ as a singular pronoun.

And this coming from an Englishman.  Thank you, Stephen Fry.

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