Philanthropy

phi·lan·thro·py :  a desire to improve the material, social, and spiritual welfare of humanity, especially through charitable activities

Without a doubt, a large part of missionary work revolves around Bible translation, preaching the Gospel, developing Bible lessons and discipleship.

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations….”

But it’s almost impossible to live amongst a people group in a developing country without showing the love of Christ in practical ways too.

 “Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you.   Or thirsty and give you something to drink? ….”

From the very start of the work with the Banwaon people in the 1980s, medical work, community development projects and other practical help has been an integral part of the ministry.

 “I assure you, when you did it to the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!”

 Co-workers

Although we’ve been personally involved in all these practical aspects for years, lately the needs and calls for help around us have been almost overwhelming.

 Albert and Bastun working on the water Jan 2003

 Things such as ….

  • Medical help – Each supply flight in here carries a full load of medical patients on the flight back out.  Prior to qualifying to fly out to the hospital in town though, each case has to be seen by Albert, discussed with the Banwaon clinic workers, emails exchanged with the hospital staff in town to see if they think they can help, letters of reference written and usually, money lent for the trip back.

 Med patient in plane

  • Loans – It’s not unusual to have three or four people a day come and ask for a loan of money.  Usually they are very legitimate needs – schooling fees, medical needs, a loan to help them get rattan out of the jungle to sell in the lowlands.  Last year when the typhoon hit, all sorts of needs resulted.  The question is always who to help and how much and how best to help?

 House after Typhoon Pablu 2012

  • Community projects – To be honest, we’ve been so overrun with translation, other work and helping dozens of individuals that we haven’t had the funds or time to help much with things like the village water projects …. but we’d like to!

Girl at sakaduwan April 2013

  • Aide group liaison – We are thankful for a Christian aide group called Just Projects International who has had increasing involvement in this region.  We can see God’s perfect timing in bringing a group like this along to begin helping the people on a far broader scale than we could manage.

So often indigenous people are taken advantage of and ripped off by big mining or logging companies. Just Projects International has the tribal people’s protection and best interests at heart.  We’re glad we can help this group by living in the area and being “on the ground” contacts for them.

So day by day we continue.

Our philanthropic activities may not quite be on the same scale as those of Bill Gates, but we desire to continue to share the love of Christ with the Banwaon people in all the ways that God would want us to.

 

“So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady,

always enthusiastic about the Lord’s work,

for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”

1 Corinthians 15:58