Learn, Contribute, Grow
Urban poor communities throughout the world have become experts in waiting to be “given.” Many local residents have simply given up on their own capacity to work for the common good. With help from well-meaning development agencies, governments, and even mission organizations, people who are poor have learned to over-depend on outside knowledge, outside resources, and outside leadership to produce needed change.
Sustainable change in the lives of people and communities must be championed by the local residents themselves. Healthy civic participation is cultivated through patient investment in people, within community and as community, to release their God-given strengths. Across Servant Partners ministry sites, residents of urban poor communities have demonstrated over and over again their capacity to learn the practices of servant leadership
The community of Zandspruit, in Johannesburg, South Africa, faces many of the typical problems of urban poverty: poor housing, lack of education and employment, malnutrition and many without government identity papers. In the past, non-profit organizations, churches and government all have attempted to address this situation, bringing big money, short-term plans, and staff with little time for relationships. Not surprisingly, little changed.
Our Servant Partners team leaders, Trevor and Chrissy Davies, arrived in Johannesburg with a different plan.