The third installment in our series of 12, today centers on advanced planning.

We will engage in advanced planning for a short-term medical mission trips

  • Determine what people want done
  • Identify Assets
  • Identify Needs
  • Engage six groups
    • People
    • Partner
    • Churches
    • Local Health Professionals
    • Government
    • Other Christian groups and para-church organizations

There are certainly several points for discussion in this list. Of course well developed partnerships are the foundation for doing advanced planning. It is only through mutual partnerships that we can agree on a common End for which we are working together with preference being given to the locally identified Ends and not the Ends the visiting team members want to see themselves accomplish FOR their local partner. This is a point that cannot be emphasized enough. I have recently been reading “The Power of Positive Deviance” by Pascale and Sternin (Jerry and Monique) and find it a fascinating read. Their work clearly demonstrates how long term change in poor communities happens most effectively. It is through people becoming aware of others in their own community who are more than simply surviving the daily rigors of living in a resource poor community and who are actually doing rather well in spite of the difficult conditions. But the key then is that they can either accept the methods of these positive deviants or reject them. But the decision is theirs. Our (folks from resource rich countries) approach has always been to come to communities with what we believe are the solutions to their health problems and all they need do is accept our methods and treatments and all will be well. So for advanced planning (and there is nothing unbiblical about planning) we must be involved in deep and true partnerships in which all are equal partners and where we pursuing mutually decided upon Ends giving preference to local ideas and methods.

There are many other points to be made with Statement #3 and we would love to hear them and get a good discussion going online. mike

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