Our vision is to create a culture shift in regards to the why we understand poverty, and charity. We do through our understanding of language. We believe that the way we use words directly effects the way we think which effects the way we serve.
Here are a few standard examples
- Using the term, “Homeless People”
- Using the term, “Feeding the Homeless”
- Using the term, “homeless” to describe individuals who like in shelters, hotels, or transitional living houses.
Try looking at these examples another way
- Individuals who experience homelessness
- Sharing a meal with our friends (less fortunate).
- Describing people in poverty as unsheltered or displaced.
FRIEND YES, VOLUNTEER NO:
As we think about the concept volunteer we believe that there is minimal involvement. Through our understanding of volunteer there is transaction that ensues (Person helps individual, person gains internal rewards) instead of a transformation (Person journeys with individual, person gains physical, mental, and spiritual growth). We have decided to use the term, “Companion” because we believe in the concept of, “extended family.” We strive to build trust, loyalty, and love from these individuals so that we can celebrate their successes, milestones, and triumphs, but we also want to mourn their losses, struggles, and heartaches. We understand that this population is difficult to deal with; however where the poor is Jesus is.
Some examples of the differences between Volunteer and Companion.
REALITY vs. ACTUALITY:
Because we have chosen to journey with these individuals in real and tangible ways, we encounter the good, the bad, and the ugly of poverty. As companions we are called to offer invitation; however, we are also to offer challenge. Through our interactions and as we respect these individuals, we also expect the same respect in return.
Here are some potential situations that could possibly occur.
- Vulgar Language
- Lack of Self-Care
- Mental Illness and Uncontrollable Outburst
- Possibility of Manipulation
- Possibility that these Individuals could be under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol
As we engage these individuals be aware of your surroundings and your level of comfort.
Luke 10:25-37 ESV
And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall We do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”