For some of us, we serve because Jesus asked us to serve. But that still leaves the question, what is our goal while we’re serving?

Mostly, humanitarian efforts (including Christian missions) operate under this basic set of priorities:

  1. Alleviate suffering.
  2. Transform the receiver.
  3. Transform the giver.

We’ve began to suspect that God’s will in this might be exactly the reverse:

  1. Transform the giver.
  2. Transform the receiver.
  3. Alleviate suffering.

Is this real? Are we off-base with God’s intent? What’s the Word say about this?

If we’re onto something here, changing the situation in Swaziland might spring – slowly — from the transformation of our hearts. This would mean that our primary focus would be to immerse ourselves in the world of the poor in order to give God greater purchase on our hearts.  From that might flow the transformation of those we serve, which may then alleviate their poverty.  If this is right, perhaps the truest, most-effective thing we can do is to dive into relationships, sitting in the Swazi dirt, with those who are struggling.

How’s that feel? Is there a better way or a better picture of how to proceed?