by Shawn Duncan
Reflections from Our First Institute for International Development
“I never thought about it before, but I now realize that the purpose of my church’s mission efforts is to alleviate suffering. But I have seen a different mindset here. Their driving commitment is to pursue flourishing.
“We have a congregation full of dedicated, generous, and compassionate people. They give lots of time, energy, and resources to love communities facing poverty. What we are doing is easing the people’s pain, but we are not asking, ‘What would it take to see this community thrive?’”
When we heard those words, we knew that it had all been worth it.
Over the last year, we at The Lupton Center have been building a partnership with Opportunity International, Nicaragua (OI-NICA), and on May 3rd we launched our newest initiative, The Institute for International Development.
The purpose of the institute is to transform the paradigm for missions in the developing world by promoting the Community Economic Development (CED).
Offering a combination of inspiring site visits and in-depth teaching, The Institute for International Development is a three-day immersive experience in Nicaragua that exposes participants to the dramatic impact of OI-NICA’s CED work. The Institute equips participants to diagnose their own missions models and prepare for next steps in building an approach that aims at flourishing.
From supporting local leaders to establish better water infrastructure in their village, to founding a entrepreneurial high school, to creating a valid supply for the yucca plant, to building a for-profit lodge, the folks at OI-NICA are committed to seeing the people of Nicaragua flourishing. They want so much more than for the painful symptoms of poverty to be soothed. They want to disrupt the oppressive cycle of poverty and establish the infrastructure of shalom!
And it is incredible to see!
If you are interested in high quality training and education as well as an opportunity to see what a reimagined missions model looks like up close, The Institute for International Development is for you! The pilot institute was amazing, and the second one is looking even better.
If you want to join us in November for our next Institute for International Development, please reach out to the Director of the Lupton Center, Shawn Duncan.