Posts in “Training”
Over the past year, The Chalmers Center has made significant changes and improvements to our Work Life program. We’re excited to share these updates with you and pray that they bless your ministry. If you are not already part of the Work Life community, we hope that we might partner with you in the future!
When it comes to poverty alleviation ministry, it’s not uncommon for new volunteers to feel excited about getting involved. They can’t wait to make a difference. But if these volunteers aren’t well-prepared for the work they’re joining, over time, they will likely begin to feel overwhelmed and discouraged. They realize that there are more needs than resources and there is always something else they could do to help. Walking through deep valleys with people wrestling with material poverty, the road is often rough and the way forward isn’t always clear. These sorts of challenges are part of the reason that The Chalmers Center regularly talks about the importance of training volunteers.
You’d never guess through Tabitha’s bright smile that she was previously incarcerated. When she exited prison, she knew she needed a job, but she didn’t know where to start — because at her core, she didn’t believe she was worthy of a job.
Restore OKC is a community development organization in Oklahoma City. They’re “focused on the restoration of health, environment, reconciliation, and equity with neighbors in Northeast Oklahoma City.” For the past 6 years, Restore OKC has been committed to building relationships with the people in their community and working alongside them to bring about transformation.
Based in central Oklahoma, Branch15 was founded in 2013 to serve women in critical, life-controlling situations. Their mission has always been one of healing and restoration in the lives of their clients. Branch15’s main ministry participants have little to no support systems to address crises, which range from substance addiction to sex trafficking to abusive relationships to incarceration.
Last summer, a team from Chalmers’ long standing partner, HOPE International, visited some of the Ukrainian church partners that they had supported in the early months of the war. While encouraged by incredible stories of life-saving relief work, they also detected challenges that often accompany sustained periods of relief: overextended church leaders, dependency from recipients, and frustration from volunteers.
God’s work in the world unfolds to us in the big story of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation, and in the individual stories told in Scripture. From the Garden to Noah to Abraham to Moses to David to the promise of the Messiah to Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to the church to the New Creation, we are so often given God’s truths in narrative, not only in didactic lessons or abstract categories.
If we’re going to pursue relational poverty alleviation ministry that aims toward long-term development, one of the main outcomes we’re looking for from ministry participants is learning. We want to see the people we’re walking with learn new skills, rediscover their dignity, and grow in their capacity to navigate the complexities of life.
Chalmers is opening enrollment for our next Ambassador cohort. Anyone with strong experience in relational poverty alleviation ministry and a solid background in the core principles of When Helping Hurts is welcome to apply to get certified and join our network!