Making decisions are not always easy-but usually when we make them we are making them for ourselves. What should I do in this situation or how will this impact ME? I think if we are honest with ourselves we rarely make a decision based on others-maybe based on our families-but rarely on other people that are not related to us. Recently, as I sat in on a CMP/HOPE training-I listened to our awesome facilitator, Cedric, teaching local pastors on how to best help their communities. They were talking about farming-and the work that goes with it-Cedric asked "why don't we work at our farm to help others?" One of the pastors replied "Because we are lazy!" I had to snicker a little at his honest and yet sad answer! How many of us could say the same thing? Yes, I could replace the toilet roll for the next person-but I am too lazy -so they can do it! (A point of tension in the Kauffeldt household...:). After we all had a little chuckle, Cedric continued to teach-empowering these pastors with knowledge on not only how to make a good decision for others but why we want to make good decisions for our communities-to be the hands and feet of Jesus!
These pastors along with community leaders, will decide how best to address their communities water issues or how best to use unused land for agriculture. They will hopefully make decisions based on what is best for their community not what is best for them as an individual. The process evolves from "What should I do for me?" to "What should WE do for all of US?" I love how as the training goes on the mindset of the trainees starts to shift-taking their eyes of themselves and looking at their communities needs instead.
Facilitator Exekiel-teaching some local pastors and community leaders
Our Executive Director of SP UK, Simon Barrington, has been visiting us recently-and I got to take him up to Foya where he could see first hand the CMP projects that we are doing. We got to see the cassava farm mentioned last week, latrines and a new protected spring that a community is working on. He also was in this training and had an opportunity to greet and encourage the pastors in the work that they are doing.
Simon greeting and encouraging our group
It has been great having Simon here-his wife and daughter came to Liberia in 2008, and the last time Simon was here was in 2005 (we think:). So a lot has changed at our office and in Liberia. The SPUK office has been a vital support to our office-assisting in many of our WASH projects, CLP/literacy and now with our CMP program. We love the SPUK office, not just because they bring us cadbury's chocolate and treats, but for all the work they do on our behalf (like organizing me being in the marathon!) so we can continue our work here in Liberia.
Last summer I was faced with a decision when I was asked to run the London marathon again. It took me all of a few seconds and thoughts of why I run to say-"Yes". Every training day I have to decide whether to run or not-trust me some days this is a painful decision. Last year in a blog entry I talked about the '3 D's' of exercise-determination, diet and discipline. I would add to that list decision-in fact I would make it the first 'D'. Because before anything you have to decide whether or not to start exercising, then you can be determined, and watch your diet and be discipline to put the work in. The first step is the decision.
For me, the decision was easy-because it wasn't about me or for me-it was for others. For the amazing people I get to meet, hug, shake hands with and talk with everyday. When we look past ourselves-it's amazing how much easier making decisions can be. This is what the CMP program is about-making a decision to move a community from ME to WE!