Welcome to familiesforafrica.org. Families for Africa are ordinary families serving in ordinary ways to bring extraordinary change to Africa.
We’re convinced that
One family can make a difference in an African life, an African family, an African village.
One thousand families can help a country.
One hundred thousand families can help save a continent.
At the same time, we believe that Africa can bring extraordinary changes to your family. We were created to care, to love our neighbors–both near and far. Jesus may the astonishing and counterintuitive claim that those who give their lives for others actually get more in return. Jesus said, “Those who want to save their lives will lose them, but those who lose their lives for me and the good news of my kingdom will save them (Mark 8:35). As we seek to bring change to places like Africa, we ourselves are changed. As we help heal, we are healed. As we help develop, we are developed. On and on.
Today is a strategic time to engage in Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, faces profound challenges. You and your family can make a difference.
Families for Africa is committed to following guiding principles:
- Relationships First–we realize that everything good that happens has relationships at the core.
- Humility–we come as people in need to people in need.
- Listening and Learning–we don’t come with solutions, we come to listen and learn.
- Development–we not interested in giving “hand-outs”, we’re committed to giving a “hand-up”. Development has a higher priority than charity.
- Sustainability–we want to find solutions with others that are sustainable, that result in real spiritual and socio-economic change.
Families for Africa has developed the following, evolving strategy:
- Adopt a Country: We suggest first that you chose a country–one that will be your family’s country. Adopt it as a family without any expectations, without any strings attached. It is simply your country. You are simply putting that country on the family’s radar screen (or refrigerator).
- Form a Connection: As you listen and learn about your country, look to form some kind of personal connection. Begin to build some relationships with individuals either from the country or serving in the country (e.g. missionaries, Peace Corps, etc.) Sponsor some children thru Compassion or World Vision or COTN. You’ll probably want to plan a visit to your country. When you do, look to listen and learn. Build some relationships with new friends and families in your country.
- Realize Your Contribution: We convinced that God has given members of your family particular passions, even assignments. As you get to know your country, build relationships, etc., begin to look for ways your “greatest passions intersected with your country’s greatest needs.” Probe ways in which you can make a contribution in that passion/need nexus.
- Invest in Change: Don’t forget that sustainable development and real change is the goal. You’ll have to be smart. Trillions of dollars have been poured into Africa and have brought little to no real change. As you discover needs, don’t rush to solve the problem with a quick fix. Study the problem, learn from Africans what works, invest in people and organizations you know and trust, look for real results–not just anecdotes. This is where it gets hard. Accept that, go slow, rejoice in little victories.
- Advance the Cause: Spread the word about what’s happening in your family as you engage in Africa. Recruit other families to adopt a country. As this effort multiplies, take some effort to know other families who have adopted your country as well. Share ideas, networks, etc.
Start the Learning Process:
To bring real creative change to Africa, you and I and our families need to get smart on this whole process of engagement. At the bottom right are some videos worth watching. I’ll continue compiling this video course in making a difference, in changing the world. Most of these videos are from TED Talks–a great resource. Let me know of any videos you find that I can add to our course.
Begin reading as well. I’ve selected an array of books that I’m reading here. Send me any books you’ve found helpful and I’ll post those as well. Several of the books address specific issues in Africa, others highlight ways of changing the world, still others deal with the theology behind Kingdom efforts that encompass a balance between words and deeds.