The two main themes this week were about social science and following God’s design for your life. Most of us who don’t like science hasn’t encountered the world of social science. It is the study of human society and social relationships. It also includes business-related topics such as economics.
The first two days we looked at how science is not valued in certain worldviews. Derek mentioned the example Allan Robbins encountered. The villagers blamed their sickness on witches flying through and biting them on the neck. After a week of learning about germs, their effects and the prevention, the villager’s worldview hadn’t changed, they still believed that sickness was from the witches.
When it came to the questions of how did I get here, who is in charge, what happens when I die and what is my purpose, the one that satisfied all those the best still lay with the Judeo/Christian worldview. The major change has been that the world’s view of right and wrong has changed drastically. When society said it was the right thing or wrong thing to do, in the past more people honored that concept than seen today, where your own idea of right and wrong trumps what has been set in motion before, sometimes for hundreds of years. Your personal morality is more important than what nations or societies have already determined and enforced. This post-modern view will eventually curtail the progress we’ve seen in science.
Derek also emphasized the part you play in God’s kingdom is related to what you personally get excited about. When that meshes with what you are good at, that is a way to understand God’s plan and purpose for you.
Derek also explained FEWS as a course that gives the students tools to enhance a community that is struggling with food insecurity or water problems.
I liked the SWOT analysis. This tool looks at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for an individual, business, or ministry. This will take more time than we had in class, but getting into this analysis helped put into writing some of the needs of the upcoming ministry opportunity that I have in mind.
The best part was hearing the stories from around the nations, what Derek or his friends encountered while training, or helping a community get started or to advance them further than where they were at. Learning to listen to the community and do as they ask was a key in this, to listen and involve the nationals so they take ownership. Jefferson talked about a team having the task of burying the AIDS patients for a year before they gained the trust of the community to move to the next phase. This is true long-term work, and I’m realizing just how much that instant gratification has a terrible influence on our minds and we need to break free of it. I’m grateful for this week’s teaching.