In School of Mission we recently spent some time exploring redemptive networking and social capital. If I could sum it up in a phrase it would be ‘its not who you know its who they know: its not what you can do its what they can do.’ We have recently experienced our own little taste of this reality.
Lorena from Albania had been taking part in School of Mission. She is a new mum with a heart and passion for youth and missions work. Her maternal responsibilities have meant that she has been much less able to engage with her team, the work and her other calling. Taking part in School of Mission from the comfort of her home had become a bit of a life line for her, providing the connection and stimulation she so desired, she appreciated exploring themes that could be applied to strengthen the work in her country. It was all working so well. And then her computer died.
We decided that it was too important to do nothing, but of ourselves the School of Mission crew had no capacity to fix the problem. So we found out how much a new laptop would be in Albania and put out the word, it was lent so we encouraged people to give up 10 coffees or 5 lunches and put the money towards a new lap top for Lorena.
The response was astounding! Even after we transferred the money for her to make the purchase, money kept pouring in! Two months later, we have raised twice the amount we needed for the lap top! That money is going to Albanian team, some of it will be used to help Lorena with payment for internet access, but they have also decided to give some of it to the South Africans so that we can purchase some good quality speakers, microphone and a webcam so they too can engage more fully with School of Mission and other web conferencing commitments they have.
I love it, Lorena and her little boy Matia (and her husband Erion of course!) now exist in the lives of countless people across the UK and Australia. As a result she has not only been able to continue with School of Mission, but she has been able to stay connected and be incredibly productive supporting the local team with writing and editing and in many other ways.