Mind, Heart, and Soul in the Fight against Poverty

By Katherine Marshall; Lucy Keough | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 23
Toward Conclusions
Covenants for Action

“All of life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of
mutuality, tied to a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one
directly affects all indirectly.”

—Martin Luther King Jr.1

Development is a complex process. For decades practitioners of varied backgrounds—from traditional development institutions to an array of faith communities and nongovernmental organizations, from large multilateral agencies to small grassroots groups and private institutions and individuals—have struggled to deepen our understanding of the kaleidoscope of factors that explain success stories and account for disappointments. Despite many noteworthy examples of success, there is, sadly, no set recipe, no silver bullet. What is incontrovertible, however, is the vital need for all participants to develop better listening and learning skills, to engage in wider partnerships, and to embrace new ideas and perspectives. As institutions, and as individuals, we need more humility, more patience, and greater understanding.

Given these needs, what observations can we draw from existing collaborative efforts between development and faith institutions, whether working to improve the quality of human life or advocating for peace? This volume highlights lessons from the breadth and depth of these joint efforts.

The stories illustrate the vast experience of faith communities across an array of sectors, from direct work with poor communities as critical providers of health and education, to vital roles in the Herculean struggle against the scourge of HIV/AIDS, to long-standing service as mediators of

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