2. Mission, Vision, Purpose, and Principles
Christian Enablers International provides Christians in the United States (Enablers) an opportunity to understand and focus personal Christian purpose and direction by beneficially impacting foreign-country peers through international travel, leveraging talents and knowledge, partnering with foreign Christians in discipleship endeavors, and chronicling results in an experiential mission that employs individual innovation, inherited blessings, practiced talent, empathetic investment and love.
Enabler understanding and focus accrues through;
- Achieving greater appreciation for blessings received,
- Enhancing understanding of the hurdles inherited by those born to materialistically less-fortunate cultures,
- Establishing mutually-beneficial relationships with foreign-born peers,
- Partnering in discipleship,
- Sharing educational, experiential, spiritual and circumstantial personal wealth,
- Permanently chronicling, then sharing Enabler-ship experience, and
- Translating Enablers International into life-directional objectives.
Christian Enablers International’s mission involves safe foreign-culture travel whereby Enablers
- Exercise compassion through sharing of personal wealth acquired from;
- educational achievement,
- spiritual maturation, and
- circumstantial experience,
- Participate in the transference of knowledge and abilities, and
- Enable circumstantially disadvantaged peers to rise above their barriers to achievement.
The mission of Christian Enablers International is based upon the premise that the joy of giving constitutes one of the greatest pleasures a person can experience during a lifetime. It springs from an understanding of how each giver has been blessed. A full and contextual understanding will naturally stimulate an individual to leverage those blessings through a passionate and thankful response. The focus of this organization’s mission is on the giver rather than the recipient.
One’s blessings begin with the gift of life itself, especially in the context of having been born to a world and environment reflective of the sacrifices of many unsung heroes who went before us. These include parents who invested their time, resources and energies toward our maturation; and our forefathers and patriots who, many times, sacrificed their lives for our freedoms and opportunities. Thankfulness also accrues to God who gave us our life and circumstances.
It is easy to overlook the richness of one’s blessings, particularly when they constitute the norm for one’s life. Even as responsible citizens, it is easy to lack understanding and empathy for those whose circumstances have hindered their abilities to similarly enjoy life. Therefore, Christian Enablers International attempts to provide an appropriate context and depth to the development of a person’s understanding and empathy through an experiential opportunity to travel abroad. It seeks to facilitate the leveraging of each participant’s talents and knowledge into the development of peers less fortunate. These talents will have accrued from educational opportunities, spiritual maturation and environmental circumstances, each source of development having contributed strongly to a person’s citizenship make-up. An appropriate understanding and empathy also requires that each participant chronicle his experiences in order to both cement a lasting memory, but also to enable the re-telling of the adventure through both visual images and words.
Each foreign travel experience consists of three phases of involvement. These include;
- An introduction,
- A leveraging of knowledge, compassion and experience, and
- A wrap-up that allows the giver to conclude a discrete endeavor.
An appropriate introduction means that arranged relationships and experiential opportunities have already been established, whereby the Enabler is provided a structured format for establishing a personal peer-to-peer relationship as well as a teaching or participatory opportunity. It also means that the Enabler must also be appropriately prepared for the experience through training. Each Enabler’s agenda for relationship building and talent leveraging will have already been developed and honed.
The substance of each experience will consist of a program of;
- Peer-to-peer relationship development,
- Partnering with foreign peers and church groups to experientially share in Christian discipleship,
- Leveraging talent into a teaching and/or entrepreneurial development exercise, and
- Personally experiencing the culture and geographic environment in which he serves.
Christian Enablers International envisions Enabler-ship experiences whereby each contributing Enabler must wrap-up his project, leaving as a legacy an educationally improved and entrepreneurially motivated and equipped recipient of his talents and inspiration. The peer-to-peer relationship may continue, as determined by each participant, but the lessons and curriculum will conclude, much like an educational semester. Each Enabler will be required to document his experience with pictures and a journal. His objectives will be paired with results and personally graded according to level of accomplishment.
In short, each Enabler will prepare for, contribute to and achieve a life-altering experiential exercise in giving of one’s talents and abilities that will leave each with an indelible;
- Appreciation for who he is,
- Sense of discipleship engagement and fulfillment,
- Understanding of how he might want to leverage his talents through remaining adulthood, and
- Personal sense of purpose inspiration that would not have occurred absent this experience.
The cornerstone of a Christian’s life involves accepting Jesus as Lord, following his teachings and living His example. Each year, Christian churches encourage their members in discipleship. In addition, Christ commanded his disciples to love their neighbors just as they love themselves.
Christian discipleship involves living as a follower of Jesus. Generally, this means that Christians will;
- Put Jesus first in all things,
- Follow Jesus’ teachings,
- Love and encourage other disciples, and
- Share the love of Christ with others (make disciples of others).
Christian living also involves a huge amount of brotherly love. Although it begins with a love for God in response to God’s gift of salvation through Jesus; it also involves love of one’s “neighbor”.
Christian love focuses special attention on those less fortunate than one’s self. This is illustrated in the parable of the “Good Samaritan” and others.
Christian churches constantly wrestle with how to more fully engage their congregants in Christian living. Although many congregants look at Christian involvement as mainly attending church on Sundays, the church tries to supplement the regimented celebration and praise of God on Sunday with opportunities to experience;
- Love for others,
- Sharing with those less fortunate, and
- Encouraging each other in the faith.
Christian Enablers provides United States churches, and their members, an opportunity to do that. By providing an opportunity to travel abroad, to share their talents with those less fortunate, and to share Christian encouragement and love (both ways) with other Christians from other cultures, Christian Enablers provides a Christian experience that most mission trip organizers would find challenging to pull off effectively and efficiently. As an independent organization focused on mission preparation and facilitation, preparation and arranged involvement of brothers and sisters in Christ from different continents, circumstances and cultures takes on a much more spiritually powerful air.
Of course, one might immediately counter that “our church already provides an international mission experience opportunity.” Although that is sometimes true, many times it is not. Furthermore, such mission trips lack the ability to plan, arrange, and facilitate such an experience as well as an organization whose focused mission involves just that. Therefore, Christian Enablers provides a Christian mission experience opportunity that will produce a deeper and more spiritually powerful Christian involvement than could be provided by most church mission committees. By ensuring that mission trip planning, checklists, planned activity, and foreign partner sharing takes place smoothly, the discipleship, brotherly love, and sharing experience will be greatly enhanced.
Christian Enablers also provides Tanzanian churches, and their members, an opportunity parallel to that offered to US peers. Although Tanzanian residents experience life, from an economic perspective, in a much more challenging way than many US individuals, from a Christian perspective, they have much to share with their US peers. Their Christian churches teach the same message, follow the same Christ, and encourage their congregants to live discipleship just as fervently as US church peers.
Prior to any mission trip, Christian Enablers matches churches and pairs up individuals in advance. It arranges for peer to peer involvement and sharing in a strategically Christian way, so that mutual encouragement, friendship, and love are maximized, and experiences are transacted together.
Tanzanian Christians will also become givers. They will participate in the design and conduct of activities, share elements of their culture, and assist in the documentation of US Enablers during and at the conclusion of each mission trip. They will give their time, their energy, their hospitality, and their friendship in ways that a trip planned only from the US could not begin to facilitate.
Christian Enablers, as an organization, will operate in partnership. Although most marketing will be performed in the US and directed at prospective US churches and their congregants, most operations will be facilitated directly by Tanzanian entrepreneurs, trained in mission facilitation and experienced in Tanzanian cultural matters. Not only will Christian Enablers engage paired disciples from different countries; it will provide economic opportunity to those who serve as Tanzanian Christian Enabler partners. Tanzanian self-sufficiency and economic opportunity will be enhanced.
Christian Enablers aspires to operate within a Christian culture, observing Christian principles of conduct. Consistent with this emphasis, Christian Enablers operates in the context of the following:
- Compliance with Laws and Regulations – Operating in both the United States and Tanzania, Christian Enablers, as policy, and to the extent possible, as practice, will respect the laws and regulations of each country and local community in which it operates, complying with all laws and regulations.
- Ethical Standards – Establish, maintain, and adhere to high ethical standards, to be developed in the context of Christian conduct standards and the spirit of Christian charity and stewardship. Christian Enablers will respect the dignity of all people with whom it is involved, and seek to interact with all as equals under the sight of God.
- Independence – Operate independent of the church, but in cooperation and partnership with Christian churches to fulfill its own objectives, but to the extent reasonable, help achieve the objectives of such “partner” churches.
- For Profit – Seek to realize a reasonable profit in the context of the risk that it absorbs and the appropriate rewards associated with the risks that it takes on.
- Transaction Based Interaction – Pursue objectives on a transaction based premise that whatever service or product it purchases or sells, an appropriate reciprocal measure of value is paid by or returned to the company. Christian Enablers will consciously avoid all single sided “charitable” transactions and thereby will avoid unilateral giving of value to other parties. Christian Enablers will hold to the premise that one-way gestures of charity will normally accomplish more harm than good, as it inherently tends to foster dependency and a pattern of flight from responsibility, which are the antipathy of the charitable objectives under which it intends its organizing principles and purpose to direct its efforts.
- Organizing Documents – Establish and abide by organizing documents (partnership agreement(s), by-laws, policies and established procedures) as the basis for ensuring a commonality of purpose and effort.
- Community Benefit (“B” Corporation) Model Organizational Purpose – Seek to balance its profit-making primary objective with a corollary objective of providing a community benefit beyond simple profit for its owners and investors.
- Partners in Discipleship Model – Operate as a partnership of Christians, commonly seeking to walk together as Disciples of Christ, in brotherly love, and purposeful pursuit of Christian objectives.