Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Partnership in helping strategies
by Charles Ringma

Seeing that we have limitations, it is at time appropriate to refer someone elsewhere whom we are seeking to help. But this referring people on occurs so frequently that it is a matter of concern and could reflect something of the fragmentation that exists in the human services.

But there may also be some deeper reasons why this occurs. Henri Nouwen probes one such reason. He notes that 'sometimes our referral to others is more a sign of fear to face the pain than a signe of care'. Fear may take many forms. We may also affected by the fear of our own inadequacies. We may readily think that a particular problem is too much for us.

To overcome these hindrances in us, we can adopt several important strategies. The first is that the step of referral can be changed to joining with others. In other words, we don't pass the person on to someone else: we simply invite others to join us in those areas where we clearly lack expertise.

Secondly, we should convert the role of expert and helper to 'companion in the journey'. The role of expert readily contains the expectation of a quick fix and such an expectation should rightly overwhelm us. The role of 'companion in the journey', while it offers help, also offers friendship and stresses mutuality rather than that everything should come from the helper.


In our faith-journey, we should ways be open to what God wants us to do...and be ready for the people He faithfully brings into our lives.

The above expression of the author speaks strongly to us and our leadership role in the lives of others. While at times we don't know what to do with certain situations, we tend to just pass on the problem to others instead of facing it on our own. At times we think that others can speak better, counsel better, convinced better, even in our behalf... but as we reflect on, we should just see them as our guides...and yes, "our journey companions" for they take a different role given by the Lord. We have to be responsible with our own turf.

I thank God that in my years of ministry, He is always teaching me a better way to handle things and a better view of looking at things... thus widens my understanding of His works.

I thank God for those people who helped me through as I commit myself in serving others. They provided God's wisdom and understanding on how I should manage things and events that happened, even in my personal life.