Managing Expectations

Every year we get a little bit older as a ministry, someone will {nicely} ask us, so… is Roots & Wings successful?

It’s an important question. And one we must constantly consider. IS Roots & Wings’ a success? Are we accomplishing our mission?

Are children being empowered? Are families growing stronger?

We sometimes wish we could peek into the future. Where will these children be 10 years from now? 20 years from now?

One thing about this mission that we do, is that we are in a state of constant learning that just goes on and on and on. Beyond the learning, and more importantly, is the deeper understanding that comes along with learning.

For example, one thing we have learned is balanced giving. In other words, we have to be careful to not give too much and we have to be careful to give the right things. But the  understanding is in why.

The reality is that we cannot create an environment for the children in which they experience a life that is too many steps above what they could reasonably expect their lives to be as adults within their own communities. Neither can we raise them to believe that there will always be a (perceived) rich, kind benefactor to come to their rescue. The shock and disappointment they would experience as they grow up would be devastating.

At the same time, we cannot leave them in the struggling state in which they exist or nothing will ever change.

We have to carefully manage our expectations – and theirs.

The balance is critical and something we work very hard at. We want them to have the tools they need to change the things that cause there to be neglected or abandoned children in the first place. We want to break the cycle.

So we give them food and quality care. We give them an education and life skills. We give them God’s word and instruction. We give them love.

Our mission and task are not to give them the false belief that their community and circumstances will suddenly transform into that of suburban USA. It’s not realistic, and really, it’s not what’s important.

If all they ever gain from what we do is far more basic, we have done our job.

If they grow to adulthood knowing that they are loved by us and loved by God, we are doing our job.

If they grow up with an education and skills that allow them to bring home enough to feed their family for five days instead of one, we have done our job.

If they have adequate shelter and know how to raise their own children to love God and one another, we have done our job.

If we teach them the way to salvation, we have done our job.

If we lift them up just a little bit above that which causes them to suffer, and set the stage for gradual, generational improvement that is sustainable, we have done our job.

As we begin year number FIVE, we know we still have so much to learn. So much more to understand. But know now more than ever that God’s purpose for Roots & Wings is being accomplished, and we are thankful for the opportunity to serve Him through serving these precious children.

And as always, we want to give you the opportunity to join us too.