Almost a decade ago while researching the topic of codependency, I came upon the book Dead Aid by macroeconomist, Dr. Dambisa Moyo from Zambia. She contended that prolonged aid to African countries was hurting their development.
“I wish we questioned the aid model as much as we are questioning the capitalism model. Sometimes the most generous thing you can do is just say no.” - Dr. Dambisa Moyo
I heard this same idea again recently while listening to His Excellency, Paul G. Altidor, Ambassador from Haiti. He expressed appreciation for the charitable donations, siting much of it as Christian aid. After the devastating earthquake of 2010, over two million Haitians were displaced and 300,000+ died.
Ambassador Altidor went on to say, “we are now moving into the rebuilding stage as a nation... Too much of the Haitian economy has been based on international assistance. We are taking ownership of our destiny.” He appealed for partnering rather than dead aid. Christian charity, like mercy, is a starting point, but thereafter prolonged dependency stunts the growth of a nation or an individual. Click here to see the full video with Ambassador Altidor.
This is precisely the perspective Discovery Family Ministries has regarding the Opioid Crisis talking point. If churches and parents and loved ones are to make a lasting difference, we must approach the problem not just with prolonged charity, but with a vision that focuses on partnering and rebuilding.
Indiscriminate charity may make us feel better about ourselves, but that is not the aim. Start with compassion, but move on to rebuilding. Demonstrate faith in the truth enough to step back when the time is right. Otherwise two things happen: first we perpetuate an unhealthy dependency upon the source and secondly, we send a message that “you cannot make it without ME!”
Remember, Jesus was not codependent!