2020 has been a different type of year for everyone. While Abogar has slowed down, we are proud to be steadily continuing our ministry and outreach to precious children of Latin America. Please enjoy the following blog post from one of Abogar’s Board of Directors’ members, Julie Heisey, to see how we are doing so…
We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare. Slow and steady wins the race.
But does it really in our context?
In my recent role in the service industry, our team had long been used to operating with a focus on speed, not so much on the connection we profess to want to provide our customers. We had been required to focus our attention on getting things done as quickly as possible, not as graciously as possible. Yet during this time of COVID-19, we have been given a unique opportunity to slow down. Our customers want and need human interaction that slows down to ask, “How are you doing?”—and to listen to the response.
Within the field of economic development, there have long been several insightful voices speaking to the need for organizations to first ask the community what they want, and to listen to the response. The trap many of us with big hearts fall into is the desire to do something now, while it counts, before the opportunity is missed. And yes, sometimes there is a need for immediate action when disaster is what we’re facing. However, if we desire long-term impact that creates stable communities, homes, and incomes, we have to slow down to understand what each community desires.
Slowing down does not mean inaction. It means hearing to listen, asking to understand, and pausing to provide space for others’ voices.
Abogar finds itself in a unique season of listening and waiting. We are actively pausing, actively asking, and actively listening to the community. For Abogar, this community means the vulnerable children and families of Latin America. For you, the community may be different.
As we ask you to pray with us during this time, I would likewise ask you to consider where you need to pause, whom you need to listen to, and what questions you need to ask within your own context to understand the wants of others around you (not what you believe they should want). It is more difficult to listen to understand than to do what you believe needs to be done – but that is the very first step to a recovery of our communities, homes, and economies.