Darrow Miller and Friends

Category: Economic Development

Total 103 Posts

Want to Help the Poor? Ask the Right Question

For several generations the “social service” model defined the nature of helping the poor in the Global South and elsewhere. In this model the development industry provides relief and development “services” to aid the poor. Development workers go into poor communities and ask, “What do you need?” Then they provide

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Women Made the Transformation Possible

Earlier we have written about the Mennonites of Paraguay’s Gran Chaco. Here’s another part of this mostly untold, remarkable story: the work of the women. The unlikely success of this community of immigrants, their transformation of that hostile land, was made possible by the women. Often they were not honored

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Singapore: The Fruit of Virtuous Leadership

It’s fashionable to consider “overpopulation” as a blight on a nation’s economic prospects. Ever since Malthus, elites have soberly warned us that too many people on too little land guarantees hunger and poverty. The recent death of Lee Kuan Yew is a fitting occasion to point out how mistaken the Malthusians are. Start with too little

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Vision and Technology Turned Desolation Into Abundance

Abundance can come from the most unlikely places. In the 27 years I worked for a relief and development organization, I heard two clear messages too often: From impoverished indigenous peoples the message was, “We have no resources, we are poor and there’s nothing we can do about it.” I heard

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Commerce, Roads, and Mennonite Obedience to the Cultural Mandate

In our previous post we pointed out that community existed before the creation in the three-in-one God. Here we will pursue a further dimension of that truth as it was lived out in the Mennonite communities of the Gran Chaco. The God of community made humans to live in community, and

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Community: The Engine of Mennonite Economic Development

We wrote earlier about Edward Stoesz’s book, Like a Mustard Seed, describing the unlikely story of the Mennonites in the Gran Chaco of Paraguay. Stoesz describes nine principles that guided these immigrants in transforming a wasteland to a garden. The second of Stoesz’ principles applied by the Mennonites was Community. It was the Mennonite cooperatives that

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Another Story of Christianity Blessing China

Given the reality of Christianity blessing China, the country’s leaders would do well to give greater freedoms to their Christian churches. A recent study indicates that such freedoms would benefit the country as a whole, in real economic terms. Loosening the screws on Christians would help everyone. That’s how the story

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What is Poverty, Really?

“A lack of money.” That’s probably how most people would define poverty. But those who actually live in poverty may be more qualified to answer. If so, what might they say? A few years ago, someone from HOPE International interviewed 20 people, most of whom lived on less than $2

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The Church and Development in Paraguay’s “Green Hell”

How can a people prosper in the midst of hardship and poverty? To a large degree, the answer has to do with the connection between the church and development. If we understand the power of God’s intentions we will not be surprised that the church and development go hand in

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A Wasteland Transformed to a Garden

People often ask us, “Can you really disciple a nation? Is it really true that nations can be transformed, desolate lands can become gardens?” Our answer is a resounding “Yes!” But there’s a vital piece that must be in place, a key, if you will: God is the primary worker

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