March/April 2020 Editorial


Christ’s Love in Action


Alliance founder A. B. Simpson lived and championed a gospel ministry model built on two essential pillars: sharing his faith and offering compassion. The roadmap for Alliance missions was drafted with this balanced blend in mind; but over time, we began to veer to one side, steering more toward verbal proclamation and less toward compassionate demonstration.

We now find ourselves in a chapter of history where balanced alignment is paramount to our success in taking all of Jesus to all the world. With a record percentage of the planet’s population either internally or externally displaced, oppressed, afflicted, or resistant to the gospel, our proclamation of the good news must reflect Christ-modeled compassion for the poor, the vulnerable, and those devastated by the violence of human conflict or the brutal force of nature.

CAMA Services, a ministry of The Alliance, was formed in the 1970s in response to the overwhelming needs created by the Vietnam War. With a vision to see lives transformed and communities restored, we continue to serve refugees, internally displaced people, victims of war and natural disaster, and those in places where poverty is systemic and crushing. Together, we in The Alliance commit to serving communities because it flows out of who we are—servants of Jesus, who did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many (Matt. 20:28).

Here are a few things we’ve learned about compassion ministry along the way:

  • Transformation begins with us. We too are broken people and need to continue growing in Christlikeness. Those we serve have much to teach us.
  • We are servants, not saviors. Often, we “do good” because it makes us feel good. We must remember we are sent by Christ and do His bidding with humility and gratitude.
  • We come as listeners and learners. Bringing solutions without first listening is often demeaning and devaluing—but engaging local people leads to local ownership and greater sustainability.
  • We partner with local churches whenever possible. They bring invaluable insights and offer a clearer, more contextualized presentation of the gospel to those within their communities.
  • We are image bearers and ambassadors. It’s always about Jesus. We identify with Him from the beginning, talk about Him often, and pray in His name whenever the opportunity arises.

In contrast to a world growing more isolationist and intolerant by the moment, may we—the Alliance family—grow each moment into a more vivid expression and broader extension of Christ’s love and compassion to communities in crisis. How better for broken people to know Jesus than through those who were broken and are now being made whole?

2 responses to Christ's Love in Action

  1. Thank you for your good article, Mike. I appreciate your challenge to love in word and deed. I would humbly like to take exception to one phase in the article. As I study Alliance history here in Burkina and elsewhere, I do not sense that Alliance IWs ever ‘steered more toward verbal proclamation and less toward compassionate demonstration.’ Here in Burkina and throughout West Africa, the vestiges of Alliance history are filled with the story of compassionate, loving care, including food distribution, well-drilling, medical clinics, schools, etc. I applaud our predecessors for their wonderful balance!

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