Hello Jack, I am a graduating senior from college and I am looking to help with social change in Latin American countries after graduation. I have looked into organizations like Servant Partners and the Peace Corps because I would really like to experience this journey with other young adults who will be going through the same types of transitions. Are there any specific organizations you would recommend? Also, do you think Peace Corps is a good avenue to choose because I know that most other volunteers will not have the same faith values as I do? Thanks.
Thanks, Erin, for your note and for your vision for social change in Latin America.
1) Peace Corps: With Christian values and suppositions you may well find yourself frustrated with the Peace Corps both because of the values of your comrades as well as the ethos, patterns, and goles of the Corps itself. I'm sure you could give a private witness, but undoubtedly would not feel supported.
2) As for other organizations, here are some thoughts.
a) There are Christian Relief and Development organizations like World Vision, World Relief, and Food for the Hungry that work for development with Christian compassion. As the description implies, they both seek to rush aid to places of tragedy giving "relief," and also seek to deal with systemic issues through "development."
b) You might want to check out "Harvest" (www.harvestfoundation.org). They state their purpose:
Harvest is a ministry focused on encouraging and preparing local churches worldwide to respond fully to the directives of Jesus Christ. Our passion is to see the members of these churches witness to the love of God not only by the words they speak but also by deeds of service to others in their communities.
We teach believers to minister to needs for healing and growth in all areas of people's lives: physical, spiritual, social, and wisdom. We use the phrase “wholistic ministry” to describe this lifestyle of love in action. As churches serve, they become agents of transformation in their communities and are able to witness effectively for the advance of the Kingdom of God.
Look up their website and read their articles. Though a small organization I think they uniquely combine the need for change with helping churches catch the vision for a holistic ministry.
Blessings on you, Erin.