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‘When Helping Hurts:’ International Ministries Host Symposium on Unhealthy Dependence on Foreign Resources by Indigenous Groups

CARY, NC, March 17, 2011 – Christians in America are known worldwide for financial generosity, but sometimes “helping hurts” and actually hinders the work of the Gospel.  Such was the focus of “Unhealthy Dependency to Faith Reliance,” a symposium to generate solutions on issues surrounding financial dependency in developing countries, co-sponsored recently by Christian ministries TWR International and HCJB Global.

Discussion topics at the two-day event ranged from indigenous funding and resource mobilization to finding ways for U.S.-based ministries to work together going forward. 

“Unhealthy dependence has been the ‘elephant in the room’ far too long,” said Brett Elder, director of collaborative initiatives for Acton Institute of Grand Rapids, Mich. “It is important to learn alongside others who share a passion for the global church – those not simply acting on good intentions, but committed to apply sound economic and biblical principles that foster health and flourishing of the church around the world.”

Featured presenters included Rob Martin of First Fruit Institute and Lausanne Committee senior associate for Global Philanthropy; Dr. Brian Fikkert of the Chalmers Center for Economic Development and co-author of the book “When Helping Hurts;” Doug Seebeck, co-author of “My Business, My Mission” and executive director of Partners Worldwide; Jean Johnson of World Mission Associates and other ministry leaders from various Christian organizations.

Participants collectively discussed ways to overcome existing barriers. Possible solutions: creating more faith reliance-centric resources, repenting of previous donor-relations practices, sharing best practices and engaging more pastors and leaders worldwide.

TWR and HCJB Global are considering a joint project that will further model their commitment to partnership and healthy interdependency in global outreach. Additionally, the organizations plan to facilitate an event like the symposium again in 2012.

For more about the global generosity network initiative, visit To join the generosity movement, sign up at

Speaking fluently in more than 200 languages and dialects, TWR exists to reach the world for Jesus Christ. TWR’s global media outreach engages millions in 160 countries with biblical truth. Since 1952, God has enabled TWR to help lead people from doubt to decision to discipleship.

For 80 years, HCJB Global’s passion has been to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Using mass media, healthcare and education, and working with partners around the world, HCJB Global has ministries in more than 100 countries. The Gospel is aired in more than 120 languages and dialects. Thousands of healthcare patients are meeting Jesus. Local believers are being trained as missionaries, pastors, broadcasters and healthcare providers.