The 410 Bridge:
The 410 Bridge is a community development agency that empowers people to use their gifts to faithfully serve and administer God’s grace to create lasting life change.
The 410 Bridge is the primary ministry partner coordinating efforts in Kiu Kenya. The 410 Bridge is a unique ministry that works outside the traditional 3 (1- a full time missionary 2- direct support of a single indigenous pastor 3- western owned and run “mission”). They work with local leaders and pastors to form a Leadership Council that leads 410 into the community’s own vision for spiritual and physical development. They disciple and coach all the pastors in the community together bringing community transformation that will last long after The 410 Bridge leaves. The majority of 410’s staff are Kenyan, Haitian, and Ugandan and no American from 410 lives full time in any of their partner communities.
Creating Lasting Relationships:
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms 1 Peter 4:10
A Guiding Principle...
PULL VS PUSH
Have you ever tried to push a rope? Sometimes we'll bring a rope to meetings with new community leaders. We'll put the rope on a table in the middle of the room so everyone can see it and just let it sit there. The conversation begins and we talk about assets, needs, priorities, etc...We'll talk about their vision for their community...How they measure success...Where they want to go... It's pretty cool.
Soon the discussion turns to what it means to be a 410 Bridge community. What are their responsibilities? What are ours?
That's when the rope comes off the table.
Many western organizations, doing really good work, have their particular idea or solution. It could be anything from a water filtration system to a micro-enterprise idea. Whatever it is, they're good at it and they want to do it anywhere in the world they can. Unfortunately, sometimes they have a tendency, albeit well intended, to 'push' their solution onto the people they serve, often without asking if the solution is really needed or a priority. Our approach is fundamentally different. It's like the rope.
Back to the meeting... We'll give one end of the rope to a community leader and we'll hang on to the other end. We'll walk away until the rope is fully extended then explain that if 410 were to try and push them with the rope, we wouldn't go very far. "But," we say "if you PULL us, provided you know where you're going, and provided we want to follow... we can go a long way together." Heads nod.
So that, in a nutshell, is one of our guiding principles. Don't Push. Be pulled.
The downside is that it takes longer. It doesn't go exactly as we would have planned it and we'd probably do it differently than they would. But they own the solutions... they believe in it... they're accountable for it... and therefore it's more likely to be sustained without us being there - which is exactly what we want.
- Kurt Kandler
To learn more visit www.410bridge.org