God gave Pharaoh the dream of 7 fat cows and 7 lean cows; then God gave Jacob’s son Joseph the interpretation: 7 agricultural bountiful years and 7 years of famine (Genesis 41). Pharaoh responded by giving Jacob the opportunity to create a plan for Egypt to survive the 7 years of famine. It is clear from this biblical narrative that Jehovah Jireh (God provides) prepositioned Joseph in Egypt to save the entire family of Israel, and to fulfill prophecies about the future enslavement and subsequent deliverance of his descendants. I see how God ultimately used everything that happened to Joseph for the good of a countless number of people.
Patrick’s dissertation for his Bachelor’s Degree in Community Development is the result of a research study about why community development projects are not succeeding in Malawi and other African nations. The problem his research revealed is called “allowance syndrome.” When government, non-government organizations (NGO’s), other organizations and individuals endeavor to improve the living environment in a certain area, they give money (“allowances”) to the local leaders. This is done to encourage them to attend meetings arranged for the discussion of improvement plans. These leaders, and others, are also given allowances as an incentive to participate in the improvement project itself. Patrick’s research has clearly revealed that those who receive allowances are less interested in the project itself, but more interested in the amount of incentive money they receive. The result is that projects intended to better communities fail and living conditions remain substandard.
Like Joseph, God has revealed to Patrick a problem that is hurting His people. I believe that, like Joseph, God is going to give Patrick wisdom to implement ways free of allowances to improve living conditions in Malawi, and perhaps other nations as well.
Generous contributions to Disciplers International have enabled Patrick to get a bachelor’s Degree in Community Development, which has given him both knowledge and wisdom to improve with help from God the lives of thousands, if not millions.
Submitted by Michael Weiss