Hope Global Blog

6 steps to finding your humanitarian voice

The HOPE Team - Monday, August 21, 2017


"And then I heard the voice of the Master: Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?”  I SPOKE up, “I’ll go. Send me!” - Isaiah 6:8 

Finding your humanitarian voice is like the journey of a contestant on a tv talent shows. It’s been suggested that these shows are so popular because viewers are watching someone vulnerable, who through their voice could change their life with one audition. Finding our humanitarian voice is a little like this - we have a voice inside wanting to be heard. On a talent show, the sound of a great voice has the potential to change one life - the voice of the one singing. The humanitarian voice, however, has far greater potential. It has the power to change not just ONE life, but the life of MANY.

SO WHAT EXACTLY IS THIS HUMANITARIAN VOICE? 

Firstly, it’s a voice MOTIVATED by a commitment to walking with the Lord, to love mercy and see justice done. (Micah 6:8)

Secondly, it’s one that speaks with PURPOSE, Speaking up, speaking out and speaking on behalf of others, defending the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9) 

Thirdly, it's EFFECT is the great “ instead of” described in Isaiah 61 - freedom instead of captivity, sight instead of blindness, oil of joy instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

It’s a voice that acts out of concern for human welfare, with a desire to right wrongs, relieve human suffering and maintain human dignity. Above all else, it carries the sound of HOPE as it seeks to bring change for the better in the life of others.


THE 6 STEPS TO FINDING YOUR VOICE:

  1. Recognise that your humanitarian voice is unique and important and needs to be heard. Don’t limit yourself to what others are doing. Identify the unique gifts and talents God has placed in you as a church or individual. Articulate what you value, what frustrates you and what you dream about. The place where your talents, hopes, dreams and frustrations intersect is the place you will find your unique humanitarian voice and the corresponding response.
  2. Test your voice. This is like going for an audition. Consider who is listening - build relationships in the area you wish to serve. Relationships position us for opportunity and favour. Consider where your voice will be heard. There are needs we can serve not only in developing nations but in our local neighbourhood. If you are human you need hope!
  3. Decide if you will go solo or join the choir. There is a need for both individual and corporate voices such as churches. When we respond individually, we have the capacity to respond quickly and specifically - for example neighbour to neighbour or colleague to colleague. The group voice, however, allows us to raise our voice bringing greater impact, resources and longevity to what we are doing.
  4. Acknowledge that you have something to say. Sometimes the problems we see around us can seem too complex. It’s tempting to leave it to the experts. But we all have something we can do today that will bring hope - we can pray, volunteer, donate or sign a petition.
  5. Recognise that you have a beautiful voice. As Christians when we utilise our humanitarian voice we sing to the tune of faith, hope and love. Our voice has the capacity to move and transform others from despair into hope. Even if we are not specifically sharing the gospel we can minister through our actions, the presence of God with us and the overflow of hope, joy, and peace in our lives.
  6. Cultivate an enduring voice. Ideally, the humanitarian voice is not a one hit wonder. If you are part of a church, consider how your humanitarian or missions responses can become part of who you are, not just what you do. Aim for a humanitarian heart, not a humanitarian arm.

- Wendy Folland, Missions at HOPEUC