CRAI

 

ABSTRACT
“Fruitful existence will enable creatures claiming and celebrating the image of God to move into “dying” communities, relationships and people and release life to bring forth life.” Dr. John Kenney
C D Johnson

 

The Gospel is more than words about Jesus, it is something tangible and I am compelled to learn how to make that a more practical reality.

Not long after my first missionary adventure, I read with new eyes and a new heart, an article by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stating,

“All I'm saying is simply this, that all life is interrelated, that somehow, we're caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”

This thought helped us see that it was through community that our goals could be realized. So, our logo symbolizes that very idea, “we are community.” I resolved to explore various ways in which to empower the marginalized through the development of community or relationships that allow for new networks of purposeful relations. Through faith and integrity, a new life can be realized for any number of people in diverse places with a little effort and an old rule of the road, be honest.

How we view the inter-relationships and processes that can produce a positive result is as follows. I will use the basic life cycle of a tree to frame my thoughts, from seed to fruit.

The seed

A tree grows in ways that are holistic and most importantly, sustainable. Sustainability is the real goal. Yet life requires that for a system to continue, it must become self-sustaining within its own environment. With this understanding, sustainable solutions are not always possible. But sometimes they can be teased out from difficult situations.

To be clear, we view suitable ministries as those projects that can have sufficient resources around them to create a viable environment. This is the objective of Community Life International Mission Agency (CLIMA; [klee-ma]). It should not matter whether the project in question is domestic or foreign or a combination thereof. ...

read more

To be clear, we view suitable ministries as those projects that can have sufficient resources around them to create a viable environment. This is the objective of Community Life International Mission Agency (CLIMA; [klee-ma]). It should not matter whether the project in question is domestic or foreign or a combination thereof. #We believe we can and have already demonstrated the viability of our approach. In Matthew 13:18-23, Jesus explains the meaning of the Parable of the Sower in which the seed, as the Word of God, is spread over differing soils or contexts of life. There are corresponding results for each soil condition. In picturing a favorable environment as “good ground,” exponential growth was a consequence of its ability to thrive within its environment.

read less

A tree thrives when it can create a system whereby its existence becomes an engine for continuance. It comes alive and seeks to remain alive in the face of denial. The seed is the embodiment of faith and contains all that the tree needs as far as structural potential is concerned. But the tree is put to the test daily. Through good days and bad, the engine resists denial and potentials struggle to be expressed. You can say that the seed foresees the fruit. What the tree becomes will emerge out of what the seed provides.

This is true of the Word of God and it is true of life in general. It is also true of economic engines. There must be a perceived need that embodies the possibility of fulfillment. CLIMA represents that aspect of our work that goes out to serve, to observe, to evaluate potentials and to find a seed of hope. There is “good news” if it can be grasped and believed.

The trunk and roots:

pictures what Community Resource Associates Inc. (CRAi) does with the seed and soil. It seeks to create viable systems through which resources can be processed for continuance....

read more

The trunk and roots:

pictures what Community Resource Associates Inc. (CRAi) does with the seed and soil. It seeks to create viable systems through which resources can be processed for continuance. #The roots and the trunk are the engine through which life is sustained. Nutrition from the soil, plus sunlight and water dance together. The systems employed by roots and trunk become a factory for life. The reoccurring routines are its strength to strive and survive. The two systems, the observed possibility and CRAi work synergistically to encourage sustainable processes that will ultimately produce a fruit.

read less

On my first missionary journey, in the place where we domiciled, there was a meeting hall. Outside of the hall, was an open space or square. The surrounding forest was dense and the trees extremely tall. There was a tree that had been growing in the shade of taller trees. It’s path of growth was not straight, it grew horizontally in its seeking for direct sunlight, reaching toward the light. Upon reaching a place where it found the sun, it began to grow more directly upward. Every success is neither short nor straight, sometimes angles must be employed. CRAi can identify what angles can be employed to reach success, what processes are sustainable. Survival requires sustainable resources.

The parable of the Sower assumes that soils are unchanging. This is done because the parable is not about botany, it is about people and what they believe about themselves and the world around them. <>

read more

On my first missionary journey, in the place where we domiciled, there was a meeting hall. Outside of the hall, was an open space or square. The surrounding forest was dense and the trees extremely tall. There was a tree that had been growing in the shade of taller trees. It’s path of growth was not straight, it grew horizontally in its seeking for direct sunlight, reaching toward the light. Upon reaching a place where it found the sun, it began to grow more directly upward. Every success is neither short nor straight, sometimes angles must be employed. CRAi can identify what angles can be employed to reach success, what processes are sustainable. Survival requires sustainable resources.

The parable of the Sower assumes that soils are unchanging. This is done because the parable is not about botany, it is about people and what they believe about themselves and the world around them. #The parable tells the story of what faith can do when allotted certain conditions. This is a fundamental biblical truth and a reality in life, without persistent belief in a goal, it is not likely the goal will be realized. In Genesis 1:28, the first instruction God gave to Adam and Eve was to “be fruitful and multiply.” Dr. John Kenney of Virginia Union University best explains the text’s meaning in a writing entitled, “Living for Giving.”

“Fruitfulness is breathing life and offering light to those places where the powers of death and darkness have staked a claim. ‘Be fruitful’ is the original command and you shall be known by your fruit. Fruitful existence will enable creatures claiming and celebrating the image of God to move into “dying” communities, relationships and people and release life to bring forth life.”

read less

The limbs, the leaves and the fruit:

In the final phase, we aim for fruit as evidence the processes in place have succeeded; if both the initial vision and the structures designed for their emergence are working. The seed foresees the fruit and the root and trunk are designed for the manifestation of that fruit. Success should appear progressively.

 alt tag

read more

The limbs, the leaves and the fruit:

In the final phase, we aim for fruit as evidence the processes in place have succeeded; if both the initial vision and the structures designed for their emergence are working. The seed foresees the fruit and the root and trunk are designed for the manifestation of that fruit. Success should appear progressively.

 alt tag#The CRAi logo comes from the Soursop (Graviola) Tree. It was chosen because it reflects the characteristics described above. It is predictable, hardy in its ability to thrive in challenging environments. It can be cultivated. It produces beautiful blooms and a succulent tasty fruit. The fruit grows large, up to a foot (.305 m) in length with many seeds inside. Its leaves have healing properties for human life and therefore reflects all that our ambitions entail. To fulfill our motto; “what’s good for everybody, is good for everybody.” This is realizing what the Kingdom of God embodies, good news for all.

read less

In our home mission’s ambitions…

We believe that in the 21st century, missions must engage the whole person and the community that they represent must become the target and not just the theological ideal of a confession of faith. There is room for confession through the ministry of a caring-leadership toward realizing the Gospel as a tangible reality. We see the opportunity for ministry unfolds out of addressing the basic needs of the community to prepare the way for development. We see development unfolding from a milieu of converging operations done in a synchronistic fashion.

• First is the need for any community to appreciate that organization is a fundamental prerequisite for...

read more

In our home mission’s ambitions…

We believe that in the 21st century, missions must engage the whole person and the community that they represent must become the target and not just the theological ideal of a confession of faith. There is room for confession through the ministry of a caring-leadership toward realizing the Gospel as a tangible reality. We see the opportunity for ministry unfolds out of addressing the basic needs of the community to prepare the way for development. We see development unfolding from a milieu of converging operations done in a synchronistic fashion.

• First is the need for any community to appreciate that organization is a fundamental prerequisite for development. #This is not to be understood as having an ideal state but is rather an ongoing process with a life of its own. The processes of creating a system of communication that ebbs and flows, back and forth, in and out. Communication is like blood to the body, if it does not flow continually, the body dies. So, to with communities.

read less

• Second, security from the community’s point of view must become a priority. Those elements that disrupt a peaceful environment must be understood as obstacles to development and expansion of opportunity. ...

read more

• Second, security from the community’s point of view must become a priority. Those elements that disrupt a peaceful environment must be understood as obstacles to development and expansion of opportunity. #In the absence of building a culture of peace and predictability, there will be no business creation nor stability in the community. For a person to take a walk after dark, to utilize a local park without fear of molestation or for a local merchant to not be afraid of being robbed is fundamental.

read less

• Third is the necessity for there to be discussion about education within the community. ...

read more

• Third is the necessity for there to be discussion about education within the community. #Education is such an important issue and cannot be delegated to anyone not in dialogue with the community in which they are working. According to the model of how education is accomplished in America, it is exceedingly expensive. But there are other avenues to create a positive impact on the culture of education in any given community.

read less

• Fourth is the area of community assets. Every community has somethings of value that make them special and unique. ...

read more

• Fourth is the area of community assets. Every community has somethings of value that make them special and unique. #Each community should identify and celebrate its assets. This should be a avenue of pride and improvement.

read less

• Fifth and last of primary concern is the need for economic development. ...

read more

• Fifth and last of primary concern is the need for economic development. #An oftentimes ignored model of economic development, one that has a very positive history. This approach to enterprise creation places the decision making for a business in the hands of the workers rather than an owner outside of the community or the board of a corporation. It is democratic in principle and application. This requires a different approach, but an effective one. This requires of the business is shared by the members of the co-op.

read less

How will we accomplish these things? We will…

• Communicate effectively the Community Life international mission, values and approach to facilitate development towards the well-being of the communities involved.
• Seek to appreciate the contexts, the stakeholders and the dynamics involved. To recognize potentials for capacity building.
• Build strong and diverse relationships within partner communities, actively learning and understanding their realities.
• Facilitate community organization to network and connect with relevant stakeholders and partners in an integrated and efficient manner.
• Contextualize the roles of Churches in transformational community development.

Our Partners : alt tag

* Missions Sustainability in Africa, Philemon K. Kimetai, CEO (an NGO)
* jRand Travel Agency Minister Harriett Rand, Owner
* Faith Covenant Academy, Home School of Huntsville, Alabama, Harriett Rand, Administrator/Director
* WHCB Radio of Blountville, Tennessee, Rev. Kenneth Hill, Owner/Operator.
* The North American School of Theology of Knoxville, TN
* Virgin Island Missions, Dr. Bentley Thomas, Founder and CEO, St. Thomas, V.I.
* The Scholarship, Apologetics, Fellowship and Evangelism (SAFE) Conference
* The Tennessee Missionary and Educational Baptist Convention
* Beyond Now Inc. (a youth mentorship program)
* SEED International, Beverly Linkous, Director of Operations
* Fresh Green Moringa Products, Nigeria, Gideon Akonde, CEO

Our Community Resource Associate Partners:

* Pure One Environmental, Inc.
* Beyond Benefits Insurance Co.
* JOSEPH RAINES & ASSOC. PC/CPAs & Financial Planners
Philadelphia, PA
* BMI & Associates, LLC , Beverly Iseghohi, JD, Atlanta, GA
* Pure One Environmental, Inc., Jim Jordan, CEO
* Keffi Risk Management; Financial Consultants
* Direct – Action – Research – Training (DART)
* Dr. Imani Kai Johnson, PhD. (Editorial Consultation) University California at Riverside, CA
* Dr. T. Hasan Johnson, PhD. (History Consultation) University California at Fresno, CA
* By His Power Ministries, Marketing Development & * Smartnet; Project Management Consultation, Archie Smart, Developer

Our most staunch supporters:

* The Bethel District Baptist Missionary and Educational Association
* Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, Johnson City, TN
* Castles of Choice, Knoxville, TN
* Dr. & Mrs. Randy Huffines, DDS
* Dr. & Mrs. Calvin J. Johnson, MD
* Oak Valley Missionary Baptist Church, Missions Committee, Oakridge, TN
* Dr. & Mrs. Hardil Thomas, D. Min, EDD
* Rev. & Mrs. Archie Smart
* Rev. & Mrs. Marc Aples
*New Community Life Church, Johnson City, TN; Rev. Aaron T. Murphy, Pastor


Some organizations we have worked with:

* Help Undiagnosed Children Foundation, Arcadia, CA
* Kapsowar Missionary Hospital, Kapsowar, Kenya
* NASOT: The National Baptist Convention, Kenya
* NASOT: The National Baptist Convention, Uganda

Learn More and Visit Our Marketplace