Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Brad, Angelina and Theologians Without Borders

Is Theologians Without Borders yet another variation of dressing up the travel bug in an attractive religious guise?

A recent LA Times article, Tourists Go Extra Mile to Do Good, offers some reasons for the frenzy of activity in which people are using their holidays not to blob out on the beach but to build a house in Fiji with Habitat with Humanity or visit a refugee camp in Thailand.

It suggests that Brad and Angelina can be blamed for making do-gooding in orphanages a glamorous way to spend your holiday.

It postulates that the rise in retirees, heading off to distant lands with their work tools, is Tsunami driven. Writing out a cheque and sending the money seems boring compared with rolling up your sleeves and then seeing the look of satisfaction on people’s faces.

Whatever the causes, new travel groups and web sites are springing up to cater for the rise in religious or humanitarian travel. Those seeking to fly the second mile.

Theologians Without Borders is a volunteer movement with a new name. It is designed to match people possessing special skills with those wanting to benefit from their teaching.

The vision of TWB is not new. It is simply another short term expression of the mandate to minister in ever-increasing circles. It is another way of putting up a Macedonian megaphone to the lips of those who are saying today, ‘Come over and help us?’

The droves that are following in the footsteps and plane seats of Angelina and Brad give us a good reason to ask why we are doing it.

Geoff Pound

Image: Brad, Angelina and friends.