Lois M. Tupyi has been the Executive Director of Love INC in Treasure Valley, Idaho, since 1999. She wrote a paper called “The Defining Difference” in Love INC, explaining that most agencies and many churches focus on the need requested when someone ap- proaches for assistance, while Love INC does not. Love INC focuses on the whole person.
From her paper and her years of experience helping people in need, came the book, “Redemptive Compassion” comprised of six training sessions, case studies of those in need. Training for teachers, mentors and volunteers is scheduled for 90 minutes, once a week over a six week period. The sessions are taught with a combination of workbook materials, short video presentations from Lois Tupyi herself, along with trained facilitators making this experience both exciting and fulfilling.
At the end of the sessions, volunteers understand the strategy and philosophy of Love INC. Redemptive Compassion helps wrestle with the biblical philosophy of truly helping others versus enabling others. Over the years, Lois says, as she worked with more and more people in need, she began to see a reality that confused and saddened her, questioning:
"How could such good intentions have become so ineffective and destructive? With so many entities, organizations and individuals attempting to help people in need, why did the commonly used methods seem so ineffective in reducing or alleviating ongoing need for those served? Could this crippling lifestyle that thousands of individuals and families were trapped in be all God had planned for them? Or had something sabotaged their future hopes, replacing them with indifference and complacency, which fostered a sense of entitlement and bleak acceptance of what appeared to be their destiny? Why have our good intentions produced such devastating results?" 1
In preparing to write Redemptive Compassion, she reread the complete Bible pulling out and categorizing every Scripture that referred to need, healing and wholeness in life. She says,
It is important to me that each concept be supported with Scripture so it can be prayerfully and earnestly studied,discerning what God says on the subject.
“What could change in our nation and around the world if we changed how we address need so that it changed the lives and future of those we serve?”2
Love INC believes that rather than sustaining people in need, we desire to help them reach their full potential in Christ. The danger of pure charity is we can meet a need but ignore the person. Is it enough to meet a specific need but leave the person living in a state of need? Redemptive Compassion has six core principles:
- See everyone’s value.
- Invest relationally in others.
- Help everyone achieve their God given potential.
- Require mutual contribution and participation.
- Respond with wisdom and discernment.
- Serve in ways that transform.
The course opens with a study of poverty and it’s causes. Discussion then moves to the familiar slogan, “A hand up or a hand out", followed by looking at charity versus Developmental Compassion. A key element to the success of Redemptive Compassion is that RELATIONSHIPS matter. Question: How do you transform a life without having a relationship with that person? Strategies for churches to use in developing policies for how to respond to those in crisis are discussed. Following the Biblical focus, we look at seeing people through our Father’s eyes to help them affirm their potential. We look at how to empower, not enable people in their choices.
1“Redemptive Compassion,” Lois Tupyi, Page 8
2“Redemptive Compassion,” Lois Tupyi, Page 10