Since you don’t have the power to steer a community, don’t pretend you’re at the helm. Since people with self-respect resist arrogant generosity, make sure to operate at eye-level. Since, unlike us, God does have the power to transform a community, we should be interceding passionately on its behalf.
Over tea we built trust and became vulnerable together. Slowly, I was given access to insider knowledge of the community and the complex social rules and history that governed it.
One has to wonder where this leaves vulnerable communities. When making a profit drives business decisions over traditional service values like “do no harm” or community agency, one has to be a bit pessimistic about that the impact of the volunteer service.