Honoring the Sacred in Humanitarian Assistance


The human search for beauty, transcendence, and connection to the sacred is often overlooked in humanitarian assistance activities, but I believe that human flourishing and well being are inseparably tied to human spirituality. There has been a tendency to secularize humanitarian activities by ignoring the innate spiritual component of human beings, who need not only access to material goods to survive, but also relational intimacy as well as meaning and purpose in life. Human spirituality is this quest to make sense of life (and death) and to find one’s purpose in the larger cosmos, both in relation to nature and to the divine. Overlooking the spiritual quest takes away from what it means to be a human being created in the image of God.

My studies at Fuller have deepened my appreciation for and understanding of the importance of interfaith dialogue, peacebuilding activities, and the intricate ways in which spirituality is connected to human flourishing. I have also acquired more tools to be able to engage in dialogue with people of different cultures and beliefs. My passion for integrating spirituality with humanitarian activities comes from my faith in God who loves his people, cares deeply about the well being of the entire planet, and is committed to restoring all of creation.

This story was originally published in October 2013.

Classes Rachel Recommends

Theology of Poverty and Development
Bryant Myers

Biblical and Practical Peacemaking (online)
Ron Sanders

Systematic Theology 2: Christology and Soteriology
Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen