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Dumping Ground

In a place where even people are considered refuse, no one would listen to the educated, accomplished pastor. Until he became one of them.

To an outsider, Armonía Ministries looks like a remarkable example of local leadership in some of Mexico's poorest communities—a network of schools, medical clinics, and community centers led by community members themselves. And it is. But Armonía ("Harmony") is also a cross-cultural mission—not just because it welcomes short- and long-term volunteers from churches in the United States and Europe, but because its founders had to learn to cross daunting class and cultural barriers. Saul (pronounced sah-OOL) and Pilar Cruz founded Armonía in 1987 just as Saul, who holds a Ph.D. in psychology, was rising to prominence as a national leader in World Vision Mexico. As he describes in this interview with Christian Vision Project editorial director Andy Crouch, Armonía's story is one of unlearning many of his assumptions about success and significance.

It's a story that holds many lessons for anyone who would cross barriers of education and privilege—anyone ...

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