The purpose of this article is to outline and articulate a philosophy of development that is rooted in, and derived from, the work of Samaritana Transformation Ministries, an evangelical ministry among female prostitutes in the Philippines. Its ideas and principles come from the struggles, joys, and lessons learned in that ministry. At the same time, this philosophy guides Samaritana’s ministry, for every action needs a framework, a philosophical underpinning, a motivating and driving force behind it, giving it energy, direction, and shape. This philosophy of development is dialectical. It is an attempt at a synthesis within the action-reflection-action dynamic, a conversation between contemplation and action.1 I hope to integrate here lessons learned from a ministry imbedded in transformational development work among marginalized women in the Philippines, and a philosophical framework for doing this ministry that has Biblical, theological, psychological, and cultural integrity. I also hope that this framework is dynamic, moving back and forth between action and reflection, with both sides of the dialectic informing one another, questioning one another, and enriching one another. As Parker Palmer would say, action and contemplation, or doing and being, cannot really be separated, but are a part of the same whole. What follows is a series of themes or principles that I think are crucial to the process of “transformational development.” Presented here at random are samplings of what I believe are the key elements of a ministry among wounded souls.

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