CHIPS works through teams of Christians living and praying together and undertaking practical projects with all sides from the conflict to serve their needs, foster positive interaction and reduce enmity. Although each CHIPS project has varied in its particular style, peace and reconciliation have been fostered by:
- team members from opposing sides living together, at peace with one another, thereby demonstrating the possibility of peace;
- listening to each others' stories, and enabling the histories of both sides to be heard and understood by each;
- encouraging positive interaction between opposing sides through mutually beneficial practical projects;
- reducing enmity by helping to alleviate the suffering and poverty caused by conflict;
- the team living in the tension area, absorbing enmity from both sides of the conflict;
- sharing the love of Jesus Christ who, through his life, death and resurrection, has given all the opportunity to be reconciled with God, each other and creation.
Central to the peacemaking role is the integration of the team within the local community, with all parties. This includes separate tribes, races, nations, communities and churches. CHIPS teams are therefore made up of individuals from different backgrounds spiritually and culturally.
CHIPS is a specifically Christian organisation believing that Jesus Christ is our peace both individually and corporately. It has drawn from many traditions in its pursuit of peacemaking, including charismatic, evangelical, catholic, and orthodox. In its practical activities CHIPS works to benefit all according to their needs whatever their beliefs, showing the love of God by quality of service.
CHIPS teams live amongst the communities they are working with. They live in local housing, eat traditional food, learn the language and share in all aspects of local life. This ‘incarnational’ approach gives a good understanding of the local people, their lifestyle, culture, skills and problems. Close relationships are formed and more effective reconciliation results. The approach affirms communities in their ways of life but enables them to work with the teams to identify affordable ways of improving their situations.
Approach to Development
CHIPS primary objective is to promote reconciliation. Where appropriate, practical 'development' activities are seen as a way of helping to achieve this. CHIPS believes that sustainable development involves increasing a community's awareness of their own situation, and encouraging them to work together, primarily using their own resources, to improve that situation. CHIPS sees its role as a catalyst, speeding up the process of development, not only through the provision of small economic resources, but by the provision of people. Community involvement, the use of appropriate technology and care for the environmental are therefore central to CHIPS’ approach to development.