Reconciled World’s second Core Principle is “Nurturing Truth and Confronting Lies.” In a nutshell, this means that we believe that every culture and community holds onto some truths and some lies. To see a community thrive, we must nurture the truths that exist while exposing beliefs that cause brokenness, poverty and injustice to the light of biblical truth.
Here’s how that played out in a typical village in our Truth Centered Transformation program:
In 2005, Tai Ping village was a typical poor rural community. Almost everyone struggled to have enough to eat. Their houses had dirt floors, mud walls, and palm leaves for roofs. They survived as rice farmers, though for three to six months there wasn’t sufficient rice so they would scavenge roots and bark to eat. There were no roads to their rice fields, which were up to five kilometers away from their homes. Each family only harvested the amount of rice they could carry on their backs over rugged hiking trails—not enough to feed their families, let alone to sell. Some kept a few animals, which walked freely around the community and even into homes. There were no latrines. People rarely washed their hands or bodies. Few children went to school, as it was a long walk. Family relationships were broken—wife beating and child beating were so common that even church leaders accepted it as the norm. The people were sick, hungry, and illiterate.
Most importantly, the people suffered from spiritual poverty. Although they had a saving faith in Christ, they had no knowledge of their Creator’s and Savior’s plan for their lives. Most people attended church only nominally. The fatalism of their culture ruled their thinking and behavior—sickness is normal, poverty is inevitable, the gods are vindictive and unpredictable. Despite being aware of many needs in their community, they never helped anyone beyond their family and friends. “After all,” they thought, “what do we, who are so poor, have to give? What is the point in trying to help?” They had no hope of a different future for themselves or their children.
Their perspective, however, changed when a trainer from the Truth Centered Transformation (TCT) program came to the village and invited a few church leaders to attend a training. At the training, they learned that Jesus died not only so they could go to heaven, but also to restore all things (Colossians 1:19-20). They learned that God’s plan is for them to grow mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. They also learned that God had given them resources and abilities that He wanted them to use to show His love to others. Those who attended the training returned home and began to teach others in the church what they had learned.
Each person that attended the training began to go out individually and help those in need throughout the community, typically bringing food or simple gifts. One youth shared, “God reminded me of an old man that lived in my community. He was very poor, lived alone, and had no family to look after him. So I decided to start visiting him and bringing him rice. We developed a relationship and later he, too, became a Christian.”
….After a few months, the TCT trainer returned and provided another training. As part of this training, the Wholistic Ministry Committee had to draw a map of their community as they dreamed it would be in 10-20 years. This was the first time the church members hoped for a different future or attempted to make a plan for change. In their “Dream Map,” they drew a school, brick and cement houses, roads to their fields, and farm machinery.
The committee began praying that God would show them what steps they could take to make their “Dream Map” a reality. As they prayed, they felt they should build roads to their farming areas. They realized they needed to be willing to work hard, with faith that God would bless their efforts…
By 2010, this community–and hundreds like it–experienced total transformation. Incomes increased tenfold, persecution decreased and local government officials even accepted Christ, all the children attend school and some have gotten university scholarships, health improved, abuse of wives and children ceased, and 90 percent of the community professes Christianity.
Read the full story here.
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