Each training within the TCT program focuses on one main theme. In year three, one of the topics is money management. One of the key topics throughout this training is encouraging people to get out of debt. Almost everyone from the villages at this training has large amounts of debt and the interest they pay on this debt plays a significant role in keeping them in poverty.
At the end of the money management training we challenge the students to make a commitment to try to get out of debt. In one region a number of churches had completed this training and the students had committed to do all they could to get out of debt. They made plans with the goal of being debt free in the next five years.
That year the country had a terrible drought. When the students went to their fields they discovered that all their tapioca plants were brown and seemed to be dead. They met together to discuss what to do. Traditionally when the crops died the farmers would take huge loans to get them through the next year. However they were committed to getting out of debt. It seemed there was no hope of honoring that commitment. At each of the churches the farmers gathered to fast and pray and ask God what to do.
Finally it came time to harvest the crops. Even though the crops appeared to be dead, they decided to dig up the tapioca and see if any had survived the drought. As they dug up the plants they were shocked to discover that they did not have less than usual or even the normal amount of harvest. But instead, they all had two to three times the normal amount!
Furthermore, because of the drought, in every other area nearby the crops had all died. As a result the price for tapioca that year had more than doubled. The farmers in the areas where the churches had prayed did not just earn what they would normally earn but instead earned four to six times as much. As a result they were all abled to get out of debt in just one year instead of the five years that they were expecting it would take.