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.
Monique and Ricky drove their battered Dodge minivan from the western edge of Phoenix to our church in the Southeast Valley for a free fence.
They saw it on Craigslist: “Free chain link fence. You take it down and haul it away.” So they traveled thirty-three miles in a van that looked like it could hardly go three more.
We were prepping for a construction project that would begin the next day and needed to get rid of the perimeter fence of our playground. So we put the word out.
Monique and Ricky were hardly living the high life. That was easy enough to spot from their clean but worn clothes and the aging car they drove. What wasn’t nearly so evident was how very, very ill they were. While serving in the second Gulf War as a teenager, Monique had been exposed to depleted uranium. The poison worked its way inside her and wreaked havoc on her body.
I’ve seen transformation – communities completely move out of poverty. Physical, spiritual, social and mental transformation. The story is here, and more are here.
If there is anything my years have taught me it’s that God is able. God is able to do far beyond what we could hope and imagine. Often, while I am still scrambling to work out what to do, God has already solved the problem. I can assure you, prayer and fasting are powerful weapons in the war against poverty, oppression and injustice.