Last week, Anna blogged about the complexity of generational poverty and the need for prayer. The truth is, we see Him answer these prayers every day. We are so excited about what God is doing amongst those who are experiencing poverty—bringing transformation in their thinking and causing them to flourish. We just finished up our first ever TCT East Africa Forum, with 31 pastors and denominational leaders. So I’m sure that, in the coming year, we’ll be sharing lots of stories of God’s power and faithfulness from that group of dynamic men of God!
Here are a couple of “Praise God” stories from TCT-partner churches in Uganda…
Marare village is a densely populated and diverse area of Uganda. People of different tribes, income-levels, religions, and ages live in Marare. But what brings them all together is water—it is what people treasure above all else in this area. Decades ago, the community was assisted to have a protected well. But, over time, the well became polluted with silt, rubbish, decaying matter, and debris. What was once a blessing to the community had become a source of water-borne diseases.
Two youth leaders from the local church, after studying TCT through a program of Food for the Hungry, decided to show God’s love to their community by cleaning the well one Saturday. When women came to draw water, they saw the two youth working and joined in to help. When the Water Source User Committee saw the community members taking responsibility for the well, it encouraged them to be active again in helping to maintain it. Before, most people believed that the leaders needed to address the problems with the well. But after this one Act of Love, the community members are empowered. One mother was overheard teaching her child, “We can be responsible for our own health.”
Praise God for using the obedience of two teenage guys to change mindsets and improve health in their community!
The Katara Church of the Nazerene in Uganda was able to study TCT through a program of TNA. As they considered how to show God’s love to their community, they realized that gathering sufficient wood to cook with was very difficult and time-consuming, and that people’s cutting down trees for firewood was causing environmental degradation. The church members pooled their resources to have energy efficient stoves made, which they gave to six of the neediest households. The result was so encouraging! Since they need to gather much less wood for cooking, the families now have more time to work in their gardens. The stoves are also much safer for cooking around small children than an open fire. Other families saw the transformation in these households, and are now willing to pay for their own energy efficient stoves, creating an income-generation opportunity for the community members who make them. For those who can’t afford to buy their own, the church continues to help provide the stoves as an Act of Love.
Will you please take a few minutes right now to join us in thanking God for what He’s doing in eastern Africa? Do also pray that the pastors and church leaders who came to the TCT Forum would carry forward a vision for what God wants to do in their communities.