Tag Archives: nurturing truth


WDC: Breaking Lies

Beliefs can be powerful. They impact the way that we live, interact with others and see the future. For the students at the Wholistic Development Center (WDC), one of the most common and oppressive misbeliefs is that they have no value. They see themselves as the lowest people in society and believe that they cannot make a difference. They have plenty of life experience to back up this life-stealing belief. Most come from difficult family situations. Many are orphans. Some have illnesses that have affected their appearance.

For many even after two years of school they still struggle to understand the potential that they have. The lies that they have lived with for most of their lives are hard to break. As part of an ongoing program to see the graduating students become nations changers we recently ran a training for staff and past students. (In reality most of the staff are past students).
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Nurturing truth - the village

Nurturing Truth and Confronting Lies – The Village Story

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:
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A framework for transformation

A Framework for Transformation

My first experiences in community development taught me one lesson – it’s not as easy as I would like. It always felt like a dance. Sometimes we did see good results but often it felt like one step forward and two backwards. Some of our experiences were great and sometimes we found out that while things can improve in one area, it doesn’t necessarily mean a life transformed. For example, more money doesn’t always mean better educated children, it may mean parents buying more alcohol.

In only three years of community development work I was already starting to ask if I had missed something, was there another way of addressing the needs that we saw around us. Around that time I attended a conference. One of the conference speakers, Bob Moffitt of Harvest Foundation shared three truths.
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10x10 Nepal Trip 3

How Truth Impacts Male/Female Relations in Communities

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28.

A recent survey conducted by UNFPA suggests that 60% of Indian men admit acting violently towards their wives or partners at some point in their lives while 52% of women admitted to experiencing some form of abuse. More specifically, according to this report, more than 70% of men in Uttar Pradesh admitted to abusing their wives or female partners. It is not only adults, but also adolescent males between the ages of 15 and 19 that feel that abusing women is justified. UNICEF’s global report on adolescents 2012 had reported that 57% of adolescent boys in India think a husband is justified in hitting or beating his wife. 53% of adolescent girls also think that wife beating is justified.
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nov 24

Nurturing the Sculpting Stone of Truth

I recently saw a video on Facebook of a baby elephant stumbling over a ledge and the mother elephant hurrying to help the baby up. Within a few moments the mother was right there to nurture and love the distraught baby. The video is found here . I was reminded when I saw it that built into the instinct of every “kind” that God creates is an innate desire to protect and care for their young. I don’t speak elephant (obviously) but you can almost hear the mother elephant saying:

Are you ok?? Come here and stand with mommy. Listen Jr. that ledge is dangerous next time you will need to be more careful.”
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Nov 20

How Truth Impacts Autism

Some of Reconciled World’s partners work to teach biblical truth to churches, young people, or other Christian groups. In His Image, on the other hand, works to demonstrate the impact of biblical truth on one specific vulnerable group–students with special needs and their families. The reality is that what we believe impacts what we do. It affects people individually as well as allowing for corrupt and oppressive systems. The beliefs that disabled children are the result of a curse on their family, that they are worthless and shameful, have countless ripple effects on those with disabilities and the larger society in India. By operating a center that draws out the true potential of these children, that lie has started to be broken down. But changing deeply-held beliefs takes time, even for those closest to these students–their parents and teachers. This week, we asked the founder of In His Image
to reflect on the impact of truth and lies in her work.

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nov 17

What is Biblical Truth?

I remember the first time I heard the phrase “ideas have consequences.” It’s a powerful idea, but left me initially skeptical. If true, it changes everything. Much of my work in development up until then had been focused on programs bringing skills training. While we had seen results, there was nothing stunning.

We reworked our programs and refocused our efforts in an attempt to find out what difference it would make to focus on teaching biblical truth (the long story is here). The impact was amazing. As churches and communities understood God’s truth and started to apply it, God lifted them up out of poverty.  Miracles happened and lives were changed. Truly the verse, ‘If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land’ (2 Chr 7:14) happened before our eyes.

Having experienced the power of biblical truth in so many of our programs, today our mission is to ‘Apply biblical truth to the brokenness in all areas of life.’  We believe that biblical truth, applied to any type of brokenness—violence against women, mistreatment of those who are differently abled, material poverty—is powerful.  It can break down lies that both hold the individual in poverty and systems that have been built on those lies.

All which leaves the question—what truth? What do we mean by the phrase Biblical Truth?  First let me start by staying that we recognise that all truth comes from God—Satan can only lie. Therefore all truth is powerful and beneficial. However we have also chosen to start with twelve truths that we believe most impact our identity and our interactions. These twelve truths cover the areas of ‘who is God,’ ‘who are we’ and ‘what is our relationship with creation.’ We refer to these as the core truths. Two of these truths are:

Made in God’s image—One of the most powerfully destructive lies around the world has been that some people are greater, others are unimportant. Whether the discrimination is on the basis of race, caste, gender or ability—it destroys those who are discriminated against.  I remember one ‘untouchable’ in India when asked why they didn’t get a job, explained it was their destiny—they weren’t worthy of work.  Millions of women and girls have lost their lives because they were seen as worthless or a burden. In many cultures, differently-abled people are locked away in a room, a source of shame. Systems of exploitation have been set up from slavery to slumlords. Understanding that ALL people are created by God, in his image, with  equal value—male or female, slave or free is a truth that transforms lives. As those who have been oppressed begin to sense that they have value, they aim higher and try harder to see life change. As others realize that these people are of equal value to themselves in the sight of God, they are challenged to treat them with humanity and respect. As a result, communities flourish.

Bounty is to be created and stewarded—It’s too easy to believe that God has little concern with regards to how much income we make and how we use that money. How we use our time (aside from Sunday morning) is largely not seen as something that concerns God. And yet the Bible indicates otherwise. Right from the garden of Eden we were given a role, work to do. In the parable of the talents we see that God has given each of us talents and is very concerned with how we invest them. The steward who hid his was not applauded. We are expected to use whatever we have to create bounty which belongs to God and is used in ways that He directs. Imagine if all Christians believed and acted on this. In the rural areas where Christians have embraced this truth they are working their fields with new enthusiasm—aware that it matters to God. The additional profits they make are used to care for their own family, paying school fees and medical expenses—things they could never afford before. They give to those who have less. And as they steward their bounty well, they see it multiply and grow. Similarly, we who have much need to live recognising that every hour and penny we have belong to God. We need to use it all as He intends—not just a small portion.

These are only two of the twelve core truths. As we start to fully understand and embrace each of them, lives are changed. As we rightly see God, ourselves and others as they are, and our relationship to creation correctly, communities are transformed. Biblical truth is powerful.

nov 13

Jenga and Truth: Why Ideas Have Consequences

My eyes are examining the leaning unstable tower with a calculated analysis of cause and effect. A gentle tug reveals the block is bearing full weight…a quick change of strategy. I now zoom in on a partly dislodged block on the other side of the tower. Carefully, slowly…my fingertips clench the block and ever so slightly tug the edge of the shape. The tower begins to sway and I quickly stop…waiting a few moments, trying to will the tower to find stability and re-gather its equilibrium. After a deep breath, my steady hand again attempts to dislodge the block with slow steady pressure…slowly…sloooowly…CRASH!!! The tower crumbles to the ground with a thunder of sound and a squeal of surprise. JENGA!!! The game is over and my daughter has won. Anyone else like the game Jenga??
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