It started with saying, “yes.”
For a couple of years, people from various countries and organizations had been contacting us, asking for our help in doing Truth Centered Transformation (TCT) in their own contexts. Everytime we spoke at a conference or with a group of practitioners, we were flooded with more requests for help.
To which we said, “Sorry, we can’t help you.”
We were a tiny leadership team (back then, just two people), trying to launch our own organization and figure out who we are and what we are about. There was no way we could galavant around the globe launching TCT projects willy-nilly.
But we bopped around telling God-stories and the requests kept coming. You see, we shared that community after community had risen out of abject poverty and even overcome persecution by bringing every area of life under the lordship of Christ. We shared about the communities who got out of debt, who saw miraculous harvests, whose children began attending school. We shared about the churches who tripled in size, who were commended by previously hostile governments, who saw miracles of provision and protection. We shared about a God who is big enough to transform communities from the inside out, who is faithful to the promises of Scripture, who works wonders on behalf of the poor and oppressed.
We explained over and over that Reconciled World and TCT did not transform these communities. Only God transforms. And He primarily used community churches as the agents of His transforming work. TCT came alongside with training and mentoring. That’s all. Frankly, we didn’t even know if TCT could be replicated, or if it was only something God used amongst rural churches in one area of Southeast Asia. But when people heard the stories, they wanted to see if God would do the same thing among their people, in their circumstances.
We created a website with some stories and materials, so that we could at least point people to those resources. But launching a program can be a daunting task, and the website was never enough.
“Sorry, we can’t help you.” That became our mantra.
Then, one day, God said, “Don’t turn them away.”
We said, “Yes, Lord.” Not because we were excited about growth or had the faintest idea how we would manage it. But because, in our experience, “yes” is the only acceptable answer when one hears from the Lord. (Please see the book of Jonah if you have questions about this topic).
“Can you come to Africa to help us launch TCT?”
“Can you help us adapt TCT to slums in India?”
“Can you visit us in Bangladesh…South Sudan…Brazil…”
“Yes, yes, yes…”
It will probably come as no surprise to you that, after we stepped out in faith, God provided a grant at exactly the moment of need to cover all the expenses of these yeses (although we never cease to be surprised at God’s faithfulness).
We’ve added another TCT Global Director, a Curriculum Writer and a Regional Coordinator to our TCT team to help support the growth. And we’ve welcomed a Director of Church Engagement in the US to help create partnerships between western churches and TCT partner churches in the majority world.
Since January of this year, we’ve launched TCT in DR Congo, Uganda, Cambodia and India (for a total of 10 countries). We’ve begun discussions with potential partners in Bangladesh, South Sudan, Brazil, and more.
Let’s be honest. It can be exhausting. And downright scary. But every step along the way, God guides us and renews our strength. And when we start to lose focus, God provides a new story, like this one, to remind us what a privilege it is to be part of His transforming work.
Do you want to join us in this exciting God story? We are looking for churches or small groups who are interested in partnering with TCT trainers (Contact Doug). We also desperately need people to hold us up in prayer (sign up for the monthly prayer letter). And we are grateful for financial support (give now). Depending on location, one trainer’s stipend and associated program costs range from $1500 to $2600 a year.
If you’d like to have us come tell stories at your church next time we’re in the states, please contact Doug (firstname.lastname@example.org), and we’ll see what we can do…we are in the habit of saying “yes.”