Community development amongst the least-reached
Community Development Amongst the Least-reached and the Emergence of Vibrant Communities of Jesus Followers: The story of Hope for Tomorrow Global, Burundi
Again, and again, we hear stories of how vibrant communities of Jesus followers can grow out of working with those who are poor and living on the margins.
In this video, Nigel Ring interviews Donna Bloomfield whose home church is part of the Newfrontiers Regions Beyond family of churches. She helps to lead Hope for Tomorrow Global (https://hopefortomorrowglobal.org/) and has worked in Burundi for many years with a community of several hundred destitute people living on the edge. When Donna first started working with them in 2010, they were known as ‘The Forgotten People’ and were living rough and in abject poverty. Many were starving and in utter despair. The challenges seemed insurmountable, but Jesus told Donna to walk closely with him, to be filled with the Holy Spirit and faithful in the small things and he would take her each step of the way.
By befriending the people, showing them love and being there for them, trust was established. Donna and her team showed their love by sharing the gospel accompanied by practical action. An agricultural programme was started following the pattern of Foundations for Farming, that is now helping the people to grow their own food. As part of the programme, those following the Foundations for Farming course are being discipled, learning to be faithful in the small things and trusting for increase. There has been a real transformation in the hearts and mindsets of the people as they meet at the side of the fields to worship Jesus and to hear his word. Over 100 people during this year alone have made a commitment to become followers of Christ and have experienced healing, deliverance and been filled with the Holy Spirit. Those who are saved are being discipled in small groups. A church has been established in the midst of the people and three of the leadership team are those from this impoverished community.
Donna emphasises the importance of empowering rather than imposing our own ideas, of listening and learning and of being a servant to those we want to reach.
As you listen to this video, ask God what he wants to say to you through it. What does he want you to learn? What does he want you to put into practice?
Embracing The Poor: Releasing, Resourcing and Equipping the Poor for World Mission
Editor: David Adams
Publisher: RoperPenberthy Publishing Ltd (July 2011)
Walking with the Poor: Principles and Practices for Transformational Development
Author: Bryant L. Myers
Publisher: Orbis Books (June 1999)
When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor …and Yourself
Authors: Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert
Publisher: Moody Publishers (June 2009)
Hope for Tomorrow Global website: https://hopefortomorrowglobal.org/