An example from Tanzania
On a recent monitoring trip to Dodoma, Tanzania, International Program Director Bruce Syvret met with Bishop Dickson Chilongani of the Diocese of Central Tanzania (DCT) – local partners who we’ve worked with for over 20 years. Bishop Chilongani’s words reminded us of why we work with the local church.
“We’ve leaders who are spiritual but we need leaders to serve the whole person. We have regular food shortages. People are starving, many clergy are starving. We are trying to help them, their churches and communities. Because of this, our other church activities cannot be carried out. The conservation agriculture program is positively impacting other ministries. It’s a practical way to help people. We’re already sharing the conservation agriculture method with clergy and lay leaders for helping their families and communities. Every sermon I preached last year was on holistic mission. The need to love God and serve his people’s whole needs and the environment.”
Bruce found that, with conservation agriculture techniques taught by Tearfund and the DCT, the community of Dodoma has seen dramatic changes in crop yields during the past two years. Under conventional agriculture typical yield was 1 bag of millet per acre – with conservation agriculture techniques the typical yield is 7 bags of millet per acre! The church is making a practical difference in their communities’ lives, leading clergy and their neighbours out of poverty!
As World Relief we were always involved with the Church, but this is why we will expand programming in that area as we move into our next chapter as Tearfund Canada.
We will be investing more in training pastors and program leaders on how to include humanitarian ministries as part of their service to their neighbours, choosing to get more involved in helping the local church of the Global South serve their communities. We believe the church is God’s agent for transforming individuals and communities and see the local village church as part of the largest social service network in the world. We pray that you will continue to with us as we address poverty and suffering alongside caring Christians around the world.