poverty solutions | World Challenge

poverty solutions

Building Wells and Unity

Benjamin Demblowski
July 15, 2019

Brazil’s drought-stricken regions are experiencing new life through the hard work of World Challenge’s partner.

A lack of water affects everything in a community from basic health and sanitation to education and employment.

Clean water, as a basic human need, is foundational to building healthy communities. Meeting the physical need for water opens doors for people to receive what they thirst for most: living water.

Jacob’s Well was established to provide hope and practical help to farming towns ravaged by years of drought in northeastern Brazil.

While team members work alongside locals to build wells and help bring clean water to rural towns, these relationships open up opportunities to connect people to a church community and share the gospel. 

Making a Multi-Generational Church

Rachel Chimits
July 4, 2019

Church leaders in Brazil are looking for ways to build up children and teenagers as vital ministry workers. 

The ministry of Jacob’s Well extends throughout northern Brazil, sharing the gospel alongside helping people get access to the clean water but also teaching them new agricultural practices, hygiene lessons and other community skills.

Reading lessons are one of their programs, meant to combat the high levels of illiteracy in Brazil’s rural areas. 

One of their missionaries goes to a village in her region twice a week to hold a reading and writing class for the children and then one for the adults. One day, two of the middle school-aged students asked if they could stay for the adults’ class.

God’s Greatest Commands

World Challenge Staff
June 17, 2019

When Priya* and her husband accepted Christ, their neighbors weren’t excited. Vicious gossip began circulating, and the pressure to convert back to Hinduism became intense.

“At times,” she confessed, “I wanted to give up and become Hindu again.”

World Challenge partners came to Priya’s church and talked about living as a light for God in the neighborhood.

Her heart was struck by Matthew 22:35-40 where Jesus lays out the Bible’s greatest commandment: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart’ ... And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Being a Servant

Priya had noticed that the drainage between the houses was full of mud and rotten garbage; flies and mosquitoes formed thick clouds over the muck.

A Revolution in Burundi Churches

Rachel Chimits
July 8, 2019

One bishop has helped bring a wave of change to his city with discussion about new ways to approach problems.

Bishop Emile helps to manage and disciple the leaders of 50 churches in and around the city of Ngozi in Burundi. He also personally leads a church of about 1,500 members.

When he first met with World Challenge workers, he was intrigued by the approach to God’s Word as a transformative force for people’s everyday choices and lives. He took careful note of the biblical concepts behind the lessons, then he decided to adopt this wholistic ministry for his church.

Soon after, he headed out to the pastors he ministered to and shared this vision of whole-life ministry. His passion was to see all the churches apply this mindset and empower their congregations to see God’s blessings. 

Cambodia’s God of Life and Peace

Rachel Chimits
July 5, 2019

After the horrific atrocities inflicted by the Khmer Rouge, Cambodia’s people are looking for the author of healing and new life.

The Khmer Rouge was one of the most brutal episodes in human history.

Communist dictator Pol Pot decided, in the wake of the Vietnam War, that Cambodia needed to become a socialist paradise, independent from all outside influences.

This movement involved executing every ethnic minority group his soldiers could find, slaughtering hundreds of thousands of intellectuals and church leaders and murdering anyone else who even dared to protest these changes.

Those who survived had to face starvation next as the communist farming programs repeatedly failed.

Preventing Child Marriage in Bangladesh

Rachel Chimits
July 10, 2019

World Challenge workers are helping families protect their young daughters from cultural pressure to marry too early.

According to the Human Rights Watch, “Bangladesh has the highest rate of child marriage of girls under the age of 15 in the world, with 29 percent of girls in Bangladesh married before age 15…”

In a study that interviewed hundreds of women across the country, researchers found a shocking number of girls who had been married off before they were 11 years old.

Although child marriages have been illegal for decades, the practice is alive and well, especially in poorer communities.

Child Brides in the Slums

For the Dalits—the “untouchables”—who live in Bangladesh’s slums, parents regularly struggle to feed all of their children.

An Endemic Spread of Ebola

Rachel Chimits
June 20, 2019

World Challenge partners in Sub-Saharan Africa are faced with another outbreak of one of the worst diseases in modern history.

This June, the first Ebola deaths occurred in Uganda.

The infections in Uganda confirmed that the deadly outbreak has spread for the first time beyond the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Border towns in Kenya are on high alert, as health officials are forced to contemplate the possibility of Ebola passing over the Uganda border and spreading among Kenyans who have already been hit by one of the worst famines in years. 

Working in the Graveyards

Rachel Chimits
June 19, 2019

Bangladesh’s most impoverished and discriminated-against group is slowly opening up to outsiders and the good news of Jesus Christ.

Aatmaja waits by the gates, wreathed in the scents of smoldering camphor and incense, burning bamboo and bodies.

The cremation grounds are filled with pyres, feet often poking out with the big toes tied together. Families gather around the hottest burning ones, chanting matras that will hopefully help their loved one achieve “moksha,” freedom from the endless cycle of death and rebirth.

Another family enters the grounds, carrying a body on poles, everyone careful not to touch it. That’s Aatmaja’s job, that and tending the pyres, because she has no caste status or purity to lose.

She’s a Dom, the lowest strata of the untouchable caste “Dalits.”

Believers Banding Together

Rachel Chimits
June 18, 2019

As natural disaster hits Kenya, the local church is reaching out to bring a saving message and much-needed supplies to the hardest hit communities.

Famine has hit Sub-Saharan Africa.

In Kenya alone, about one million people are facing starvation. Cattle and other livestock are dropping out on the arid fields where drought and locusts have cleared away all but the thorniest plants. 

Returning Home

Anna Kozlyuk
May 20, 2019

Many young, educated Albanians leave their homeland in search of a better life, and Vera intended to be no different until she met God.

Mynevere Saliu, more often called Vera by friends and family, was born into a Muslim Roma family in the city Peqin. 

Even though she had been raised to respect Islamic traditions, Vera didn’t really believe in Allah. When she was able to finally leave for university, she couldn’t wait. She met up with a close friend there, but suddenly her friend started talking about Jesus. All this “religious talk” chafed Vera.

“I even told her, ‘You’re stupid to believe in a God you have never seen.’” Vera remembered. “But she wouldn’t stop talking about Jesus until one day when I finally told her, ‘If you like my company, stop talking to me about this Christ.'”