| Page 4 | World Challenge
  • A Leap of Faith

    Rachel Chimits
    May 6, 2019

    When we’re making major life decisions or are faced with a huge change, planning our next move can be challenging.

    David Brinkley is credited with having once said, “She took a leap of faith and grew her wings on the way down.”

    This advice seems in the same vein as popular “empowering” messages that Western media figures, celebrities and even some Christians toss around, pointing to the wild success stories of a few and neatly sidestepping all the shattered dreams of many others who inexplicably didn’t manage to sprout feathers.

    The dark side of this saying is its implication that whoever doesn’t achieve their goals is at fault for the failure.

    No pressure.  

  • Multiplying Churches in the Congo

    Andreas Steffensen
    May 3, 2019

    How the belief in change for one man has extending to his entire town and beyond into neighboring villages.

    Driving at breakneck speeds down dusty, unpaved roads, we approach a military checkpoint. Our regional coordinator sits in the back of the aging Land Cruiser, his head thumping the roof every time we hit a pothole.

    We’re all covered in the fine, red dust ubiquitous in East Africa, but the alternative is closing the A/C-less car’s windows and succumbing to the stifling heat.

    Cantina is ahead, a town at the heart of a vast Congolese wilderness teeming with militant groups. Some are former perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide; others are Islamic radicals that fled Uganda.

  • The Promise of a Mansion

    Rachel Chimits
    May 2, 2019

    In a fairytale life gone wrong, one young Filipino woman finds a true rescuing hero in her heavenly Father.

    Krystal’s parents came to her and explained that she could finish high school, but that was all. She needed to find work to help support the family.

    In the Philippines, this scenario was nothing strange, particularly for low-income families. At age 18, Krystal dutifully started work in Quezon, one of many poor, young women toiling in minimum wage jobs.

    Everything changed when a handsome man approached her. He told her she was beautiful, striking among all the others, and he invited her into the wealthy, upperclass circles of his life.

    A fairytale in the making…right? 

  • Finding the God of Truth and Grace

    Vanessa Johnson
    May 1, 2019

    Now one of MOG’s leaders and World Challenge’s potential partners, one young lady looks back on how God made himself real to her.

    I was born in Mexico. When I was five, my parents divorced. My father had put us in a situation where my mom was frightened for our safety.

    We moved in with my grandparents who were Christians. Most people in Mexico are Catholic, so I grew up in a unique situation. 

    Looking back, God was always present.

    Picturing a Complete Family

    I had a lot of anger as a child, and I would take it out on God mainly. I remember a couple nights getting really frustrated—“God, why is this part of my life this way?”—questioning everything.

  • Finding the Ultimate Architect

    Ilya Shchetinin
    April 30, 2019

    One World Challenge scholarship student shares how he went from a prospective architect to ministry leader.

    I’m from Oregon City, outside Portland. Life was normal, going the usual route until this guy named Stan who was a Summit graduate married someone at my church. Whenever he was speaking, I noticed something different about him, so I finally approached him and said, “Hey, we should talk.”

    Stan looked me in the eye for a solid 30 seconds, saying nothing, and I was thinking, What’s going on right now? I just said I wanted to talk.

    Then he offered to hang out. We talked about life, and he eventually became my mentor. In a lot of ways, he encouraged me to think differently about God. 

  • The Courage of Vulnerability

    Rachel Chimits
    April 29, 2019

    In an age of social media confessions and “tell-all” memoirs, we must ask ourselves what true vulnerability is and why it’s important.

    In the opening lines of the Beatitudes, Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

    People at the end of their rope are blessed? This passage begs the question of why God focuses on broken hearts and humble, mild-mannered nobodies.

    These three opening categories are each vulnerable and—dare we say it?—weak.

  • Harvest in the Congo

    Rachel Chimits
    April 26, 2019

    Years of dry work for one pastor is now yielding great community transformation and church growth.

    For several years, Pastor Saidi attended community health seminars hosted by World Challenge partners. He was an active participant in discussion groups and was enthusiastic about the ideas presented.

    When he returned home to his village of Bulongo in central Democratic Republic of Congo, he imparted the vision of how Christian community can practically address everyday issues several times to his church and community.

    However, the ideas seemed to gain no traction. 

  • Breaking Free

    Ian Watkins
    April 25, 2019

    In the darkest hour, God’s whisper saved one young man’s life and put him on a path to ministry.

    Three years ago, a few friends and I decided to start a Bible study and call it Move of God, or MOG. We wanted it to be an invitation for others to get to know God.

    I expected it to only be us at the beginning. I mean, after all, a lot of kids at my school knew me and knew who I’d been before I came to Christ. 

    The first week, though, 15 people showed up through invites and word going around. Within a year, MOG’s attendance was over 150 every week, and people were coming from almost every high school in Colorado Springs.

  • Healing Refuge in Albania

    Eljo Patoku
    April 24, 2019

    A World Challenge partner followed God’s call to offer support to a boy and those like him in one of Tirana’s grittiest neighborhoods.

    I live in Rruga-Ura, a suburb of Albania’s capital, where most residents are Roma with a Muslim background. 

    This is one of the poorest neighborhoods in Tirana, and it was difficult growing up here. People got into fights practically every day, and alcohol was almost everywhere

    Most people dropped out of elementary school or don’t have any education at all. That makes it hardfor them to find full-time jobs. Usually, they earn their living with part-time work, or they beg and survive on whatever they find in trash heaps and garbage cans.

  • Building for Burundi’s Mothers

    Rachel Chimits
    April 23, 2019

    A group of churches in Bujumbura are working to help widowed women achieve economic independence and a new life in Christ.

    The Baptist Union of Churches was founded in 1928 and is the oldest evangelic and one of the most respected groups in Burundi. 

    In 1972, during a surge of tribal conflict between the Hutu and Tutsi, churches’ pastors were either killed or fled the country. Despite the terrible devastation, the church has recovered. 

    Today, there are 97 main churches and 147 satellite churches across the country with about 75,000 members. The fallout of Burundi’s civil war has led to a widespread struggle with poverty for many of the country’s people, so the church has set up programs to help many of the local widows.