Sparks of Hope Become Currents of Change | World Challenge

Sparks of Hope Become Currents of Change

Andreas Steffensen
July 16, 2018

Miracles Take Place in Africa

The jungles of war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo teem with warring rebel groups. Some are former perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide. Some are Islamic militants who fled Uganda. Altogether, more than 70 armed groups operate in the region, making prospects for peace grim.

Yet in the nearby village of Cantina, where World Challenge has been involved in ministry, peace and joy are spreading rapidly.  A local pastor recently dedicated the 9th new church planted under his leadership in just 3 years. What has sparked such vibrant hope in the shadow of armed conflict?

It began with a simple outreach of our ministry World Poverty Solutions. Three years ago, our team reached out to 8 local pastors with teaching in evangelism and community development. One pastor, Kilima, thought Christianity belonged inside church walls. But through our partnership and teaching, the Holy Spirit opened his eyes—and a fire was sparked.

Pastor Kilima asked his community how the church could best serve them. The people pointed out their desperate need for a school. Working together, church members and villagers cut down trees for building materials and raised funds for a tin roof. Parents agreed to donate one dollar a month each to pay for teachers. Today, Cantina’s school thrives with 504 students who hear the gospel daily.

Pastor Kilima’s church then looked to reduce the town’s staggering poverty and malnutrition.  They decided on a community garden and persuaded a landowner to lease them a field in exchange for one chicken. The field now flourishes with hundreds of eggplants that produce new crops every two weeks, providing healthy food for villagers and building the local economy.

Pastor Kilima also sent a church-planting couple to a struggling village nearby.  The couple used their training to show the community how to build fish farms, which are thriving. The village chief was curious and began attending the new church; he was baptized last year. As one elderly widow says, “If Jesus cares this much about me, then I will follow him.” 

What began as a tiny spark in Cantina has become a powerful current of hope in surrounding villages. Thank you for partnering with us to impact the world’s neediest populations with the Good News of Jesus.