Here in Rwanda our team’s ministry focus is called Discipling for Development. We engage whole communities, in a long term 3-5 year relationship. We help the community members to recognize the assets they have in their community as a first step in finding solutions to their problems. Recently I was sitting with a group of leaders in a community where we had been relationship building for about a year. These people are very poor by any standards, and when we started working together they were sure that they had nothing of value, that they didn’t have any recourses at all. We had done all kinds of exercises to help them recognize all the resources available in their community. In this meeting, we were sharing all the resources that we had discovered in the community. As we shared our findings with eachother, we wrote them down. The excitement in the room grew as our list got longer and longer. Now I smiled as I looked around the room at the beaming faces of people who were discovering that God has given them many, many resources. They are beginning to realize that if they could think of ways to use these resources better, they might be able to find answers to some of the plaguing problems of poverty that they face. One lady shared with me that she thought she would always be poor, but now she sees that God has given her so much, she feels that she has a responsibility, with God’s help, to use these resources better than she has in the past.
Contribution from Debby Thomas, Rwanda, Africa