About the CBCT program
In January 2013, TNA started its Church-Based Community Transformation (CBCT) program. This aptly named program equips local churches to be salt and light in their communities, applying God’s Word to every sphere of life, using local resources to minister wholistically to those inside and outside the church, and moving the community toward transformational, sustainable development. This model has been used for more than five years in Southeast Asia–facilitated by another DNA affiliate, Reconciled World–where we have seen the Lord bring astounding transformation to dozens of communities using only local resources and guidance from God’s Word.
Compared with other nations, Uganda has high rates of teenage pregnancy and alcohol abuse. Other challenges in the communities where TNA works include neglect of orphans, lack of clean water, malaria, tribal conflicts, spousal abuse, rape among the youth, and overall poor sanitation and hygiene.
But God is in these places, and he is at work through his people. Here is a brief update just two years after the start of the program.
Harnessing local resources for community development
After attending a TNA Vision Conference and learning a biblical view of resources, the leaders of one local church decided to make a change. Instead of continuing to meet under a mango tree as the 50-member congregation had done for two years, the leaders devised a plan to build a simple church structure out of local materials. Members from the church collectively donated 170 of their chickens to be sold, they collected grass for the roof, they made bricks with their hands, and one member even donated land for the structure.
“The Christians saw their potential to grow as a church and community in the unity that was created when they took up specific responsibilities regardless of their social status,” the report says.
After hearing TNA’s teaching on Luke 2:52, Pastor George was motivated to pour more energy into his farm. “The Bible exhorts us to work hard,” he says, “and I decided that I will no longer depend on the stipend I receive through church offerings but eat my bread from the sweat of my brow.” That was almost two years ago–Pastor George took the little money he had and bought pawpaw seeds. Today, his farm is thriving, his quality of life has improved, and many others have followed in his footsteps.
Serving the community
“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven.” -Matt. 5:16
Setting aside their differences for the benefit of their community, almost 40 church members from different denominations came together to clean a local health center in Adilang. “The community members were surprised to see churches of different denominations come together to do charitable work,” says the report.
“Tremendous change” is how Pastor Francis in Nakalama describes what happened to him after the training he received from TNA. In studying God’s Word, he gained a new perspective on his family and his church. Now, Pastor Francis and his wife are finding creative, honest ways to increase their income. The church members, formerly concerned only with spiritual matters, now are applying a biblical worldview to everyday tasks like gardening. They also are blessing the whole community by giving school supplies and blankets to needy children, cleaning up the local trading center, and even repairing a formerly impassable road. As a result, Pastor Francis says, church-community relations are stronger.
Access to clean water is a paramount concern in this part of the world, especially during dry seasons. In Isingiro, a local church decided its Seed Project would be to clean up one of the only two bodies of water in a certain village. The body of water had become contaminated with trash, excess vegetation and animal waste. On February 9, 2015, community members marched toward the shallow pool wielding hoes, spades and machetes. After cleaning it out, they appointed a woman to keep up the health of the pool. Once this pool fills up in the rainy season, it should supply water to the community for three years!
“The mobilization of the community by the church was unique in that it opened the eyes of the people to the potential they have to solve some of their most pressing problems–in this case, the scarcity of clean water in the long dry season. It is clear that he benefits to the community rise above religious, ethnic and/or their social affiliation.”
One church in Kabimbiri really latched onto the TNA teachings and spun into action. Using only local resources and volunteer workers, the church has begun providing food and medicine for HIV/AIDS patients, caring for orphans and other vulnerable children, cleaning up the trading center, and helping vulnerable girls stay in school through a formal rehabilitation program.
“Indeed, if there is a case of child abuse in the area, they often run to tell the church before reporting cases to the police.”
Spreading biblical teaching on worldview and wholistic community development
Compassion International and TNA team up regularly to conduct five-day trainings for recent college graduates from various Ugandan universities. These promising young adults are prepared to view their careers as opportunities to transform their communities for God’s kingdom.
“Getting the messages out as widely as possible” is a characteristic of the DNA. This goal is being sought by the 22-member “TNA Translators Club” currently translating the CBCT training modules from English into four popular local languages: Acholi, Luganda, Lusoga and Runyankore.
When Godfrey first attended a TNA training event, he was walking away from a career in education, not believing he could make a difference through that vocation. But the conference showed him he could be a “full-time minister in the field of education,” and he began to see how he could teach every academic subject from a biblical perspective. He and others came to found the Teacher Training Institute designed to transform the education system through a biblical approach, ultimately transforming society.
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