November 24, 2015
In just a few days, it’ll be Christmas season – a time when we gather with family and friends, celebrate the coming of Christ, and avoid shopping malls at all cost. It’s also a time when many of us make financial gifts to support restorative work happening around the world.
Last year, American families gave over $258 billion to support charitable efforts across the globe. According to one report, that’s enough money to provide life-saving deworming pills to 3,717 children, drinking water for 3,304 people, or mosquito nets to 991 Malaria-prone homes.
As problems arise, it’s common for wealthier countries to give generously towards solutions like water wells and humanitarian aid. But with all of this assistance, how can we ensure lasting change in communities often prone to health, justice, and economic issues?
To make this happen, locals must ultimately take ownership of their community’s success. They must transition from dependence on emergency aid to a partnership between those with resources and the people most invested in their neighborhoods.
Over the past several years, e3’s Community Transformation team has been working to develop these partnerships in poverty-stricken areas. The work goes deeper than aid provisions and helps churches serve with their neighbors to improve their communities. To ensure success, they invite the people on a four step journey, affectionately termed the “Pillars of Empowerment.”
1. Create Together
In order to see lasting change, the locals must first identify the heart of their problem and collaborate towards a sustainable solution. This might mean building a new road as was done in Colombia or starting new businesses as was seen in Tanzania. They must own both the problem and the fix.
2. Act Together
Once a solution has been identified, they must act on their own to find and develop local resources that can help them attain their goals.
3. Lead Together
While American teams often help the people get started, the locals must ultimately take leadership in their own communities. It’s exciting to watch pastors and their churches look at the needs of their neighborhoods with a sense of hope instead of despair, leading others in developing similar solutions.
4. Multiply Together
Once the initial needs are solved, a movement begins. They help others embark on the same journey and continue the community transformation process.
As these movements take hold in neighborhoods and communities around the world, the local churches become an institution of change, naturally drawing those around them to Christ. One church in Africa developed over 25 local businesses to support their neighbors. Another acquired clean water filters that were placed in pastors’ homes and offered freely to the community, allowing them to begin spiritual conversations with those who visit.
At the end of the day, e3 Community Transformation equips local Christians to develop healthy, efficient, sustainable solutions that are redeeming lives from a sense of hopelessness to one of self-sufficiency and empowerment. This results in less human trafficking, better public health, and a stronger appreciation for their God-given resources.
e3 Partners is one of the few organizations providing these transformational partnerships. Your gift to the ministry helps establish long-lasting change, both tangible and eternal, through local churches who are living out the Gospel. Click here to learn more and make your donation today.