Thanks to Editorial JUCUM, we now are offering two of the DNA’s most popular books in Spanish! Order a copy today!
Gracias a Editorial JUCUM, ahora están ofreciendo dos de los libros más populares en español! Solicite una copia hoy!
La Biblia revela a un Dios Creador y Señor de todo: <<Del SEÑOR es la tierra y todo cuanto hay en ella>> (Salmo 24:1). Con todo, para muchas personas, e incluso para muchos cristianos, esta cosmovisión integradora se ha oscurecido. Una línea separa la fe personal de la vida cotidiana, el trabajo y el tiempo de recreo, y nos sentimos fragmentados, alienados y sin propósito.
Pero Dios está actuando hoy, conduciendo a toda una generación a una concepción integral, indivisa, del reino de Dios en la tierra. ¿Qué hay más allá de la división sagrado-secular? Una vida plena e integrada que une la fe y la acción, lo espiritual y lo físico, el domingo y el resto de la semana. Dios se interesa por cada parte, y nosotros tenemos la increíble oportunidad de sumarnos a Él en su plan redentor comprehensivo para el mundo. ¿Qué estamos esperando?
Los cristianos actuales están involucrados en un doble conflicto que, en el fondo, es de naturaleza espiritual, cuyo desenlace determinará el perfil que caracterizará a las sociedades de este siglo. En Occidente, el ateísmo fundamentalista ha sustituido el marco bíblico por el relativismo moral. Deste Oriente, el islam radical está lanzando la yihad contra un Occidente materialista. ¿Cómo deben responder los cristianos?
Darrow Miller nos desafía a recapacitar y restaurar la misión de la iglesia–la Gran Comisión–en medio de estos profundos conflictos. Debemos anegar a las naciones en la cultura del reino, y anticipar la consumación del reino de Cristo, cuando todas las naciones presenten la gloria de su cultura al reino de Dios. Hemos de confrontar la tiranía con amor y servicio, y la mentira con verdad, bondad y belleza. Los grandes retos de nuestro tiempo ofrecen una excelente oportunidad: Liberar el mundo gracias al poder de Cristo.
In a small, African village, an elderly woman eagerly tells a Bible story to a group of young onlookers. It is a new morning in Zambia and preschool is beginning.
But this elderly school teacher has not always had smiling faces to look upon.
Her nation, Zambia, in southeast Africa, is set on a plateau with 70 percent of the population living in extreme poverty.
As a resident of a rural Zambian village, life is difficult for this elderly lady known as Mama Ester. A disability causes her to use a crutch and she often has to sit in a wheelchair.
However, three years ago, hope came to Ester in the form of a missionary who befriended her. When she realized that Ester was one of the few people in the village who could read, the missionary encouraged Ester to begin a preschool for the young children of the village.
With nothing but a box of preschool material, Ester did not have much to work with, but she accepted the challenge and began teaching a group of young children.
Using an old truck tire as a school house, Mama Ester gathers the children every morning and begins by telling them a Bible story. Then, she divides the children into four groups where they can receive some teaching, read books, make crafts, or play with toys. At the end, each child gets to sit with Mama Ester on the tire and talk with her. Throughout the morning, each group rotates stations, and every child has the opportunity to learn, laugh, and be loved.
Mama Ester’s work is thriving in her community, and the leaders are taking notice. The matriarch of the village, upon visiting Ester’s makeshift school, was shocked to find that these young scholars could read better than her grandchild who had been educated in a government school.
Today, Mama Ester’s ministry has grown, and she now is teaching many of the village cattle herders to read. Before they head out to work each morning, many of these farmers visit Ester to receive the education they never had before. Ester is also training new teachers who are reaching out to the surrounding villages with the love of Christ and the gift of education.
Ester’s ministry is not complicated, expensive, or extraordinary. But by using the resources she had — which happened to be her mind, an old truck tire, and a box of preschool material — Ester seized the opportunity and plated seeds of love in her community.
The Disciple Nations Alliance seeks to raise up leaders just like Mama Ester. By teaching people how to reach out to their communities with the resources they have, the DNA seeks to bring God’s kingdom to the nations. Although Ester has never heard of the DNA, she is a living testimony of how the work of one faithful believer can bring transformation.
This story was shared by Johannes Aucamp, a DNA trainer who serves and trains African pastors, helping them develop into Christ-like servant leaders who bring transformation and glory to God in their communities. He works as part of Training of Pastors in Africa (TOPIA). E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow TOPIA on Facebook and Twitter (@TopiaMinistries)!
If you enjoyed Pastor Hector Pardo’s presentation on the kingdom of God, check out this curriculum designed to teach the very same ideas. Developed by our friends at Chrysalis International, this can be used with youth or adults!
Be My Witnesses
This Christian history unit centers on the call of 1st century disciples to be witnesses for Jesus Christ. It highlights the history of the early Church beginning with the three cultures awaiting the Messiah— Greek, Roman and Jewish—through readings, Power Points, the book of Acts, and the study of the New Testament “One Anothers.” The curriculum includes life as a Christian in the 1st century and challenges youth to reflect on their 21st century calling as Christ’s disciples. There are 24 enriched history lesson plans with 13 beautiful coloring pages, Roman Empire map, graphic organizers, vocabulary cards, 8 arts and crafts lesson plans, and the culminating Agape Feast.
Available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
$29.95 USD Click here to order!
Sometimes, a farmer must prepare her soil for months–even years–before it is ready to be seeded. This process can’t be rushed; it requires patience, planning and faith that something good will be produced in the end.
In Tanzania, God has rewarded years of diligent, faithful work with an exciting new partnership with a leading Christian relief and development organization called World Vision. This partnership is expected to impact 4.2 million people–roughly 10 percent of the nation’s population.
Over the past several years, the DNA network in Africa, called Samaritan Strategy Africa (SSA), has trained staff from many organizations including Compassion International, Tearfund, Campus Crusade, World Concern, Navigators, and the Evangelical Free Church of America. SSA facilitators do not market or push their ideas on anyone; rather, they simply respond to requests for training from those who have seen results from the training or heard about its impact.
“It works better if you wait until people are ready,” says Karobia Njogu, in charge of training programs at CMS-Africa (the organization under which SSA trains others), mainly in South Sudan, Kenya and Tanzania.
“One of our Operating Principles is following God’s lead, and it entails not pushing or promoting ourselves but, rather, identifying where God is already working, and following His footsteps.
“It yields best results for, as the First Farmer, He has already prepared the ground for seed to follow.”
Preparing the soil
For years, SSA coordinator Rev. Dennis Tongoi (also the CMS-Africa international director) and the team of trainers in the Eastern African region have mentored and facilitated numerous training conferences.
In particular, the team had desired partnership with World Vision, but the door was not open. Still, they prepared the soil by identifying and equipping local believers to train others in the biblical worldview and its impact on community development, waiting for an opportunity to share. This leadership training began with the first Tanzania Vision Conference in 2005, followed by five more conferences over the next several years and the translation of Vision Conference materials into Tanzanian Kiswahili in 2011.
The goal of this preparation was to equip local churches and development organizations with biblical principles that address root causes of poverty. Karobia says many development organizations enter an unfamiliar community, work there for three to seven years, then leave behind programs that often are unsustained. Before too long, the community that relied on this outside support reverts to its old ways, remaining trapped in poverty.
Karobia and his team stress that local leaders must learn to use local resources to bring transformational, long-lasting change. This often requires a foundational worldview shift, replacing cultural lies resident in each culture with the truth of God’s Word.
Planting the seeds
In 2012, Dennis was invited to preach in an international congregation in Arusha, a major city in Tanzania. In the audience was Tim Andrews, the national director of World Vision Tanzania.
Tim was very intrigued and later invited the Samaritan Strategy team to do a vision-casting conference for some of his staff members. Tim caught the vision (or the “virus,” as we call it in the DNA) and sought Dennis’ advice on how to train his staff in the messages Dennis had shared.
“It felt like an answer to prayer,” says Tim. “It was an overwhelming sense that Dennis had a message that would break the yoke of poverty that results from a disempowered and dependency-oriented worldview. This training has become an essential foundational piece in the critical path for empowering communities with economic development, natural-resource management and child well-being outcomes.”
From then, things progressed fast–the soil was ready, and the crops were shooting up.
Tim wanted to see this training integrated in every one of World Vision Tanzania’s operational regions–comprising more than four million people. The trainings, to be fully funded by World Vision, would be conducted over the next three years and would target 3,000 community leaders: World Vision staff, faith leaders, government officials, workers in civil society, and other partners.
Reaping the harvest
Because of the advance preparation and the 22 trainers who had been raised up, SSA was able to start training World Vision staff right away. Before the end of 2012, eight Vision Conferences were done, and many more have taken place so far in 2013.
“If Tanzanians will trust in God, Tanzanians can use their resources and be self reliant. The nation, church and community continue to be poor by believing that without aid there is no development. If these vision conferences are conducted in villages, the poor will be transformed.” -Tanzanian Vision Conference participant
One unique twist to this story is the audience of these Vision Conferences. Typically, the audience is composed of Christians, so Bible verses are treated as truth and Jesus is discussed freely. In the World Vision Tanzania context, however, there is a mix of adherents to Christianity, Islam and traditional African religions. The training, therefore, must be adapted to consider the audience’s sensitivities and how participants would view their own religious beliefs in relation to their daily lives.
First, participants are walked through a process of identifying and assessing their own worldviews. Then, they ask themselves: Will my worldview move my community toward God’s intention? Leaders are encouraged and challenged to identify the resources within their communities, rather than becoming dependent on outside support for the changes they want to see.
These training events are just the beginning of an intentional plan to promote transformation in Tanzanian communities. After each Vision Conference, SSA trainers and World Vision Tanzania will follow up on the intended application by the participants, then document the results of the training. Seed Projects, a natural product of Vision Conferences, are conceived and implemented by the participants. As we know, Seed Projects often result in widespread, long-lasting transformation.
For example, in Mabokweni area, an SSA training event caused the local Lutheran church to collect money among themselves and use it to repair the community’s maize milling machine which had been broken for a long time. They had been waiting for an outside donor to provide the needed repair but decided to take matters into their own hands!
“This is God’s doing,” Karobia says with excitement. His vision is for many World Vision staff to become trainers in the biblical-worldview message, spreading the message of community development that relies on local resources, is driven by members of the community who look to God for their sustenance and give Him glory for changes that occur, and is sustainable for generations to come.
God’s Word tells us that all people–poor, rich, male, female, unborn, born, those with visible disabilities–are made in the image of the living God. All have equal value; all have been offered the saving grace of Christ.
Next month in Illinois, USA, professionals from all over the world who share this biblical worldview will gather to share stories and strengthen their common vision. Project presentations, workshops, classroom observations, strategic planning and networking will fill the time, all for the glory of God.
Our partner in New Delhi, Geeta Mondol, will be there to share about God’s work among children with disabilities in India.