One of the DNA’s seven core truths is that the ministry of the church must be wholistic. God is the Lord over all, and his sacrifice on the cross is meant to reconcile all things to himself (Col. 1:19-20). Just as Christ in his ministry addressed physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs, so must the church. The DNA exists to help local churches recognize and live out this calling.
In Southeast Asia, God is transforming individuals, families and whole communities through local believers applying biblical truth to their everyday lives. The results are stunning and long-lasting; this truly is transformation that only God could do. Here is one such report from our friends at Reconciled World, who closely worked with 30 churches in a certain rural area and returned to the region two years later to see the results.
While we have always believed that what God has started in these areas will continue, we didn’t have experience of what would happen. We were amazed to discover how much the areas have changed. Today, more than 95 percent of houses are made of concrete, whereas when we started, 95 percent were made of mud.
The community has made incredible strides in education. Only a few years ago, no one here continued school past grade nine. But during our visit, a pastor showed us a list of all the students from the area now attending university. Fifteen students (10 from the churches we worked with) were granted scholarships by the government–a prize typically awarded to students in urban areas where there are better teachers. This is an astonishing accomplishment!
The groups were continuing to build roads opening up even more farm area. One pastor was acting as a buyer for most people in the area ensuring that everyone got fair prices. The communities were now investing in machinery to process their crops, further increasing their income.
Perhaps most startling was the news that six families now have cars! Cars are extremely expensive in this country. This is an incredible step up in a place where, only seven years ago, bicycles were considered a luxury. Families are using their vehicles to meet the community’s needs like transporting sick or injured people to the hospital.
God never ceases to amaze us with his ability to transform hearts and minds. May he receive all the glory for this wonderful work!