I was recently listening to Sandra Bullock and George Clooney speaking about their experiences of acting in the award winning movie, Gravity. They described how that as they were working on the film they had really very little idea of what the finished product would be.
I have been thinking how that sometimes it is hard to see the big picture in Christian mission work. This is true for the many people who support the ministry of Partners International and our international ministry partners. Sometimes an individual supports a child living in a slum. Or a church may support a church planting worker in a remote area. Or someone may fund the construction of a clean water well. But often we can’t easily see how this contribution is part of something far larger.
Partners International is committed to the transformation of lives, communities and regions through the mobilization of effective, grass-roots indigenous holistic Christian ministry service. To bring transformation there must be enough engagement with basic human need as well as the spiritual darkness found in the places where we work for a long enough time and with a variety of programs that meet the existing needs. This is why in most places, we provide a variety of services like Christian education, economic development, evangelism and church planting and whatever else it takes.
Over this past year, through the generosity of Canadians and through best-practice Christian partnerships we have finished a Christian high-school in northern West Bengal, India that serves children who are normally rejected from local schools because of their caste and status. We also began another such school in Kenya, serving children from the notorious Kibera slum. These schools will have benefits to the child, family and community, breaking them free from the multi-generational cycle of poverty and giving them an opportunity to experience God’s love and Good News.
We have also expanded the programming for adult literacy and the connected health and economic development programs for oppressed Quechua in the Altiplano of Bolivia. The need is real and we are trusting God to expand this effort beyond the dozen communities that we are currently serving.
We have just had a breakthrough in how to bring freedom to the bonded and indentured slave labourers in Pakistan. This is a very challenging and complex task but our ministry partners have, despite personal danger, made significant gains. The same ministry is key in seeing churches started across the border in Afghanistan.
These examples are really only a small section of what we could describe in how God is at work through Partners International and our Canadian supporters. Jesus said to his followers, “Don’t you have a saying, ‘it’s still four months until harvest’? i tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! they are ripe for harvest” (John 4:35). Perhaps from time to time, this is what we need to do. Transformation can and is happening. Please enjoy some of the stories contained in this newsletter. They represent the tens of thousands who are being served with holisitic mission service.