A Samaritan's Purse training program gives pastors and church leaders the tools to help their communities.
by Keith Anderson
Time: 11:00 am
Place: Godide, Gaza Province, Mozambique
Event: Graduation day!
December, 2014—It’s been a long road for the pastors and church leaders who have gathered to officially finalize their time with Samaritan’s Purse. For months now, they’ve been training with Samaritan’s Purse pastors and learning about the Bible, leadership and how to touch their communities with the Gospel.
“The great goal of the program is to teach the vision, which is the development of the local community using local materials, and also to motivate the communities to learn the Word of God and biblical knowledge,” said Mishaque Sibanda, a pastor who works with Samaritans Purse.
The graduation was a time release these church leaders, to see how they carry out everything they have learned. We have taught them how to aid their communities in a positive manner, biblically representing the love of Christ. They are encouraged to start small projects, such as animal rearing, in order to benefit those in need.
“[Samaritan’s Purse] gave me a vision for the future, about the rearing of animals and agriculture, and also about visiting and caring for the poor,” said Florida Macuacua, one of the participants.
Too often, churches are entangled in severe struggles. Fights over members, internal discord, and lack of spiritual understanding are harmful. Pastor Naftal, who participated in the training, said that churches aren’t focused on fulfilling their role as salt and light in the communities.
He said he will remember the warning against witchcraft. Many pastors in Mozambique have little or no theological training, and some still rely on traditional religious practices. But Samaritan’s Purse is sharing God’s Word about salvation.
As these men and women are taught the truth about Jesus and His sacrifice, they are freed to look beyond themselves and see the hurting world outside their church walls. I’m excited to see their progress as they reach this final stage of the program.
“We are benefitting from the program through the biblical teaching,” Florida said.
Throughout the course, we encourage the churches to begin seed programs—small, simple projects using local materials aimed at impacting the community for Christ. They are encouraged to initiate projects of their own and not wait for donations from the government.
One example is the church Florida attends. The leaders have a vision for its future development and Samaritan’s Purse desires to see this church and its community working together. Our prayer is for the believers to embrace the integral mission for the transformation of their communities and for new members to be attracted to the church as a result.
I’ve often wondered what it would look like for a group of churches to join together to train and work to impact their immediate communities. The work done by these believers will have a visible impact. My prayer for them is that the Truth they have learned will entirely alter their lives, that they will not fall back into the practices that can ensnare them, and that the love of Jesus will transform and restore this land.
Click here to visit the Samaritan’s Purse gift catalog and help people hear the message of God’s salvation.
Keith Anderson recently completed an internship with Samaritan’s Purse in Mozambique.