Church and Community Mobilisation, otherwise known as ‘Umoja’ (Swahili for 'Togetherness') is a dynamic way of helping local churches to work together with their community in addressing needs using their own resources.
Kong Chanbo lives in Cambodia with her husband and three-year-old daughter. For the past three years she has been working as an Umoja facilitator using what she’s learnt to be a positive change in her church.
But it is only in these recent years that Kong has been able to help bring transformation and impact; before the Umoja training she didn’t have the skills or work experience to help her church move forward – all she had was a huge desire to get involved.
For Kong, a big part of learning to be an Umoja facilitator was realising that it’s not just about telling and teaching churches about working together, but also motivating and mobilising others to participate.
Wonderfully, the Umoja process has also helped Kong spiritually – as well as practically – helping her to develop and deepen her personal relationship with God.
Kong says, ‘When I read the Bible, I didn’t know how to reflect in my personal life, but Umoja has helped me so much. Life is not easy but God has taught me – and strengthened me – to overcome the difficulties. He is always there and comforting us.’
Matthew 5:13-16 says:
‘You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.’
Encouraged by this verse from the Umoja training, Kong believes that God is using her as a light to her church and community.
Now, Kong has a personal vision for her village: to see one hundred per cent of the villagers – more than 600 people – believe in Christ. Additionally, she also wants to build new projects in the church’s children’s ministry, youth, and income generation.
- Praise God that Kong is being used as a vessel of change in her church and community. Remember her – and her family – in your prayers as she continues to be a source of inspiration and encouragement to those around her.
- Pray for all those whose lives have been touched by the work of the Umoja process. Pray that each and every person will also develop a deeper, personal relationship with God.
- Lift up all those working to be salt and light to the individuals, communities and churches in Cambodia. Pray for wisdom, strength and renewed vision to see many more people come to know Jesus.
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