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When communities are empowered to fulfil their God-given potential, everything changes. This week, we’ll be following the incredible story of Rene and Odile, farmers from Ivory Coast and giving thanks for how Tearfund’s Bible-based guided training approach is breaking poverty’s grip. We call this training Transforming Communities (also known as Church and Community Transformation).

Sunday 14 April

‘In the past, it was difficult for us to make money,’ explains Rene. ‘We couldn’t send the children to school. We couldn’t buy them medicines.’ Sadly, this story of extreme poverty can be found all over the world. Pray for peace and provision for families living in fear, unable to provide for their children's basic needs.

Monday 15 April

One day, Rene and Odile’s church leader, Pastor Amani, heard about Tearfund’s Transforming Communities training. Praise God for the training, which helps churches and communities recognise the skills and resources God has given them. Pastor Amani says that this helped them overcome poverty and build greater resilience.

Tuesday 16 April

‘People discovered that they were in fact perishing for lack of knowledge,’ says Pastor Amani. ‘It was through the Bible studies that they understood that Christ had already set them free.’ Through this, Rene and Odile’s local church learnt that, with God, the power to overcome poverty was possible. Give thanks that God has enabled Tearfund to equip 25,000 churches to lift themselves out of poverty.

Wednesday 17 April

Through Transforming Communities, Rene and Odile received training on savings and farming. They learnt to diversify their crops – rotating between pineapples and yams – and today they have a thriving pineapple business. Pray for families starting to change their farming practices, that they will be encouraged by the results.

Thursday 18 April

Thanks to the success of their farming business, Rene and Odile can take care of their family. But they’re also able to support their local community. ‘I'm going to do the work of God,’ says Odile. 'I will work hard, and make money and help people.’ Praise God for the change that has taken place in Rene and Odile’s life.

Friday 19 April

We are seeing stories of transformation, like Rene and Odile’s, all over the world. Our faith is powerful. Our prayers make a difference. Join us in praying for the miraculous as we scale up our work to reach more than 250,000 churches to become centres of transformation with Tearfund's Transforming Communities training.

Saturday 20 April

Join in the prayer from Pastor Amani from Ivory Coast: ‘We pray to you, o Lord our God, to enable the church to be a tool, an instrument that you will use to further enlighten others, and where you can play your part so that all the glory will be yours. Let this flame, o Lord our God, burn brighter, this desire to love one another, this great desire to glorify your name.’ Amen.

Tearfund’s new church resources, Releasing the power of the local church, telling the stories of Rene, Odile and Pastor Amani, can be downloaded at tearfund.org/churchpack

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