An important part of Tearfund’s work is challenging and supporting churches to be Jesus to their communities.
In the Central Asian States* the outlook of one church changed dramatically after its pastor, Taalay**, attended a presentation on Tearfund’s Discovery programme at a pastors’ conference last October. The programme draws on Tearfund’s experience working with churches and communities across the world and builds the strength and aspirations of churches to be salt and light to communities. ‘For me it was important to realise that each local church has considerable potential and enough resources to fill the needs of people around us,’ Taalay says.
Taalay was so inspired he ran a mini Discovery course at his church. This helped members analyse the specific area God has placed them in and how they can address the need on their doorstep.
The church is located near a major bazaar where many large young families live in makeshift housing and very difficult conditions. Parents are often forced to leave young children on their own so they can gather rubbish for recycling to make a living.
To address these issues, a group of women in the church has now set up a preschool group for very young children. This means they receive some teaching, they are not left on their own and are given food through the day. The church has also organised a self-help group for mothers in which they make souvenirs from felt, giving them a small but valuable extra income stream. Thanks to your support for Tearfund’s work more churches like Taalay’s are mobilising and becoming an answer to prayer for the most marginalised people in society.
Taalay says, ‘To be salt and light in this world it isn't always necessary to make great feats. Sometimes it just means looking around to see a need on the street.’
*We cannot name the specific country due to political and religious sensitivities in the area.
**Name has been changed to protect identity.
- Pray that God will continue to guide and bless the work of Taalay’s church as it continues to serve the community.
- Lift up the families that the church is working with and ask that they will be able to break the cycle of poverty.
- Ask that more churches across the Central Asian States will be inspired and mobilised through initiatives like the Discovery programme.