A recent report from Asia illustrates how community development ventures and churches can partner together to reach those in society that would otherwise be unreached by traditional church ministry.
Lewis* first met believers when volunteers visited the remote orphanage where he lived. In 2017, he was one of eight young men who took part in a pilot program called “Training for Life.” This program equipped orphans in their junior year of secondary school with the skills needed for mainstreaming with society upon graduation. The schedule included budgeting, shopping, food preparation, societal norms outside the orphanage, navigating the city, and healthy forms of entertainment. Volunteers used the time to build friendships with the young men; speakers from the business world shared their “lessons learned.”
Four years later, Lewis has become a disciple of Jesus Christ, is studying the Bible with other young men, and is part of a church-based homegroup. Lewis is an orphan but no longer defined by that word. He has found life and belonging in Christ Jesus. One sowed, another watered, but God caused the seed to grow (1 Cor 3:6). We pray that Lewis’s extensive network of friends will notice the change in his life and act on the desire to have what Lewis has found.
Lewis’s encounter with Christians was through a community development outreach to orphans, funded and organized through MDE but resourced through local volunteers and entrepreneurs. While the outreach closed its doors in 2019, Lewis and other orphans continued to grow, and local friendships deepened. In 2020, the local church renewed its efforts to cultivate the seeds that were sown years earlier. Lewis is the first fruit of their investment, and others are close on his heels.
Please pray for a spiritual harvest among the orphans in Asia. These young people can become enthusiastic and compassionate ministers of the gospel to a hurting generation.
* Name changed for privacy.