Partnership Engaging Communities in Christ

1 Comment » Written on July 31st, 2013     
Filed under: Child Sponsorship, Ground Update, News & Updates
Written by Christine Buettgen, short-term missionary in DR Congo

Child worshiping at church service in Gemena.

Child worshiping at church service in Gemena.

World Vision chooses their staff in every country based on their skill, their experience, and their dedication to the work of development, because this work is not for the faint of heart. And that is why they ask for all of their staff to sign a commitment of Christian faith. It is World Vision’s hope that the heart of Jesus and desire to serve the poor will be lived out by each employee in each region of the world. And because the nature of this work is so taxing on the mind, body, and heart, it helps to have a genuine faith to lean on and a God to cry out to on the hard days.

But that’s just the beginning.

The Ledia program in Gemena specifically is designed to integrate church involvement at every level. World Vision sees that there is a great work the church has already done in a country that claims 95% Christian faith and recognizes churches as vehicles to bring much needed economic development as well as improved access to food and water for good health. The church is already at work in spiritual formation and Christian education, but they may not know how to help their congregants grow more in their gardens or prevent diseases like AIDS and malaria. But that’s what World Vision is all about.  That’s the beauty of partnership with local organizations. We are able to do so much more together.

World Vision hires pastors who encourage formation of staff, religious leaders and laypeople in theological principles, and the living out of faith in their local context.


Child reading Bible before worship.

World Vision has recently launched a partnership-wide initiative called the “Spiritual Nurture of Children.” Every office in the countries where they serve will develop their own policy on how this program will be implemented. The focus is to strengthen the opportunities for children to hear and understand Christ’s love for them in their own languages; in age and culturally appropriate ways. This will be done through the support of our partner organizations, churches, and staff. The initiative will also be put into effect in many countries where most people are of other faiths. In these contexts, the messages will be shared, of course, in ways that are especially appropriate and sensitive to the needs of the children and communities. Although we cannot guarantee that sponsored children will become followers of Jesus Christ or even that every child will have engaged in one of these children’s programs, the likelihood of World Vision’s sponsored children hearing about God’s love for them in Jesus Christ is increasing.

Working in Gemena, I also get to meet many visitors from the World Vision US and International Offices. These people are bright, dedicated, and they are in this because they want to see Jesus transform people’s lives. This is not simply a career path for them. And to see that at high levels of this organization gives me great hope for our work here.

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One Response to “Partnership Engaging Communities in Christ”

Dear Christine,
Thanks For this insightful post. We are blessed to have you present and writing about all the exciting things that are happening in Gemena. May the good Lord continue to bless the work of your hands! 
Your Partner in Ministry,
Dave Snyder+

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