Tearfund - July 07 Inspire

Sometimes it feels the issues the poor face are so huge it’s hard to know where to start.  Rebecca Taylor asks whether the Church can really make a lasting difference to poor communities

Take HIV and AIDS. Esther and Alinafe who were featured in Tearfund’s Work A Miracle campaign, tell one story out of the staggering 39.5 million people now living with HIV globally.

And there are currently an estimated 12 million people living in modern day slavery, echoes of a slave trade many thought were long gone. This is big stuff.

In the work we do through our partners around the world, Tearfund believes that through powerful prayer and the work of the local church, the monsters of poverty can be tackled – in fact, this belief is at the heart of our global relief and development programmes. Local churches and our
Christian partners see mini miracles every day because of working this way.

Take Ilmolwaya Lekuton, from Kula Pesa village, Northern Kenya, who was hit by severe drought last year, and lost practically all he had. He sold his last remaining asset, his donkey, to try and get money together to produce food. Ilmolwaya made his first attempt at farming but had to do it all by hand and struggled because the area of land was too large.

Church based partner Christian Community Services gave him some seeds, and now he has been able to harvest maize in a small more manageable fi eld. You may have heard a similar story in lots of diff erent ways, a million times. But think: isn’t what happened to Ilmolwaya a miracle? Because if he hadn’t been given the seeds, where would he be now?

Local church love

You might gulp - but the local church is God’s means to a sustainable end to poverty, because it knows its community’s needs instinctively.

Declaring prayer

You can be part of making your own prayer declaration and commitment to pray about this big stuff. There’s  a map on our website showing where all the others who have declared to pray are and you could be part of it. See www.bepartofamiracle.org

The strongest link

We’ve set up the Global poverty prayer chain to link local churches around the world that are bound for the journey of speaking up for poor communities. You can sign up to the chain by posting your prayers to the details in the box (right) or by signing up on our website.

You can sign up to the chain by posting your prayers by e-mail or post to the details below.

There are also case studies and other resources to help get you and your church involved in the many praying activities, and of course up to date information on our work around the world on the website.

Global poverty prayer week

Tearfund has produced Be Part of a Miracle church resources available in the middle of July that will help you and your church be part of the Global poverty prayer week on 12-18 November. There are ideas on praying for 24 hours, holding a prayer breakfast or praying as part of your
main church service. However you do it, it’s prayer in unison, against poverty. Praying that the local church takes action. We’ve also included a film in the pack and spoken to Cuthbert Gondwe, a pastor in Malawi who works for our partner Eagles about why he thinks praying is important.

The film shows the inspiring way in which the work he does can’t be done without the Church. It’s straight from someone who knows and will inspire you and your church to take action.

We can help make big miracles happen through our prayers. The local church is the best placed way of offering hope to those living in poverty because it off ers total life transformation. It gives help to the hungry and provides relief to those seeking for the soul.

It also knows its local community and can pinpoint the area of need with exact precision.

Let’s get behind it.

Rebecca Taylor is a writer for Tearfund.

How you can get involved

By post: Prayer by post (no more than 25 words) to Global poverty prayer chain, Tearfund, 100 Church Road, Teddington, Middlesex TW11 8QE.

By e-mail: bepartofamiracle@tearfund.org with your 20-30 word prayers.

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