I often focus on the times and instances the church gets it wrong. I cringe when Christians are too pushy, too loud, too legalistic, too obsessed with being right. But today I want to share a story of a small church in the Dominican Republic getting it right.
Over the last couple of weeks on the Plant With Purpose blog, we’ve shared the incredible story of Teodora Sánchez, an inspiring woman from the small village of Loma Verde in the Dominican Republic. Teodora is a mother, grandmother, pastor, and empowerer.
Teodora has partnered with Plant With Purpose to engage her community in environmental restoration and economic empowerment. The stories of economic and environmental transformation are powerful on their own, but, as a traditional Jesus-cube-and-revival-evangelism evader, I was more struck by the story of SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION taking place in Teodora’s community.
Plant With Purpose has this really cool discipleship philosophy that focuses first and foremost on equipping local churches to meet the needs of their communities. We’ve started a rad project in the Dominican Republic called, “Church, Community, and Change,” where we partner with churches directly and empower them to be an agent of positive change for those around them.
As a pastor, Teodora is constantly looking for new ways to engage both the physical and spiritual needs of those around her. One issue that has plagued Teodora’s community is illiteracy. When Teodora heard about Plant With Purpose’s new project, her eyes sparkled with joy at the opportunity to fight illiteracy.
And then she got right to work organizing an entire literacy campaign for her community. Teodora provided the vision; Plant With Purpose helped turn the dream into a reality.
Teodora says, “The Church, Community, and Change pilot was a great blessing from God. More than 30 people attended the literacy classes in January 2012 and more are expected to register throughout the year. Church members serve as the literacy facilitators.”
What a cool idea—church members who can read teaching other members who can’t read. Awesome.
As the church serves, hope swells: community members build confidence, families become less vulnerable, economic opportunities emerge, and families gain hope for a brighter future.
Could there be a better picture of the church sharing the love of Christ with their community in word and deed?
I know it’s a little shameless self-promoting for Plant With Purpose, but I was touched by this story of the church getting it right and I hope you’ll be encouraged too.
Heard any good stories of the church getting it right lately?
Also, check out the Plant With Purpose blog or website to learn more about how you can get involved in the incredible work of the church around the world.
*Photo credits: Plant With Purpose