Tanzanian Churches Plant Dignity
Written by Plant With Purpose on August 11, 2010 in General
This has been a year of exciting growth and new initiatives for our transformational program in Tanzania. We are excited to share with you about a new church partnership that is already producing abundant fruit.
Earlier in the year, the Seventh Day Adventist church in Tanzania invited us to facilitate Entrepreneurship and Stewardship seminars at four of their camp meetings. The Entrepreneurship and Stewardship program is designed to equip participants with entrepreneurship skills and knowledge on how to think creatively and become good stewards of God’s creation. Approximately 2,700 people participated in these seminars and learned about God’s love for His creation and the steps they can take to restore, replenish, and protect their land. Participants organized a follow up meeting to further plan and facilitate creation care activities, brainstorm innovative business ideas, and set goals to become better environmental stewards in their own lives. The program has spurred striking attitude changes especially in regard to the way farmers view their own role in caring for creation. As a result of the trainings, community groups joined together to plant a record number of trees, install hundreds of wood-saving stoves, and establish their own teams to monitor and protect local water sources. It has been inspiring to watch community members take greater initiative and ownership of Plant With Purpose’s projects as they seek to serve God and take an active role in overcoming poverty.
We desire to help the rural poor discover their true identity as children of God and recover their true vocation as faithful and productive stewards of gifts from God for the well being of all. As a result of this new partnership, we have been encouraged to watch as men, women, and children begin to develop self-confidence, restore their identity and vocation, and work to create and sustain just and peaceful relationships. Individuals and communities are discovering and releasing their God-given talents, utilizing their unique gifts to take hold of their problems, develop their own solutions, and ultimately build a better future. We witnessed this transformation in the hearts and minds of those who participated in our Entrepreneurship and Stewardship program this year. Believing God has given them the talents and resources to work toward a better future, participants took the initiative to create their own committees to meet and address many of the spiritual, economic, and environmental issues plaguing their area. This restoration of people’s dignity has been one of the most encouraging and rewarding aspects of the project.