“Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him” (Colossians 3:10 NLT).
These words from Paul have inspired a world-wide movement that wants to find how God changes and renews every part of life.
World Challenge offers TOT1 vision seminars globally that explore the theology and practical application of holistic ministry. A major part of this is not only the week-long seminar but also giving participants access to thousands of community health lessons, resources and global connections.
In order to create sustainable transformation in missions work, we have to re-engineer how we approach community issues.
This new perspective is helping to start a grass-roots revolution in neighborhoods and city blocks where people return to be a light and blessing to their family, friends and neighbors.
Mongolia– Central Asia
Meega lives in a massive, Russian-owned apartment from the communist era. After attending a vision seminar for community health evangelism, he was inspired.
He went home and organized his fellow tenants into teams that cleaned the complex, looked out for neighbors, improved facilities in the apartment and prayed together. Working together improved relationships among residents, and they are now discussing pooling their money to purchase the apartment block from their Russian landlords.
The idea that God cares about our home and neighbors prompted one man to take action that is already impacting 500 others.
Kenya– Sub-Saharan Africa
Four indigenous pastors from Northern Kenya traveled to the nearest vision seminar World Challenge was offering in the region. They served in extremely impoverished areas of Kenya where the vast majority of people are herdsmen.
The conference helped them see how their education and resources could become the vehicle for more effectively spreading the Good News to their communities. One pastor with an agricultural background returned to his region and began developing tomato-growing methods and clean water programs that could be easily spread along with the gospel.
Another took the Jesus Film back to his village to hold movie nights for local people; the story made a deep impression on an assistant chief from nearby village. He told his people about the film, and now 11 communities are asking the pastors to come and explain more about Christ.
Brazil – South America
Several believers and ministry leaders in Fortaleza attended a vision seminar and left with a renewed passion to make their church have more impact on their neighborhood.
They gathered together to pray and discuss the matter and felt God was calling them to move into the community rather than inviting the community into their space. They ended the lease on their church building and transitioned into house churches where their neighbors would see and hear their services.
Here it was easier to invite outsiders in and make them feel welcomed, as well as helping the ministry leaders feel connected to the pulse and needs of the neighborhood.
Laos – Southeast Asia
A closed country, Laos does not welcome believers from the outside world, and followers of Christ in this region live under the constant threat of persecution.
One man heard about the vision seminar, however, and drove 8 hours from his village to attend. The idea that God gives everyone resources and abilities to bless others stuck deeply with him, and he returned with a mission: to empower his own community.
He gathered neighbors and held a small training of his own, encouraging them to make a list of things their community needed. They collectively put widows at the top of their list since many women in the area had lost their spouse and were struggling to survive.
Together, people decided to obey God’s call to love their neighbors and began helping the widows in their community harvest their crops and repair their homes.
Burundi – East Africa
One attendee of the Burundi vision seminar was a young lawyer. After the training, he said, “Using what you equipped me with, I feel I can be more effective and fruitful.”
He began to pray seriously about how God wanted to use him, and eventually felt he was being called to a discipleship training school with Rwanda’s Youth with a Mission program. His family was incredulous that he would leave his lucrative career to pursue ministry work, but the calling of God persisted in his life.
“It is a big task to move out and leave behind the job,” he commented, “but I am eager to pursue my true calling.” Meanwhile, he continues to pray for provision and for his family to understand how God can utterly change the direction of a life.
United States – North America
Now is your chance to learn more about community health evangelism.
If you feel burdened for your community or are interested in short-term or long-term missions, World Challenge's vision seminar could be a valuable resource. It provides insight into how to pinpoint local needs and help people make the most of their God-given abilities and resources.