And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 4:19 (ESV)
On a dry July day in 2006, Pastor Remy held his first church service in a remote village in Madagascar’s Central Highlands. When the villagers heard that a new church would be planted in their community, they were ecstatic. They couldn’t wait to worship there! As the years went on, church attendance grew to over 200 people every Sunday. Today, even the chief of the village acknowledges the impact of the Gospel in the life of the villagers. “Many of our young people are now free from alcohol, drugs, and idolatry,” he says. “Ever since the church was planted here, many people accepted the Gospel and have been saved.”
As the dry season in the Central Highlands brought colder weather, the church decided to carry out a special humanitarian project by distributing blankets to the impoverished families in the village. “Even though our church had limited resources, we prayed earnestly,” Pastor Remy says. “A generous fabric company came forward to assist us, enabling us to distribute blankets to 87 families in need.”
The congregation witnessed God’s divine goodness at work through this endeavor, bringing warmth to the hearts and bodies of those suffering in the harsh cold. Each blanket served as a tangible manifestation of the love and compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ towards those in need. As the church members gave away the blankets, they pondered on Matthew 10:42, which says, “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” Those words deeply rooted themselves in their hearts as they served their community with joy and compassion. Through this project, the congregation witnessed the unity of their community, working hand-in-hand to bring warmth and comfort to those in dire need.
“We are grateful to God for His providence and to the fabric company that joined forces with us,” Pastor Remy declares. “Praise God, we could make a tangible difference in the lives of underprivileged families.”
Not only this church, but local congregations across the globe are ministering to communities in need. Whether they are providing food, shelter, or tutoring for those without access to an education, the local church becomes a beacon of hope for those that need it most. The church is more than just a building…it is an essential resource. Plus, pastors have a special opportunity to receive the materials they need in order to minister to their congregations effectively. As part of the One Million Untrained Pastors Initiative in Africa, pastors receive training and Foundations curriculum that they can use to help build their sermons. When pastors are empowered with the skills and knowledge they need to lead their congregations, their churches are equipped to make an even bigger impact on their communities for Christ.