Transforming Lives through CHE!
Through IDAT’S Community Health Evangelism, individuals become followers of Jesus and communities are released from poverty through tangible solutions that change the course of their lives. We have taught CHE for over ten years at In Deed and Truth in Tonj, and I have witnessed first hand that it is one of the most powerful teaching methods for sharing the love of Christ in life transforming ways in communities fraught with poverty and disease. We can’t change ourselves. But the Holy Spirit can transform our hearts and our lives. It’s what gives us hope.
“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26
A recent story of how CHE has truly changed lives would be this incredible testimony from the field.
Marko Biith & Albino Ater were known in their community as fighters. Wherever conflict was occurring, they would go and capitalize on the fighting by stealing people’s cows. One day they were passing by a CHE training in the village of Parasika and heard Pastor Rueben sharing the gospel. They were convicted by the Holy Spirit to leave their stealing and become followers of Jesus. Last month Marko was visiting his sister when he heard fighting coming from a nearby house. He ran over and found a man severely beating his wife, so he leapt in front of the woman to protect her. Marko then talked with the man about caring for his wife, and the man repented and reconciled with his wife. Through the transformative power of Jesus Christ, Marko and Albino have gone from being cattle raiders to community peacemakers!
When William Deng was selected by his community to be a CHE committee member he had no understanding of God’s love for him. He regularly joined the local witchdoctor in offering animal sacrifices and worshiping idols.
In May he was arrested after being falsely accused of shooting someone. He was grateful when the guards in prison gave him VIP treatment because he was wearing a CHE shirt. The guard was grateful that some CHE volunteers had recently come and helped clean the prison as an act of community service! While in prison William had an encounter with God, which radically transformed him. After he was found to be innocent and released from prison, he went home and burnt all his idols, and has since joined Calvary Chapel Tonj. Two weeks ago he was appointed chief of his community, and when our CHE leaders visited he was giving all the glory to God!
What makes CHE unique is the community select their own CHE’s, who mostly do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. We train them and they teach Christ-centered community development. Through the spiritual lessons they hear and pass to others, their own lives are challenged and changed. As a community starts to put into practice the lessons from ‘CHE’ they also start to learn about God, His love for them and His plan versus satan’s plan for them. Since starting CHE on 2012 we have 29 active CHE centers and another 9 training their committees. New believers are joining the churches and from these CHE centers we have planted 21 churches. It has been a beautiful, natural progression born from the hunger and desire for righteousness within the community. So many people turning away from trusting in witchcraft and false gods and putting their trust in Jesus.
When an entire community is affected by CHE and lives are being transformed, the witness to other villages is phenomenal, creating a ripple effect and chiefs are now coming and begging us for CHE in their village. That’s because CHE releases people from a cycle of physical poverty and a life of spiritual poverty too.
Due to CHE programs, many households now have dish drying racks, cooking stoves, rubbish pits and vegetable gardens.
*Please pray for Suzy and Jed who fly to Africa on April 2nd.