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Learning from the Best on Community Development

If you regularly read Jacob’s Well updates, you may have picked up on a pattern of activities that revolve around spiritual, social and economic development at the community level. News alert: Jacob’s Well isn’t the only organization that takes this approach! As the board of directors met and prayed for future direction during a recent strategic planning retreat, we were led to partner with World Challenge and their Community Health Evangelism (CHE) training.

As a result, we held our first CHE training in Brazil in December with approximately 30 Jacob’s Well staff and volunteers. This first exposure focused on the philosophy and methodologies of CHE and included several interactive workshops designed to engage the participants (pictures and a clip from one of the skits above). Some may ask, “Why is it important for Jacob’s Well to get training in this CHE methodology?” We believe this kind of education is critical at this stage in the growth of Jacob’s Well so that we develop strong disciplines in our community work and approach, use funds wisely and effectively, and measure the right kinds of results from our efforts.

While many missions organizations desire to “teach people how to fish” rather than “hand out fish”, in reality it’s much easier to hand out fish! And fundraising for relief activities like food distribution, building projects and Christian literature can be simpler as well. The challenging work, however, is in training communities to run their own churches, build their own sustainable economic ventures, and solve their own everyday challenges through prayer, teamwork and ingenuity. We aren’t taking the easy road, and we trust that you will continue to walk with us down this path of community development. Thank you for your faithful support, and we will continue to update you on all that is getting accomplished in the drought-stricken region of northeast Brazil!

Happy New Year from all of us, and if you are a regular supporter be on the lookout for an invitation for a live from-the-field update from Renato.

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