Each year County Line Church selects an international ministry partner to receive funds through the Joy to the World Offering. This year’s recipient is Global Disciples. In short, Global Disciples partners with pastors in the areas of discipleship training, leadership development, and small business development. You can learn more about this ministry on their website at globaldisciples.org.
Below is an excerpt taken from the “What’s In Your Hand?” book, published by Global Disciples. In the coming weeks we will share the stories of people who have experienced the “What’s In Your Hand?” training and running a business to support their families and churches.
I Was Wearing Blinders
Ojore is a great example of someone who felt stuck. The pastor of a small church, he attend- ed the four days of small business training and developed a plan to increase his chickens from six to ten. Fred and Hakim were serving as his coaches. When Fred heard Ojore share what could hardly be called a business plan, he questioned him through translation.
Ojore said he pastored a group that wouldn’t want him to do business because they want- ed him available at all times. Then he said something that made the group laugh. When Fred asked for a translation, he learned that Ojore called himself a “squatter” on the church land.
Fred went back to the basics, “What did you find in your hand?”
“Nothing,” Ojore replied.
“Well, I have two acres of land, but it’s two kilometers from the church, it’s not cleared, and there’s no house,” Ojore answered.
Hakim spoke from his experience, “The distance of your land from the church is not a problem. My land is even farther from the church, so I just give people the number for my cell phone. And when they have a need, I come. Once, I was just about to plant when I got a call that one of my people had died. I went home, cleaned up, ministered to the family, and performed the funeral. [In many cultures burial is done by sunset on the date of death.] Afterwards I went back and planted the field.”
Fred quickly saw that part of Ojore’s problem was a poor self-image, so he began building him up. “Ojore, you’re actually far better off than all those in the group who have been talking about renting land for farming. You could rent your land for 240,000 UGS.” God had given Ojore something valuable.
“Are any of your children old enough to help you clear the land?” one coach asked.
“Yes, three of the four are old enough to work with me.”
“So, clear the land and plant a crop.”
“I don’t have money for seed.”
“Okay. Clear the land and rent it for two crop cycles. Save a portion of the rent money for seed so that you can plant.”
“I would need to build a house there.”
“Don’t feel bad staying at the church. It’s how they can pay you something, which is right for them to do. When your farm is established, then build your house.”
Ojore’s demeanor changed. He said, “I’ve been wearing blinders! I couldn’t see what God had put in my hands.” His attitude and self-percep- tion had changed: he wasn’t a squatter with empty hands; God had provided him with something to help support his family. He was filled with hope!
The mix of local and outside perspectives was instrumental in helping Ojore identify obstacles and overcome them with practical solutions.
- Click on this link: countylinechurch.org
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