In the rural communities that make up roughly 80% of the nation’s population, small congregations meet in tiny huts or in the open air. The many areas in northern Uganda –where war was strongest a decade ago– and in South Sudan where it is still ongoing, Christian presence is absent altogether. Bibles are scarce and poor teaching of the Word causes believers to mix their faith with local superstition and the occult, and with so many ministries come and gone, roots have been planted, then ripped out repeatedly. What our hope is is to see the roots that we have carefully nurtured further solidify with a physical church building.
The construction of a church building for a healthy congregation living and teaching God’s Word makes a direct impact on the accurate teaching of the Word to the local area. If there is already a church of a denomination present, our progress is quickened by asking to lock arms with them. Our newly trained believers humbly offer themselves to their ministry to thrive from. Favor’s church planting initiatives are an integral part of our Community Revitalization program, because we want to rebuild each community’s physical and spiritual needs around a healthy church.
Practically, the church becomes a central gathering place for the communities and is one of the most effective means of reaching and transforming lives. This is where continued life skills classes are held. Youth sports and activities operate and centralize around the building, which further establishes a consistent structure for the young children to anchor to. One church planted in an unreached community can affect countless generations.
“Your faith will be activated where your feet go. Peter’s faith was activated when he stepped out onto the water. He didn’t start with his hands.”
With these critical elements in place, the construction of a church building begins. The entire community is involved in the construction process by providing labor, food and other available resources for workers. Our intention is to just be a resource behind the church allowing them to be as independent as possible. When finished, our staff walks with the new faith community throughout the following year to guide and sustain the village’s continued development.
Due to past lack of commitment from prior ministries as mentioned before, we hope to be different. When Carole first arrived and began to sew into Northern Uganda, a pastor was opening a room for her to reside in during her early months in Northern Uganda. He ashamedly and timidly showed her the modest room, saying, “I know you are used to better.” He looked down at his feet and then asked, “Are you going to take pictures and stay here a little while and tell of the bullets flying and then go back to your country and make money on making movies from our suffering like some others have done?” As Favor has remained, we are slowly able to show the committed love of Christ and that we are here to not sew a seed, but to sew a lifetime. We desire to serve Jesus and every village in this way in every facet of our ministry. Church construction gives back the independent legs to a village that war and deflated hopes have stolen. This is our goal when we strive toward full community revitalization.
Through a long-term grant to build 1,000 new churches both in South Sudan and northern Uganda, your donations are matched 5x. Favor covers approximately 15% of the cost of each new church structure, a generous partnership grant covers 75%, and the local community supplies another 10% in supplies and labor. Favor conducts all on-site project coordination and follow-up.
“You want God to do the impossible? Put your feet into the impossibility, and watch God divide the water… You watch God do the supernatural, but go step on it. Go step on it.”