Have you ever wondered why AID is so committed to working with local churches?
Development work in countries like South Sudan is already difficult enough – surely it would be easier to run various projects without trying to balance that with a commitment to working with local Christians? After all, countless organisations that equip people to lift themselves out of poverty across the globe pay no attention to spiritual needs.
AID’s unique strength as a development charity is contacts within the Anglican Church in both the developed and developing world. We can unlock the skills and resources within the Anglican Church worldwide and build links that can channel resources and transfer skills to appropriate projects.
However, our belief that God is the only person who can bring powerful hope and healing is much more significant than the logistical benefits of belonging to a network. At AID, we believe that a commitment to supporting people in both their material and spiritual needs will result in deep, lasting progress. Bryant L. Myers, the author of Walking with the Poor: Principles and Practices of Transformational Development, writes:
‘If there is to be any human transformation that is sustainable, it will be because of the action of the Holy Spirit, not the effectiveness of our development technology or the cleverness of our participatory processes.’
This is what we believe at AID – the Holy Spirit of God is powerful to bring about lasting change in communities such as those in South Sudan where the situation seems impossibly hopeless. We know this because God gives promises to us in His Word, the Bible, such as this one which is a source of hope for people in South Sudan:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. – 1 Peter 1:3-4a
We know we can trust these promises because God has kept promises in the past by sending Jesus Christ as the saviour of mankind: For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. – 2 Corinthians 1:20
That is why our microfinance initiatives operate through local churches, why the good news of the gospel is shared with refugees in our agriculture project, why we are committed to supporting South Sudanese pastors by funding their theology training, why our sanitation project aims for clean hearts as well as clean hands. At the heart of everything AID does is the confident assurance that God is at work through us and without Him, all of our efforts would fail.
‘Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.