Over the years of mission trips to various countries, I've usually been asked to help build Church buildings. It was never something that the trip intended, but usually we tried our best to help where we could.
Some of them have been tiny, mud wall based buildings, I remember one on the edge of a banana plantation in Bweri, Uganda. Others have been much larger. The over riding thought has been that is the Church is running well in an area, there are many advantages to help the people in the surrounding community. There will be faith building preaching and teaching each week, the community the Church forms will help one another. There might be a clinic we could add on, there could be education provision, as well as the looking after of orphans and widows. The work of the Church in many developing nations is central to a healthy community.
On one trip to Uganda in 2015, myself and good friend Gareth Killa, spent an afternoon talking about this after a request came in. I remember saying at that time, there must be a way we could set up a better process for this, so we could encourage people to rally around a project and work together to get something completed in months rather than the years it could take otherwise.
When I looked at this concept here are some of the things I realised.
• The project could be split into fundable phases
• The project itself could be less than £10,000 for the land plus the building
• The labour in developing countries is low
• If we had five phases to a £10,000 project and we found 40 people giving £25 a month the whole thing could be completed in 10 months start to finish.
• We only release the money in stages, and need photographs or video of each completed phase.
The penny really dropped and I realised we had stumbled upon a solid way of building Churches without all the pressure of the project resting on one or two people.
'Build a Church' was the apt working title. What was conceived that day has recently become a reality as 'Build a Church' undertakes it's first project in Uganda. This is our pilot project and we're gonna learn a lot of what we need to know through this.
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