Using Local Resources to Transform Communities

In response to the Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh and Myanmar, CEDAR and other Integral Alliance members are in the process of providing emergency relief to the displaced. Amidst emergencies and crises, outside help is much needed, such as food aid and medical supply, to provide life-saving help to the affected. But when it comes to development work, the most important changes are brought about by the community itself, using its own resources.

CEDAR has been working with Tearfund Bangladesh (TFB) since 2011 to train and mobilise churches to get involve in transforming their communities. The church, being a significant part of the community, is more knowledgeable about the community’s needs than outside organisations.

In northwestern Bangladesh, TFB held Bible studies in the Astapukur village to cultivated believers’ spirituality and encouraged them to practise their faith by serving the community. In one of the sessions, participants were inspired by the Holy Spirit and came up with an idea to donate some rice to be stored in the church for neighbours in need. Through discussions and further refinement, they have now set up a food bank in the church. This project has mobilised community members to drive changes using local resources, which equip them to become self-reliant.

Donated rice are stored in these small Gola Ghors[1] to help those in need

In addition, our latest project with TFB is to support a local seminary, the College of Christian Theology Bangladesh (CCTB), to organise a course on Integral Mission with the aim to equip students from 480 churches across the country to serve their communities through follow-up projects. As the church knows its community best, the course encourages students to help individual church in response to its community’s needs by launching projects in areas like: children ministry, anti-human trafficking, and fighting against gender-based violence. We believe the social changes brought by local churches could one day transform the whole nation.

The course will be held across the country

Prayer Items:

  • Pray that God would move the churches in Bangladesh to actively change their communities for the better, and benefit more communities.
  • Pray that God would guide the cooperation between CEDAR, Tearfund Bangladesh, and the local churches to work towards a brighter future.
  • Pray that God would use the new course at College of Christian Theology Bangladesh to change the country.

[1] Gola Ghors are traditional Bangladesh food storage