Pumpkin Seed Faith

Although Discipling for Development serves people in poor, rural areas of Africa, there are no “hand-outs.”  Instead, we help individuals and communities recognize the assets God has already given them.  Then we help them discover how to become biblical stewards of those assets in order to solve their own problems.

In Kirambo, Rwanda, Marita’s husband gave her two children as well as HIV—then left her.  Abandoned, Marita lived alone with her two children in abject poverty.  She kept her head down and avoided eye contact, hoping no one would talk to her because she felt ashamed of herself and her situation.  Then she met Pastor Tertullian Nsabimana from Kirambo.

Pastor Nsabimana had recently gained a new vision for his church through Discipling for Development.  He invited Marita to a discipleship group, encouraged her through the Word, and prayed for her.  She began to recognize her true worth in Christ.  She started trusting Jesus and began to realize that He had given her the ability to help herself and her family.

Marita learned how to earn money selling at the market, and found out she was good at it.  She soon accumulated enough savings to acquire goats and a small parcel of land to farm, and she built a small house for herself and her children.  Now, when Marita looks into the mirror she is no longer ashamed.  She is teaching her children how to take care of their own animals to help pay for school supplies and other expenses.  She has said, “I may have HIV but I haven’t died yet!”

Each year church members bring a thank offering—acknowledging the Lord’s blessing during the past year.  Although Marita’s financial situation was still tight, she decided to bring to church something God had provided:  the largest pumpkin in her garden.

When Marita laid her pumpkin beside the other seemingly more significant gifts, the hearts of the church members were deeply moved.  Someone made a “bid” on her pumpkin—an offering to be given to the church.  Another member raised the bid.  Many began joyfully bidding on Marita’s pumpkin.  At the end, church members were amazed that the total offering exceeded $1,300—the largest amount the church had ever raised.

Marita’s story is not an isolated event.  God is using Discipling for Development to raise up disciples across Africa.  Whether it’s “mustard seed faith” or “pumpkin seed faith,” the Spirit of God is powerfully working among people who once saw no hope.

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