In one Central Asian country, there are now churches in every city. This is extremely encouraging. But there is little Christian presence in the towns and villages. The questions now are who will go and share the gospel in these smaller communities and how they will go about this. Christianity is not widely accepted in this nation, so evangelists need to exercise sensitivity in their ministry. If foreign workers go to a community, they need a reason to live there, and locals are likely to be suspicious of them, at least to start with. If indigenous workers go, the villagers will still be suspicious. And although citizens do not require visas, they still need to eat, yet work is hard to find in rural areas.
WEC’s workers in the region have come up with a creative answer: chicken farming! Chicken farming can make local evangelists and pastors self-sufficient, gives a reason for them to live outside the main cities, and gives scope for developing natural contacts with local people while working on the chicken farm or selling eggs.
Low-key evangelism can begin quite naturally through these growing relationships.
At this point, one foreign worker has several hundred chickens in his back garden, and a local Christian leader has a chicken farm of 450 chicks which have just started to lay eggs. The foreign worker has been visiting the local leader regularly, and he has in turn been discipling a new believer as they work together, feeding and caring for the chicks. This local leader is also responsible for a nearby church plant.
The vision of this team goes beyond chicken farming. They hope to train locals in beekeeping, car maintenance and other practical skills. They envisage a vocational training centre where believers can go to learn skills and be discipled at the same time. The chicken farming is just a small step towards this greater vision.
The team’s work has the potential to make an enduring impact on local communities, sharing the good news of Jesus, establishing churches, and also teaching vocational skills to empower people to make a better future for themselves. It’s a striking example of what can be done when people bring their skills, a servant attitude and a degree of lateral thinking to the task of mission.
Could you use your practical skills in mission? Email us about how this might work.
Find out more about our Church planting ministry
third of the world does not have access to the stories of Jesus. WEC’s aim is
to work with God’s church to see worshipping communities established among these
teams live alongside local people, journeying with them and sharing the good
news. Ultimately, their aim is to plant vibrant churches, empowering local
Christians to lead and transform their communities.
We need you to get involved
Would you like to play a part in building communities of God's people where there are none? Fill in our ‘connect with us’ form below or email us.