What is a Sustainable Community Impact Initiative?
A Sustainable Community Impact Initiative is the utilization of framework in Asset Based Community Development to create consistent resources that both meets a community need and generates ministry resources for the continued growth of the ministry and the reach of the Gospel. This community identified need is met without the creation of dependency for long-lasting dignity & empowerment of the local people to provide wholeness to their members, neighbors, and others beyond their front door.
Each of these initiatives is unique to the community, ministry, and leader. No two are alike, therefore a program, step-by-step guide, or map doesn’t exist. The vision and plan to reach their goal needs to be explored, discussed, and developed alongside and with the team which consists of the community leaders and us. We aren’t in the driver’s seat, meaning we aren’t in charge and the drive of motivation doesn’t come from us. The hope of these initiatives, which is just a name for how we do specific ministry within a community, the hope is for these initiatives to be a spark, an inspiration, and a realization for the community that they, in fact, can and are accomplishing God’s visions for their community. Yes, they receive encouragement and support, they may receive guidance or input from us when they aren’t clear of the next step (e.g. development of a budget, ordering of steps, finding of information, networking with similar existing ideas, and the like), but it is their ambitions, their ideas, their vision, their work, and it belongs to them. We can’t claim it, because it doesn’t depend on or belong to us.
A few examples of these initiatives are:
- Providing light in the community for students to study after dark. The batey church raised the money after we aided them in the development of a budget. We helped with the installation, but they provided the laborers. They appointed specific people in the community to maintain and monitor the solar system & lights, who we trained. This initial initiative sparked their ability to host bible studies in the evening hours WITH the men after they finished work for the day. It has also inspired their latest goal of repairing/replacing the doors of the church.
- Making the running of a water business a reality after many obstacles have delayed its opening. While the equipment has been provided, there have been challenges to its completion of installation and the opening of the business. We have aided in listing and prioritizing steps for completion as well as ironing out details of the business plan and day to day operations. We continue to pray, encourage, and support to see this community have a stable source of safe drinking water.
- Similarly, the restart of a once fully operational water business. A few years have passed since it was a thriving operation, but it was paused because of an injury to the pastor, who was the acting business leader. Now that the injury has healed, sanitation codes have changed and the equipment needs to be cleaned before reopening. With further discussion, it was revealed that a major struggle the business has is the consistency and simultaneous operation of electricity and water to be purified. We are aiding in the steps for recertification and through the obtaining of an underground water cistern for storage and a generator. We will also assist in the development of the new business plan and operational guides.
- We are also currently involved in the completion of a storage room for social needs distribution. Formerly a room of miscellaneous storage at the church, it has been emptied, those things relocated to appropriate places, and the installation of shelving for organization of the donated food items and clothing.
Again, each of the initiatives vary in involvement, size, and type. But ALL are community led and driven. We get the privilege to witness the growth, journey, and completion of these leader’s dreams.
If you would like to support Sustainable Community Impact Initiatives financially, you can give through our Undesignated Specifics fund. Memo Line: “Brian & Lynette Smith – Undesignated Specifics”