Watch a video of Pastor Edmond explaining how the church managed to raise money to complete its building.
Called to build a church
Pastor Edmond himself felt called to build a church, but the region was poor and the cost was clearly too much for his small congregation. On the other hand, Edmond’s training had taught him that you can start a project with just a ‘handful of rice’. So he started to talk in terms that his villagers could understand, of building the church ‘one kilo of cement’ at a time. One member of the church suggested holding a lucky dip at church. So they wrote out the different elements that were needed: 1 light bulb, 20 cement bricks, 5 metres of electric cable, 1 plank of wood etc. Everyone had to pick out a piece of paper and provide what was written on it.
Today the church stands almost complete and a new sign has been put up next to it. It reads, ‘Changed people bring about change’ and bears witness to the building being accomplished with the help of CCMP.
Pastor Edmond ran out of time to tell us about all the changes going on in both the church and community. The church has built two rooms for literacy classes. They have started some improved agriculture trial plots. The youth are working together to serve their community, even building a little hostel for visitors passing through. All the activity has prompted local people to come to see what is happening and to ask advice on how to bring development.
Pastor Edmond did, however, have just enough time to share the story of another lucky dip held at the church. It featured Dieudonné (Illio in the local language), a local farmer, who pulled out a piece of paper that requested ‘this year’s crop of cashew nuts from three trees’.
A generous harvest
When the harvest came and church members went to find the three trees on Dieudonné’s land, he said, ‘I’m going to give the cashews of 21 trees, not three. In addition, I want the pastor to have a portion of my land as he is a stranger here without land to plant on.’ This past year Dieudonné has again offered the nuts from 21 trees to support the church in its projects for the community.
Pastor Edmond says that CCMP does not always start something new, but it takes what is there and enables people to go far further than they ever would have gone without it. He is now teaching CCMP to the students at a local Bible college whose director has seen the amazing impact it has had in Edmond’s rural congregation and community.
For more information: read Learning Together, which highlights some of the key lessons learnt with CCM over the past 20 years, and Church and Community Mobilisation in Africa
You may also be interested to read these blogs about Church and Community Transformation: Reaping the rewards of community film-making and Are young people the key to community transformation?