World Challenge’s partners are finding creative ways to support and bless church leaders in some of the world’s countries that are most closed off to the West and any Christian influence.
*Sita’s husband had to find work, so like many people in their region, he went to Dubai. With its booming tourist economy, this major Middle Eastern city almost always had companies looking to hire. He went with another purpose, though; Sita’s husband was going to help a church in Dubai.
Home alone, Sita was determined to do everything she could to support her husband from afar and take care of their family. She also served as a leader in their local church, and she loved being a witness to God whenever she was given the opportunity.
Her passion and hard work was what eventually brought her to the attention of World Challenge’s partners in that area.
Sita was working in a school to make money for her family, and her clear dedication to caring for other believers and her community made our partners decide to elect her for an ‘animal bank’ program that they were starting. Animal banks are a cashless microenterprise designed to help families start a herd that will become a sustainable source of income. We do this in cooperation with the local church to ensure long-term impact.
In this case, Sita was given a healthy female goat; in this area of the world, goats prove to be hardy and easy to raise than other farm animals. This goat doe was an investment with the hope that it would have kids that Sita could eventually develop into a herd that would provide milk that she should could sell. Over the next 2-3 years, Sita would return two of the animal’s babies back to the animal bank, thereby doubling the initial investment animals in the bank.
Through a continual process of receiving and giving, the number of animals in her community’s animal bank would grow and create opportunities for many more families to increase their income.
For Sita, the goat doe and the kids that it bore six months later were a special blessing. They would eventually allow her to build a herd that would become her family business and allow her to stay closer to home. This would make raising her children much easier and also enable her to more easily host a home fellowship for nearby believers.
Our partners strongly believe in finding innovative ways to support church leaders like Sita as they conduct their ministries, especially in part of the world where they minister to communities that may not be able to support pastors or church staff financially. Animal banks are one sustainable, community-based way that they can do this and bless the church in some of the world’s most closed countries.
*Not real name. For our ministry partners’ security, we don’t release names or locations in highly sensitive areas.