Health Agents Start Rabbit Churches
YWAM church planters began to focus on the Betsimisaraka tribe on the island of Madagascar in 2000. By 2004, God had given the team a specific strategy: Responding to a felt need of the tribe members for better health care, YWAM trained and empowered "health agents" in each community, who in turn formed a management committee for the local clinic. Simple lessons on good hygiene and clean drinking water produced dramatic results, opening many hearts to the message of the gospel. Local believers were formed into two church-planting teams and given on-the-job training. They have now established 22 new churches among the Betsimisaraka and, while continuing the local work, have turned their vision outward to the neighboring islands of Reunion, Mauritius, Comoros and Maldives. These native missionaries describe their churches as "rabbit churches" because they reproduce so quickly.
Back to top...
A Little Training Goes A Long Way
A number of workers were interested in a particular people group in China - the largest unreached people group in the country. People had gone in on short-term teams and they had seen a little bit of success, but we were told by many different agencies that this people group was simply unreachable; it was too difficult. We sent a single woman from a neighboring country to work alongside a couple of different organizations that had been struggling for many, many years. Before we sent her, we took her through a series of training courses - the Discipleship Training School, the School of Biblical Studies, and finally the School of Frontier Missions. Some people think they have to have years of training before they are ready to go to the unreached, but this young woman really had a relatively short season of training. We expected that things would be difficult for her. Sure enough, during the very first week she contacted us asking for help. She said her biggest problem was that so many people were coming to the Lord, she had no idea how to disciple them! She was writing to beg us to send more workers quickly who could help her disciple the new believers. Throughout this people group, we see the start of a church planting movement. We see lots of small churches being planted in village areas, and we believe that God is going to do an incredible thing.
We believe that this unreached people group of 17 million is going to be reached within a short time.
Back to top...