December 13, 2018
“For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything,” writes the author of Hebrews (3:4). Reverend Bitu Mondhu and his congregation discovered the truth of this Scripture firsthand when he participated in Timothy Leadership Training (TLT) implemented by Resonate Global Mission.
Bitu’s church meets in a small, one-room building in South Asia. Like many of the houses in the community, the building’s walls and floors are set from mud. The foundation stands firm, but rain dripped on churchgoers’ heads from leaks in the tin roof, and cracks spiderwebbed across walls. As weeks wore on and more leaks and cracks formed, more and more seats remained empty during worship.
In order to keep his congregation healthy and growing, Bitu knew the building needed to be repaired—but his congregation had only 600 Taka (about $7.50 USD) in savings. Many members struggled to provide for their own families and houses, let alone their church family and house of worship.
Then Bitu attended a TLT session on Christian stewardship at the College of Christian Theology Bangladesh, and God gave him hope and a strategy.
A Resonate initiative, TLT equips local pastors and other Christian leaders to help build sustainability within their congregations. Resonate worker Jeff Bos and World Renew worker Wailes Rangsa collaborated to translate TLT into Bangla for leaders like Bitu.
During the training on Christian stewardship, Bitu read and discussed Scripture celebrating how God provides for people through land and material gifts. He felt convicted to better care for the church building and developed an action plan to restore it.
He started a discussion in his congregation about the repairs and preached a sermon on the importance of tithing—and people responded. Even though members of his congregation live in poverty, the Holy Spirit convicted and encouraged them through Bitu’s words.
“People gave more than I expected!” exclaimed Bitu. Church members raised 26,000 Taka ($325 USD)—more than enough for the repairs. But money is not all the members gave. “[They] contributed all the labor,” said Bitu. “They built their church themselves.”
After hearing the sermon Bitu developed from his TLT training, members worked together to improve the building. They repaired windows and doors, replaced the tin roof with plastic sheeting that keeps out the rain and allows natural light to enter, replastered the walls, and covered the mud floor with cement.
“Since the repairs, more people are attending services,” said Bitu. Many members began attending worship services again, and they have been joined by others in the community who are curious about faith in a God who inspires so much dedication and generosity.
Thank you for joining God in building his kingdom on earth. Because of your support, church leaders and congregations around the world are being shaped and discipled through Biblical teaching.
This story was originally published by The Banner.