in South Asia
One Collective | March 12, 2021
“In our community, the need for lasting change is obvious. Most families live in poverty here - they have skills and abilities, but are cut off from opportunities to better their situation. Many have a dream of going to school and gaining an education, but they are unable to because of financial barriers that exist community-wide.
An average family shares a small home, and their combined income is around $150/month. This income meets basic needs, but often family members take on temporary manual labor to make ends meet. Growing up nearby - I saw firsthand how these cycles of poverty and lack of access to education and opportunity were repeated over and over, and out of that grew a passion in me for seeing them transformed. That’s why our ministry today is concentrated on the oppressed and marginalized in the community. I believe that many families can finally experience hope and transformation - as all of their needs are met.
We are already beginning to see evidence of this transformation. When I started working with One Collective, a church was established here, and one of the core objectives was to bring real freedom in person's life and in the community that can only be possible in Jesus. Now, more than twenty people from Hindu and Buddhist backgrounds are worshiping God together - and this has created an incredible space for discovering God and growing deeply through Bible study.
Lasting change begins with bringing people together - finding skills, strengths, and passion and equipping local leaders with the resources they need to transform the community from the inside out. So we began by gathering a group of people from this new church community and sharing this vision with them. A man named James was there that day and shared with me an idea related to his background - beekeeping. He talked about how apiculture could provide income for anyone willing to learn. The key to the idea is that anyone who has land in our rural community can begin beekeeping - So just a few months later, we held a training for 7 local farmers at my family’s property nearby.
At this training, James began by explaining how keeping bees, in addition to normal farming, could increase the impact they were able to make in the community by providing jobs to others. Every time a farm begins, a job is created and more families have access to sustainable income. Because of the generosity of partners with One Collective, we are now able to help with funding to expand this business.
We began with just a few hives - but today that number has grown to over 15. By the end of this year, we plan to have 50 - and by 2023, we expect to have nearly 200 hives. This has created great excitement in the community - the farmers and people that are involved are passionate and see clearly the impact this project can have.
Alongside that success, something else is happening too. More people from the community are joining together in following Jesus. That church - which began as a bridge across religious differences has become a core part of the growth happening. Together these believers are opening the door for hope and transformation to spread.
In our community here in South Asia - lasting change is happening economically as businesses start, emotionally as families find purpose in their work, and spiritually as people encounter Jesus for the first time. Thank you.”