Christ called us to consider the true meaning of discipleship

When our founder Michael Wood first set out God’s vision for Rope, he talked of reaching “the poorest of the poor” and through practical demonstrations of Christ’s love, providing them with physical, emotional and spiritual support. When I joined in 2016, we reflected on this vision as we sought to discern God’s will for Rope going forwards.


Christ calls his followers to disciple all nations and although charitable giving is an inherent part of that, I am personally challenged when continually called to respond to charity appeals. As Christians in the UK, we are richly blessed and should respond to Christ’s call to share what we have (Acts 4: 32-25), but sometimes I feel frustrated when I do not see the evidence of transformation in people’s lives. Yes, charities are doing “good works” and their intentions are honourable. But are we transforming lives or merely creating a culture of dependency, which is at odds with God’s plan for His people - a full life dependent only on Him?

Transformation

Having spent time discerning God’s call, we feel the passion to deliver transformation – inspiring people to become Citizens of Hope – in all the good works we support. We want to invest wisely to build God’s kingdom and over the last year have been working with our partners, who we now refer to as Change Makers, to focus our work much more onto how we are transforming lives.

This challenging work is leading to more open and honest working relationships, greater accountability and ultimately, bearing fruit for His kingdom.

Uganda

My recent visit to Uganda is a great illustration of this. For the last 6 years we have been helping internally displaced people, victims of war, to rebuild their lives through the growing of groundnuts. I wanted to see for myself the effects of the drought facing many in East Africa, which has led to the crops of 200 new farmers being wiped out. Though this was tough to see and needed an immediate response, we celebrated that the 800 farmers, who we had supported in previous years, had weathered the drought. They are living self-sufficient lives with their dignity restored – Hallelujah! And following the amazing response to our Lenten Appeal, all 200 farmers from last year have planted drought-resistant groundnuts this year! However, even more powerful was the spiritual transformation. I was deeply moved when I saw people praising God for bringing them out of exile and into prosperity, heard of bibles being distributed, the Gospel being preached and people being baptised. Be assured – it is not just groundnuts being grown in this part of Africa!

Citizens of Hope

So, when we talk about transformation, we mean inspiring people to become Citizens of Hope. This means enabling them to leave behind lives of rejection and neglect and to experience new, full lives dependent only on God, which they joyfully share with others. For us this is the meaning of discipleship.

Thank you for supporting this work and may God bless you in abundance for all you do.