Indigenous Support Development

The privilege of partnership

What are the social taboos in your culture?

In Russia, it’s taboo to give an even number of flowers. In Japan, it’s taboo to walk into a home with your shoes on. In Brazil, it’s taboo to wear purple lipstick.

While there are differences in what is considered socially acceptable in different cultures, in many parts of the world it’s considered taboo to ask people for money. It’s considered inappropriate or rude. It’s often thought of as begging.

The IFES Indigenous Support Development (ISD) program has a different perspective: it prizes partnership. If gospel ministry in universities is to continue, partnership is essential: in prayer, resources, personnel and finances. To partner in God’s kingdom work through these means is not burdensome or shameful, but a blessing and a privilege. The ISD program equips and trains national movements to develop sustainable funding through partnerships at the local level with students, graduates, churches and even companies. It enables movements to move away from over-dependence on unpredictable external funding.

Keep reading to find out how movements and students in Burundi, Eurasia and Guyana have benefited from ISD training.

New partners in Burundi

Oscar Nduwarugira, the General Secretary of UGBB Burundi, embarked on the ISD program with some hesitation, but has been encouraged to see new partners come on board:

“We started the implementation of the ISD project with a lot of shyness and trial and error. But to our surprise, we found that our people are willing to give to the movement, and that they are only waiting for our invitation! From starting with less than 20 donors we were able to reach more than 100 donors.”

The extra finances raised have funded student ministry activities, two new members of staff and the construction of the UGBB headquarters to support student ministry.

New staff for Eurasia

Staff member Y in Eurasia reflected on the impact the ISD training has had on her personally, and on her national movement:

“The first impact that the ISD program had on me was to change my attitude to fundraising. I realised after attending the ISD training that before teaching people any practical skills, we need to go deeper together in Scripture and see what the Bible says about fund development. Studying the Bible passages had a big influence on changing perspectives of the team and helped to deal with fears in fund raising. In the last two years due to the impact of the ISD training and mentoring, the staff team grew from five full-time and one part-time to 12 full-time staff! This is the biggest team we’ve ever had as a student ministry.”

New students reached in Guyana

General Secretary Flemlyn Ragobeer shared how ISD is helping IS/IVCF Guyana reach more students with the good news of Jesus:

“We have grown in the number of donors, partnerships with churches and general funds. As a result, we have been able to serve more students with our regular programs and have initiated new ones like our HOPE Suicide Prevention Program. Due to the increase in funds, we can travel to farther counties in Guyana, taking the gospel and training to students and teachers we serve.”

Join us in thanking God for his ever-faithful provision, and for the privilege of being partners in his kingdom work. And let’s be praying that, in the changing and challenging economic climate, God would help national movements reach a position of financial sustainability through the development of local partnerships in the years ahead.

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