This story comes via Shawn Carson in the DNA Global Secretariat office.
One of my responsibilities at the DNA is to facilitate classes in our Coram Deo online learning program. These classes are held four times a year and last 12 weeks, with speakers focusing on a new subject and application each week. It is a dynamic time of learning since participants come from different nations and contexts. We learn a lot from one another and see how God’s truth applies to our different situations. As the facilitator, I get to interact and walk with people through their learning processes.
Last year, during one of our classes, I met Lillian. Lillian was an exceptional student who connected with the material and allowed the truth she was learning to challenge her thinking. She was hungry to learn and grow and often emailed me to ask questions about specific applications. We discussed these truths in depth and, although we didn’t always come to a conclusion, I knew she was wrestling with some significant worldview shifts. Some of the material was so foreign to her way of thinking that she really wasn’t sure how or if she should accept it.
The faithfulness of God was made evident as he provided Lillian an opportunity to attend a conference hosted by one of our partner organizations, Transforming Nations Alliance (TNA), in her city of Kampala, Uganda. At the conference, she once again heard the same truths and how they applied to her context. The result was transforming. You can read Lillian’s story below.
My name is Lillian, a Kenyan working and living in Kampala, Uganda. I learnt about Coram Deo on the DNA website. My husband had done the course, so he encouraged me to take the classes. I enrolled and self-studied from March to September 2015. My experience with Coram Deo was exciting. From the onset, I was challenged to live my life before the face of God. I knew we are created in the image of God, but the phrase ‘God’s image bearers’ brought a new understanding about my view about people. I now know without doubt that all people, regardless of their backgrounds are Imago Dei and should be treated with respect and awe.
For some time, I struggled to understand why some Christian organizations are actively involved in community development while others aren’t. Somehow, I believed that it was the work of such organizations to build hospitals, schools and other amenities. I struggled through Coram Deo’s lesson #9 on the irreducible minimum. It was hard to reconcile that lesson and the realities that we face. One year later, I attended a training on Coram Deo facilitated by TNA. While at the training, I discovered I was struggling because I had believed in the lie that I’m a receiver and not a giver—and, by extension, that Africa is poor and in need of help from outside. We did a seed project at the training. I learnt that God has already provided the resources I need for the transformation of the communities around me and that transformation is actually possible. One person at a time. One community at a time.
At some point through the classes, it felt like Coram Deo was advocating for social justice at the expense of evangelism. I started wondering about the many evangelists who’ve led many to Christ. Is their work in vain? Didn’t Christ come to seek and save the lost? However, the many testimonies at the TNA training pointed me to the truth: that God is interested in all the aspects of the human life. In fact, He’s interested in the whole of His creation. God’s transformation story includes the reconciliation and restoration of all things. All things to Himself.
I am encouraged to know that I am God’s transformation agent and He’s made the resources for transformation available. I have a background in law and am thinking of ways I can involve myself in the law and policy-making processes of my country. There are many stories that define cultures. I desire the laws of my country to be informed by God’s story. Am also trusting God for more seed projects in communities around me. As I write this, there’s an opportunity to do a clean-up in a community near me. I am excited to see what God will do in and through me.
Thank you, DNA, for Coram Deo. I’d encourage anyone who’s not taken the classes to enroll. It is transforming!
If you’re curious about the material that caused a worldview shift in Lillian, please join one of our facilitated Basics classes at CoramDeo.com and see what God might have in store for you.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 (NIV)