In the beginning of October we had a CHE training in Bulgaria: something we had been praying for for a long time. These trainings are always quite some events: with trainers from different countries we come together with a group of participants for five days for a series of lessons about wholistic community development.

That ’s a mouthful, but what it ’s all about, is that through this training people will discover that the core of poverty is in broken relationships: with God, with ourselves, with others and with creation. So if we want to do something about poverty, we should not in the first place fight the symptoms – give aways, that very often only perpetuate the current situation –, but work towards the recovery of those relationships, in the first place the relationship with God.

In fact anybody who wants to see change in his community can take part in a training like this. This time in Bulgaria we had a couple of Roma pastors too. It was encouraging to see that during the training something came through of this other view on poverty. A CHE training is always very interactive with many activities and group assignments. In the answers they gave in the beginning it showed that they mostly expected the solution for the problems from outside: goverment, foreign agencies etc. But later on it became clear that they had discovered that God has blessed each and every one of us with opportunities to influence our own situation. If it were ony for mobilising the community we live in; together we can obtain more than alone.

A CHE training always ends with an official graduation; those who participated can now call themselves trainers, because they can pass on to others what they ‘ve learned themselves. That ’s based on 2 Timothy 2 verse 2: what you have heard from me, pass it on to reliable people who are able to teach others. In this way people and communities can develop and escape from the grip of disease and poverty. It ’s a privilige to be a little part of that!

In December we plan to have a training like this in Hungary again. From our region we would like to invite four Roma for this. However, a one week training like this comes with a price: around 125 euro’s per person. They contribute themselves also as much as they can, but the entire amount is something that keeps them back from participating. Would you consider to sponsor them? Your gift can be transferred to the bank account of the church in Zuidlaren. Thank you very much for your investment in the development in Roma!