Many of our local partner organizations are denominations, each one potentially linked to hundreds of local congregations. Working with churches and Christian organizations gives World Renew access to the remotest communities and assures the sustainability of what we do. Churches are an integral part of communities, and they don’t disappear when development money runs out. As one international NGO worker put it. “I know when I go back to Kenya, my church will be there, but I don’t know if my development organization will be.” (Chester, 2012: 12). World Renew’s programs are always open to all members of the community, Christian or not. Local Christians are encouraged to work alongside their neighbors in order to improve the lives of everyone in the community.
In Haiti, for example, World Renew works with PWOFOD, a Christian organization that provides training for deacons from a number of denominations. PWOFOD teaches deacons how they can care for the poor in their churches and communities. Joseph Yvon St-Fleur, a deacon who had received this training, put his learning into practice in dire circumstances. Shortly after the earthquake of July 12, 2010, Joseph located a piece of privately-owned land and gained permission to set up a camp for people whose houses were destroyed. More than 370 people lived in the camp, and they named it Camp Bethel. He requested tools to clear a blocked drainage canal in the camp from World Renew. Applying development principles he had learned from PWOFOD helped Joseph and his new Bethel community to improve their own living circumstances without becoming too dependent.
Currently World Renew partners with approximately 33 denominations in developing countries.