I recently came across the latest stories "from the field" on the Outreach International website and got hooked. It felt so good to hear about the many successes around the globe because of the work OI is doing. I couldn't help but smile when reading about Fulgence and Marcel working together to build a well in their community; I silently celebrated when I read about Flank (from Zambia) and Ana (from the Phillipines) who worked with Outreach International and raised their voices to their government leaders in order to receive their fair due -- parcels of land where they now make their living; I read with relief about Vilma's work to start up a local pharmacy; and I smiled as I imagined the life of Chiwa, a 7 year old girl who used to spend her days walking to gather water for the family and now spends her days going to school. Ahhh... it's nice to sense some hope in the lives of real people.
I noticed that all of these stories emphasized one thing -- one integral factor that brought them their success -- community. They all worked to gather the support of the community before they did anything else. They knew that without the strength of a multitude of voices -- their power, their momentum for change -- would be too weak to make a difference. They depended on community, they worked together, and the result? They made changes to their community and their lives.