THE DECADE OF EMPOWERMENT AND MULTIPLICATION
2021 – 2030
Achieve a healthy and holistic Gospel-centered development among Wayuu churches and communities.
Healthy Disciple Multiplication
Healthy Gospel Propagation
Healthy Community Development
Countless Wayuu people are adhering and following a message of the gospel that they do not understand and leads them to mix the gospel with their tribal belief system.
For many of them who profess to be believers, the concept of grace and faith is a foreign idea and have embraced a mixed belief of faith and works for salvation. They have a perception of God as a distant and uninvolved being who is there to only judge their actions.
This creates a false sense of Christianity that tricks many local and foreign organizations to believe the nominal Wayuu christian is a born-again believer.
Several Wayuu churches suffer from a severe mix of false religiosity and syncretism. Most church attendants are the product of an interaction where they attend a church service and imitate the behavior of others, resulting in the assumption that the person has become a Christian. These church attendants become very active in church activities and even influence the decisions of the church. What is even worse, some of these church attendants become leaders and pastors without understanding the Gospel and becoming a born-again Christian.
When it comes to worship, the Wayuu church has struggled to find its own identity. Most expressions of worship are inherited from the evangelical Colombian/Venezuelan culture. Songs, hymns, sermons, announcements, and every single aspect of the worship service (liturgy) are almost a copy from a worship service in a non-ethnic church in Colombia or Venezuela. Some worship songs are usually translated into Wayuunaiki, other songs are sung in Spanish. The potential danger with this approach to worship is that whenever a people group feels the need to use other people’s forms of expression, or styles of music, or liturgy that is not born out of their own souls and culture, it can make Christianity someone else’s religion.
The Wayuu people are continually borrowing elements from other cultures to approach God, and the obvious danger with this is that it creates a wrong and distant idea of the God they intend to worship. It hinders their ability to learn and understand who God created them to be and how, through the means in their own culture, they can express to God their reverence, fear, and love.
Due to the Guajira’s harsh environmental conditions, the Wayuu live in an unstable environment where water and food are often scarce due to drought and problems with food security. They survive by goat herding, the sale of crafts, government handouts, or the pocket change of the traffickers who smuggle gasoline and other products across the Venezuela-Colombia border. As a result, the Wayuu have suffered from high death rates for several years due to malnutrition, particularly among children under five years old. It is estimated that over 5,000 Wayuu children have died in the last decade from malnutrition and a lack of primary medical care.
The government’s influence of making promises and small contributions to improve some Wayuu families have created a sense of dependency for the Wayuu who struggle to create a self-sustainable way of life. Government handouts, subsidies, donations from international aid, and a lack of investment in community and self-development have left many Wayuu people expecting more from others than striving to improve their own lives.
EQUIP (the individual)
Our approach to train indigenous leaders with the biblical tools to understand the Gospel, and teach it to their disciples.
Wayuu pastors and church leaders can reach their communities better than we can. The best way to spread the gospel in a tribal context is with the participation and influence of local believers and Christian leaders. They can overcome cultural barriers better than we can, they know and understand their culture and communities, they speak the language and have influence among their people. What many of these Christian leaders are missing is foundational biblical and practical training for their ministry.
In La Guajira, Colombia faithful Christian leaders and pastors are willing to take the Gospel to their people, but they are greatly hindered by their lack of even the most basic resources. At Bread of Hope, we believe that an essential part of our ministry is to provide these indigenous pastors with those resources that will empower them to make and multiply disciples in their communities, plant new churches, and impact La Guajira region with the Gospel of Jesus Christ for His glory.
As a response to this need, we created the Sembradores program to equip native leaders with the biblical tools they need to understand the gospel, preach it in their churches and effectively make disciples in their communities. This is a two-year program, with week-long training sessions, every two months. At the end of this process, the participants will have completed an average of 60 full days of training, and over 500 hours of biblical training and over 50 hours of practical lessons in the field with their disciples.
EMPOWER (the church)
Our approach to start a healthy and biblical disciple-making strategy among Wayuu churches.
As Sembradores are graduating, we will work alongside their local church empowering them to reach out to other communities planting new churches.
We do this by helping the Sembrador create a church leadership team or Hope Team. This team is trained and discipled by the church planter “Sembrador” using the tools provided to teach the gospel, encouraging these believers to find their gifts and talents in God’s kingdom. This way we ensure the local church is working as a team in their efforts to reach other communities.
Through these Hope Teams, we seek to encourage the Wayuu church to:
- Create outreach strategies based on relationships and not events.
- Learn the value of making disciples.
- Know their gifts and talents.
TRANSFORM (the community)
Our approach to transform indigenous communities through development projects led by local leaders
The purpose of our “transform” strategy is to start a community development process through the local Wayuu church. Once the Hope Team has been equipped and empowered with the gospel and the tools they need, they are encouraged to go into their communities and identify how they can engage through different programs such as water projects, eye clinics, construction, and literacy programs. These programs will give Wayuu churches a way to connect with members of the community who would not normally walk to church on a Sunday.