As a church deacon and a theology student, Basona Areng was looking for something to deepen her leadership skills. She joined Bangladesh’s first Timothy Leadership Training (TLT) group just over a year ago.
Today she is one of 19 Garo Baptist Church leaders who are using the training to develop other leaders.
The Bangladesh TLT trainings area joint effort of Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM), the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC), and the College of Christian Theology Bangladesh (CCTB). The training builds on what CRWRC and its partners have been doing in community development for many years, but is aimed at pastors and church leaders.
“It has been a challenge to promote TLT in a way that does not create dependency and reliance on CRWRC and CRWM staff,” says Jeff Bos, a CRWM missionary in Bangladesh.
After completing the TLT stewardship module, Basona began training 40 others with it. Now the people she’s trained are choosing a new path of funding their own ministries. Families have begun setting aside a handful of rice at every meal as a tithe to the church. Recently, women paid their own way to attend a conference instead of relying on charitable organizations.
Some of Basona’s fellow TLT participants ran into unexpected difficulties. One woman arranged a TLT stewardship workshop for the Garo Baptist Women’s Committee. Heavy rains and flooding prevented many women from attending, but those who did are now implementing what they learned.
“It is wonderful to see how the TLT work is spreading as people are now teaching others,” says Kohima Daring, a CRWRC Bangladesh staff member.
“TLT is built to reproduce itself,” Jeff Bos adds, “and already we are seeing TLT expanding to the third generation.”