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Small Projects Transforming Lives

CityLife World Impact has 16 field partners in 10 nations across the globe, ministering holistically to the communities surrounding the mission field. Individuals who have stepped out to help break the cycle of poverty in disadvantaged communities, helping to give hope and purpose with the message of God’s love.

Many of us can quickly bring to mind and image of someone experiencing hardship or challenges in life. The challenge is often not knowing who may need help, it is taking action to do something about it. Whether we have seen this need in a picture or in person, the reality is that we can each do something, and become a part of the solution; placing our piece of the jigsaw.

At CityLife, there are many opportunities to raise funds in support of our field partners. Individuals or Life Groups can run a stall at the World Impact Bazaar or CityLife’s annual International Festival. Once a month, groups can run sausage sizzles at our regular weekend services. Fundraising events can be conducted anywhere! e.g. garage sales, craft markets or fundraising dinners at restaurants. You can even cook a meal and invite friends over to eat and make a donation.

This is how a small group of people helped a pastor and his family in Cambodia.

A Small Project

Pastor Bunleng is a survivor of the Khmer Rouge, a regime that slaughtered between 1.5 to 3 million men, women and children between 1975-1979. He faithfully pastors a small congregation in a village that is about 4 hours south west of Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city.

Life is very difficult for the family. With his disability, Ps Bunleng is not able to do very physical jobs and the main work available in the area are farming and cow herding. His eldest son is trying to create better opportunities for the family through a hairdressing apprenticeship, while running a small hairdressing business at the church with the help of his younger son. His daughter is able to attend school through the Children at Risk program run by our field partners Jesse & Soar McCaul‘s church, New Life Fellowship Cambodia.

Their family home is in very poor condition, the stumps of the house are being devoured by termites, and the bedroom, living room and roof are pictured below. In fact, the house was so unsafe that only the pastor and his wife lived there, their children stayed at the church.

After visiting Ps Bunleng on a short term trip, a small group of 4 people from our church decided to do something about it. They worked together to run all kinds of fundraising events to help this family build a new home and have electricity connected; they needed AUD 16,000 to do this. They did it bit by bit, and today Ps Bunleng’s family has a new home.

On final completion, here’s what it looks like…

It is truly amazing what small group of people can accomplish. This building is not only a home for the family, it is also the new church building where people can gather to hear the good news of Jesus Christ, worship together and support each other through life. Youth Life Groups also meet here every week.

This church has also become a hub for training pastors and leaders in the district, so pastors and leaders visiting the area for the conference are billeted here.

A small group of 4, decided to take action when they saw a need. As a result, not only was a family’s situation completely transformed, not only is the local community blessed, but multiple church communities from all over the district are being blessed as well.

Anyone can help fund a small project

There are some practical steps to raising funds. First, have a clear idea about the cause that is going to be supported. Know the purpose and the background of the designated project well. This will help you communicate the need to potential supporters. It is important to have a good estimate about the cost of the project and the length of time needed to accomplish it.

Second, connect those who can donate products and services. Think beyond your Life Group, personal friends and church members. This will increase the number of potential donors and sponsors you can try connect with.

Thirdly, plan your fundraising. When is the best time and where? What about the promotions? e.g. social media, word-of-mouth or even promotional flyers. These are low-cost methods will not reduce your fundraising.

Finally, remember to update major sponsors on the progress of the project. When the project is completed, please ensure to thank the major sponsors and provide a completion report. This will help you secure the same sponsors or more for your next project.

Your first project may be modest but as you persist, your momentum for future projects will grow. People will recognise your efforts and the cause. Remember that every project that effectively helps a community has a ripple affect and often impact more lives that initially expected.

When you allow God to stir you to action on behalf of those who struggle, you will be surprised by how cumulative little actions that you take can have a significant and permanent impact on communities all over the world.

If you are part of the CityLife community and would like to find out how you can help support our field partners and their projects, you can contact the CityLife World Impact office.

– Eva Yong