Jeremiah 29:11: 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[b] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Let’s look at this in light of the Watoto mission. The African continent is a mess. If a country is not being torn apart by a civil war then it is probably being ravaged by famine, disease epidemics, poverty or all of the above. In the middle of all this, women and children are being abused and killed indiscriminately. All of this can be attributed to man’s lust for money and power, and the devaluing of life in general. Into the void step the missionaries of Watoto.
These women and children were without any reliable source for food, water, shelter, clothing and, least of all, hope. They enter into the Watoto community and they are transformed by the love of God put into action by His servants. They are taught in a school. They are taught skills such as farming, carpentry, ranching and other skills that will enable them to reach sustainability in the community. They are no longer aimless, nameless victims wandering through villages looking for anything to keep them alive. They have become dignified and important to a community because someone put the love of Christ into action.
The people of Watoto are not wealthy by the world’s standards. They are not dot.com moguls or financial geniuses with enormous bank accounts. The plans that God had for them were for their welfare and hope for their future. They may not have prosperity in material wealth but they are certainly prosperous. They may not have an abundance of wealth but they are wealthy in Christ. They were without hope but now they have found their hope in Christ.
The Watoto mission, and others like it, is the best example of the true meaning of this verse. Their welfare and future are found in their hope in Christ. They have found their wealth in the blessings, love and grace of God and His servants. Earthly prosperity means nothing if we are not rich towards God, and that is what the Watoto mission demonstrates.