Recently our ministry partners in Delhi, India visited Haryana to explore the possibility of starting a new work in that State. They visited a small village that is approximately 90 kilometers (55 miles) from Delhi. This village used to be a Muslim dominated area, but now there are more dalits (lowest Hindu caste) and a few families of the Jaat (Sikh religion) community living there.
Rajesh is from this village and had attended our trainings. He’s a laborer who works in the fields to earn his bread, but he is also very passionate about reaching the lost. After becoming a disciple, he underwent severe persecution. Someone had desecrated the local temple and the blame was put on him. His brother’s house was completely destroyed; he was ostracized. At the initial stage, Rajesh used to meet with believers for fellowship under a tree in a field.
When attending a large training in Delhi, Rajesh brought with him 13 friends from his area, many of whom were reluctant to join him. However, while attending the training in Delhi all of them were extremely blessed and moved. Rajesh went back to his village with co-laborers and a team of disciples that were committed to making more disciples. In a short amount of time there have been 16 house churches planted in Haryana. These are simple men and women of faith obeying God and teaching others to do the same. Pray for this new work in Haryana – that the good news of Jesus will spread quickly and powerfully!
1. Felicita…one of our team favorites who struggles with a learning disability, but has found her place at the Learning Center.
2. Joy…Nothing beats the pure joy of little children who have so little, but love and trust so much.
3. Laughter…Whether at us or with us we laughed a lot with each these kids.
4. Unity…This team was unified from the start. I love how God obviously brought them all together for this trip!
5. Sponsorship…I loved seeing kids connect with the children they sponsor.
6. Fun….The kids had so much fun all week, with us and with each other.
7. Beauty…While poverty can sometime show its ugly side, there is so much beauty that we found.
8. Grateful…The kids are grateful for everything!
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
This simple question and the answer Rut, Country Director for Guatemala, would change her life forever. Working as a teacher for a private school here in Guatemala Rut came to a community called Cruz Blanca. She stopped and asked a sweet little girl, What do you want to be when you grow up? A simple question we ask to kids all the time. And most American kids give us big answers….like a firefighter, lawyer, doctor or teacher. They dream big because opportunity is endless,
But the little girl that Rut asked had a much different answer. This little girl only had a stare to offer. So Rut asked again, What do you want to be when you grow up? And another stare. Rut then gave her an example, when I was little I wanted to be a teacher. So I went to school and got a job as a teacher. What do you want to be when you grow up? The girl replied this time saying, well I guess I’ll just make tortillas like my mom. That was a far as she could think and as big as she could dream.
This moment was a catalyst for Rut and propelled her to get involved at Cruz Blanca which has now expanded into other communities, like the one CPCC partners with in Los Verdes and La Commundidad. Every child should be able to dream of an amazing life, every child should know that God loves them so much he wants to give them purpose for today and tomorrow. Every child should be able to dream big when asked the question, What do you want to be when you grow up?
We’ve had an awesome few days (with no wi-fi!) We will be doing a full update on our trip when we get back in the states, but it’s been a fantastic trip and an truly amazing group of students! Everyday we’ve been to the learning center we’ve made amazing connections with the kids and have grown to know and love them. We walked and talked with many moms in the community about their daily life and had the chance to pray for them. We can’t wait to tell you more when we return tomorrow! The team is fabulous…thanks for the prayers!
This first day-and-a-half have been eventful, to say the least, and definitely full of miracles.
One might say the miracles started with all 20 people and 36 bags arriving safely in Guatemala, but I think that the miracles started months ago, when God worked to put together this amazing team. Because somehow, with this wide range of personalities and volume levels, we all get along. It’s actually even better than that: we work together really well. Where one of us is weak, others are strong. We complement each other in ways only God can engineer.
But we did get here safely, and we got through customs really quickly. We waited around a bit for the vans. We got everything and everyone into 2 twelve-passenger vans. After lunch at Subway, we went to The Lodge to unwind before we went to Las Verdes. I don’t think anything has ever broken my heart and brought me so much joy at the same time. The kids started coming out of their homes, following us and giggling at our greetings.
We visited a woman’s home last night. The concrete front was painted a vibrant turquoise, and the people inside were just as alive. The woman we met was so proud of her daughter and grandchildren, her home, and her 23 years in Las Verdes.
On the way back to The Lodge, we turned into the wrong driveway and had another miracle. One of the vans got stuck trying to turn around, with a sharp drop off on one side of the road. When it got turned around, a truck tried to turn in as we were just getting out, but we got out alive and made it to The Lodge for dinner. Dinner was delicious, by the way.
This morning we went to the church in Las Verdes to work with the kids while another group went to help clear out foliage at the construction site. The kids were really social and sweet, and we got a lot of Spanish practice, but I don’t know what we would have done without translators.
So far, this week has already been a beautiful reminder of how blessed we are in America and how joy has nothing to do with money or indoor plumbing.