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Nov 7 2011

Someone Else is Sharing the Well


Sometimes I can put the sights and sounds of India in the back of my head somewhere. Sometimes I can ignore the pulling in my heart toward that place, the men, women, children.  The never ending fields of rice and women in saris bent over, harvesting it. The women in saris serving me tea, giving all they have just to put a smile on my face and some nourishment in my belly. I can put it away for awhile, but the tug is always there.

Today, the tug is fierce. If you are on Facebook, you may have seen the picture floating around of a father standing on his daughter’s dead body. It was cruel and horriffic, but so utterly symbolic of what is happening in many parts of the world as we sip our lattes and drive our mini vans to soccer practice with a car full of iPod listening, gum-chewing tweens.

It’s when these two worlds collide that I am jolted awake most often.  I just finished reading K.P. Yohanan’s book, “No Longer A Slumdog“.  Gospel for Asia is reaching out to impoverished children, starting centers around India called “Bridge of Hope”. They provide water, education, micro finance training, health and hygiene classes, etc. We are doing all of these things in Southern India as well, but they are doing it on a much larger scale, over a large portion of India.  The stories he told in this book are awful. In one story, he said that a group of mother’s travelled to a local market to sell their 50 children.  They were not trying to financially benefit from the sale of their children, they were just trying to keep them alive.

He says, “Some are shocked by the statistic that there are 50 million child laborers in India alone, or that 1.2 million children are trafficked as slaves and prostitutes every single year.”

I pray every day that God would shine His light in the darkest places of India and around the world. In corners and alleys where children are being bought and sold. In fields where children as young as 4 and 5 are working 12 hour days only to get one bowl of rice at the end of the day.  I pray that God would give us the tools to reach these children, tell their stories, speak up for those who can’t.

The tug is fierce today, and I can’t get away from it.

If you want to read the stories that Rob and I  have written about church planters in India, our book Share the Well is available on Amazon here  If you can’t afford the $20, let me know and I’ll hook you up.  Every penny made goes back to India to help men and women church planters in Southern India. 


Feb 19 2011

Unoffical Indian Cricket World Cup Song

Our friend Bruce (Rajendran‘s son) from India created this amazing video with his “unofficial Indian theme song”.  I love this video because Bruce captures the same spirit of joy from so many different kinds of people in India.  Enjoy!


Feb 4 2011

Share the Well Video

Dustin Maust made this promo for Share the Well. We’ll be using it at GCC this weekend.  I love it.  Hope you do too!


Jan 20 2011

While I Travel…

 

Miss Isabelle has been my “random generator” for choosing numbers.  Congrats to Dan Clark!

http://www.twitvid.com/embed.php?guid=EJN6Y&autoplay=0

 

I’ll be sending you the info on how to redeem your prize soon!

Laptop Messenger Bag I mentioned yesterday that I am in Mexico right now. Travelling through airports is fun and exciting. Travelling through airports in India is always an adventure.  Add three children to the mix, and there is bound to be a story to tell at the end of the day.  One of my least favorite memories is an airport security person x-raying Belle’s backpack full of toys and trinkets, pulling it aside, and dumping about 300 Polly Pocket shoes, purses, arms, legs, and sparkly dresses out in front of me, and giving me about 20 seconds to re-pack it all in her bag.  Not a very nice thing to do.

On this last trip, an airport security person decided she was going to check inside of all our carry on bags.  When travelling internationally, one quickly learns that there is no possible way to have a laptop messenger bag, back pack, toiletry bag, bag for clothes, etc.  Everything gets crammed into one bag and that’s the way it is.  Well, this wonderful security agent told us repeatedly, “This is not a laptop bag!  You can not carry your computer in a back pack.  I will not let you through with this bag.””

Um…

We just stared at her, wondering what in the world she wanted us to do.  She was apparently very passionate about it, and declared that it was against airline regulations to allow passengers on a plane without a proper laptop bag.

It was crazy. I think Gene played some sort of mind trick on her, because after about 15 minutes of discussion, she allowed us to pass through security with our horribly packed laptops.

Travelling is an adventure!  Always a story to tell, that’s for sure.

I’ve got great news friends! I have another way I’d like to give back to you, my dear friends and readers this week.  CSN Stores has offered a $35 gift card for me to give away to one of you delightful readers.

All you have to do to enter to win this $35 gift card for any of CSN’s 200 online stores is leave me a comment and tell me about your favorite place to travel.  If you tweet about this post or write about it on Facebook, let me know, and you will be entered one more time for each.

The giveaway winner will be chosen at random on Friday, January 28, 2011.  May the best traveler win. 🙂


Jan 5 2011

Sharing the Well with Poonatha and Ambilu

India-Rob 182India-Rob 181 India-Rob 183

This is Rob with Poohatha the first time we went to Kalavia to visit the small village in the Irula colony of Untouchables.  We didn’t find them untouchable at all.  It was love at first sight for us. 

When we first visited Kalavai, she seriously had a wild look about her. Her hair and clothes were a mess. She was muddy and dirty, but had an amazing smile.

Rob was dancing with a bunch of kids, and her eyes were wide as saucers. She didn’t really know what to do, so Rob grabbed her and started dancing around with her. All the kids laughed and laughed, and she was really embarrassed and shy, but was loving the attention.

Ever since that day she has had a special place in my heart. I told Rob the other day that there is something special about her. All of them are special, but I feel God’s hand is on her in a very special, powerful, and unique way.

   I was so happy when we finally decided on this picture for the front cover of our book.  Poonatha is on the left and her friend Ambilu on the right.

Book Cover

Our book is full of stories.  Stories of men and women who grew up in villages  like Poonatha and Ambilu, but whose childhoods were never happy.  Most of them were never really deeply loved by anyone.  Many of them were abused, neglected, and near death when Jesus reached His hand out to them, and they were forever changed by His love.

I am hoping when Poonatha and Ambilu grow up, they don’t have stories of sadness and despair to tell.  I hope they will always know they are deeply loved by Jesus, their families, and their funny looking friends from America.

Pray with us this month as our book release date comes closer and closer.  We really want this book to be an experience for people that will change them and deepen the love they have for Jesus and His people. 

We want to continue to provide hope and light for kids like Poonatha and Ambilu.  When people buy this book, every penny past the cost of publication will go right back to the church planters in India.


Dec 21 2010

Super Sneak Preview

STW

Just a glimpse of what’s to come!  Our book is nearing it’s final stages of completion, and I just wanted to share one page with you so you have some idea what the layout will be like. 

The picture of my girls was taken on one of my saddest days in India.  We were visiting a new village and our presence there turned into sort of this mob/parade thing.  The girls were pretty freaked out by it, so Raj wanted to give them a job to do.  He asked someone to help them learn how to get the water from a well like kids their age would do in a village in India.  The girls got very excited and grabbed their jugs.  All at once, the parade-like atmosphere ended, and the people dispersed.  We were so confused.  One of the men quietly said to Raj, “There is no water here.  We don’t have any water in our well”.  There were hundreds of people in this village, and no water.

The symbolism struck me as profound.  Here I was carrying my 2 liter water bottle, taking long gulps of it whenever I was thirsty, and these people had no water at all.  That moment birthed a desire in me to Share The Well.  We have Water that is eternal life welling up in us that we must share.  People are dying of thirst all over the world.  That moment sealed my determination to be the voice for these people, dying from thirst physically and spiritually.

Our book, Share The Well, comes out next month!  Can’t wait until we can Share The Well with you.