Sunday, 23 September 2012

A ray of hope

Day before yesterday we were thrilled - just thrilled - to be have dear friends visit us.  We will keep them nameless so as not to embarrass them by publicly writing about them - but just their being here is such a ray of hope, such a breath of fresh air to us.

Our friends are both Malayalis - but American ones.  Their parents worked hard to get out of India and be part of the American dream.  And succeeded in getting not only the coveted green-cards - but also the citizenship in the land of the stars and the stripes.  Both sets of parents had great kids - one grew up to be a Chartered Accountant and the other a Nurse.  Two great Malayali professions.  They met and married.

Then things departed from the script.  They were supposed to get their white-picket fence house and continue living in the home of the brave and the land of the free.  But something else kicked in.

India did.  And a love for Jesus. And a desire to serve Him with their lives.  A desire to see more of their life than just living the big A dream.  And a willingness to obey what He told them, even if means separation from parents.  All because they were actively asking God to shape their lives for Him.

Seven years ago our friends joined a funding organisation which built up a novel targeted philanthropy programme in South Asia.  As part of this they shifted to Bangalore for a year and a bit.  When as part of his official duties, our friend swung by Mumbai to meet us at Jeevan Sahara  we became instant friends.  This guy was the real deal.  Over those months our occasional meetings deepened the friendship, especially when they found out that his mother had cancer.  We prayed much.  Looking back she has amazingly totally recovered!

And then before we knew it our friends were back to the US.  With their contract completed it looked like it was back to the life in 'Stets' after an Indian excursion.  He got a job as a professor at a university.  When they were blessed with a son after adopting one from here, I thought that this was the last we would see of them.

But last year the family visited us.  They were here in the Mumbai area for 2 months over the summer to support a charity that reaches out to women in prostitution. They were a family of four when previously their had been only two.   No, make that five.  In addition to the two rambunctious kids, we were thrilled to hear that she was expecting again.  They talked about shifting to India - but to me it seemed almost academic.  Here was a family bursting at the seams - and to have them shift here to work with women in sexual slavery?

In the rough and tumble of the last year I really did not think about this family much.  An occasional brief email.  The congratulatory post on FB after their third son was born 4 months ago.

And then a Facebook update that sent a chill of joy.  Out of the blue I see that they are packing up and heading over to India on the 15th of September.  I can't believe my eyes.

And here they are.  All five of them.  What a total joy to have this family 'in the flesh.'  What a total testimony to a family who believes that life is worth living now.  Who are not going to wait for another 20 years to see their kids through college before they invest their lives in something worthwhile.

And get this.  This family hopes to live in Thane!  We are over the moon.

They came to Thane for some house-hunting on Friday.  We were deep into our training session but it worked out perfecting for them to share some of their vision with our trainees.

Our friends talked about how the group they are serving with have experienced the miracle of Rescue - where women in bondage were leaving prostitution,  They organisation then experienced the miracle of building and running a Rehabilitation home for these women - and the children who were born while their mothers were selling themselves.  But what just thrills me is my friends take on the road ahead.  Talking to our group he said that while they are so thankful to God for the amazing work their group has done, they are hungry for a new miracle.  One of seeing these women Re-integrated back into society.  Our friends want to see the local churches take up the challenge of seeing this miracle take place.  They don't want the women they work with to remain in a bubble of a home for the rest of their lives - but want them to 'graduate' and move forward.  A tall order - but one that God specializes in.  And one where people like our friends who have taken these steps are going to be scripting out some amazing stories for eternity.

More power to ya!

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