Sunday Worship Gathering 11 AM @ North Community Lutheran Church
114 Morse Road Columbus, OH 43214 (Map)
The drive from Siliguri to Kalimpong is both unbelievably beautiful and distressingly dangerous. The winding roads through the foothills of the Himalayas along the Tista River were a welcoming and sobering reminder that I was far from home. It was during this drive that I had the opportunity to meet Nandu a pastor, evangelist, and church plant overseer who also happens to run point for Asia’s Hope India – a ministry which brings orphans into families so they can be loved and flourish. To get down to the point, men such as Pastor Nandu, Pastor Amber, Pastor Mahindra and the countless other servants of God in this region of the world are cut from a different cloth. They don’t worry about ministry accolades or their social-media following. They are too busy making disciples and rescuing children. They gave up any hint of a popularity contest when they first embraced Jesus Christ.
It was during that initial drive and meeting of Nandu that I was struck by his response when I asked him how Christians in India viewed America. I would have expected him to answer in a way similar to how I was thinking. Americans are spoiled and materialistic. But, his answer surprised me. He talked about the Christian community’s love for America especially the American church. He said he prays for America’s financial prosperity and generosity. Translation: American prosperity and ministry generosity can enable Nandu and other faithful servants of God plant churches and rescue orphans!
Hearing Nandu’s gospel-fueled vision made me incredibly thankful for the opportunity to partner with him in this work. We have a small team from Scarlet City Church invited by Asia’s Hope to Cambodia and India to capture stories through film in order to better raise awareness and funds for this great work. We are here because God is at work through this ministry and we want to bring the story stateside so that this work might increase all the more.
BUT, there is another reason for us being here and capturing stories that is just as pressing. We need the leaders and children of Asia’s Hope as much as they need us! One needs to only spend a few hours with these kids to understand the nature of true love and joy. They have each other and God. That’s about it. But they play, laugh, and sing (man, do they sing!) like people who have found the true treasure of life. I suppose that’s because they have. You see, in our Western high-standard of living we often have a low-standard of meaning. We think “things” can give us meaning and joy. But every smile from these children is a reminder that true life is found not in the ability to have things, but to not need “things” in the first place.
God is doing an amazing work here in Kalimpong. As we navigate the windy roads of life – the mountain peeks and valleys, may we learn from the stories of these children where the danger and beauty of life truly lie.
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