Pastor Morgan and Lisa Vande Wege, Director of Women’s Ministries, share about Summer Slip Aways.
While the majority of my time in India has been spent having things done for me, the one thing I’ve been repeatedly asked to do is pray. Prayer is received as a gift, and as a deeply religious people, Indians of all faith traditions accept that prayer is what changes things. Prayer is woven into everything that happens at CoF. Rosie calls the kids her little prayer warriors, and I’m sure I’ve been sustained through this trip by their prayers.
We’ve put a lots of miles–I mean kilometers–on Anand’s Tava SUV to pray inside homes and churches, and to stand on top of the foundation and pray the church yet-to-be-built. I even prayed for a gym!
Of course we also prayed for the future site of Hope Academy. Where a grove of cashew trees now stands, the dream of a top-notch school will be realized. By creating a great school with a curriculum and teaching model similar to what we have in the US, tuition-paying students can create a sustainable way for CoF kids to get the best education possible. Hope Academy will be another way to provide a Christian witness.
Because of CoF’s influence, another orphanage is being built as well!
About five years ago, Anand got an email from a young man in the UK named Michael Cadge. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life, and wondered if he could come to CoF and spend time working with kids. While here, Jesus got hold of him and he was baptized in Rosie and Anand’s church. Mike felt God’s call to live in India permanently and serve children. He returned to the UK to start university. On his second visit, Mike asked if CoF would help him start an orphanage of his own and Anand agreed. With CoF’s help Mike made plans.
Mike went back to the UK, this time to establish the Children of Grace non-profit with some of his friends. Together they raised the needed money and, on his third visit, the CoG Orphanage was established in a rented facility. When the owner of that building decided to sell it, Anand and Rosie agreed to take the 12 boys into CoF temporarily, and Mike’s organization provides monthly support while they raised the money to buy land and build an orphanage of their own. The land is just a few yards from CoF’s boys dorm. And yesterday they broke ground.
Not bad for a 25 year old and a bunch of his buddies!
When Hope Academy and Children of Grace Orphanage are completed, Faith, Hope, and Grace will be physically manifested in this community.
Anand and I walked to the CoG site prayed over it, with its nine 5×5 squares chalked out on the ground. Yesterday this brother and sister team arrived to start digging the five ft deep holes. This is where the supporting pillars will stand. And this is how the work gets done–by hand!
This is Harika. She can do this:
This is Vijaya Lakshmi. She can do this:
This is Anusha. She can do this:
This is Shanti Kumari. She can do this:
This is Anjali. She can do this:
This is Pavani. She can do this. It’s hard to tell what she’s up to, but she could hold a piece of straw perpendicular to her palm so it looked like a magic trick.
Because they are part of the Children of Faith Mission, there are things all of them can do. They can get a good education (including English). They can go to college and get professional training. They can see their marriage day postponed until they are in their late teens, and they can look forward to a better marriage match. And through it all, they hear the gospel and experience the love of Jesus in a caring Christian community.