Wednesday, May 9, 2012

To Bangalore (and Beyond!)

Tomorrow’s the big day! In the afternoon I'm leaving to spend time at a children's in Bangalore, India for four months!

How did this all come to pass? Well, after two years in Japan and getting to be a part of the awesome things God is doing there (especially after the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster), God called me back to the United States to be with my family for awhile and receive missionary training. Through that training (a masters course called Perspectives in World Missions offered at the University of Tulsa), I feel God calling me to work with orphans in countries that have little access to the Gospel. I researched various opportunities, and through a connection I had with Global Network in Tulsa, learned about SS home. (By providence, I was telling my friends about this opportunity, and my friend Abby got very excited and explained that she had helped at the home in 2009, and she absolutely loved it. She couldn't recommend it enough. I had no idea that she had worked there, so that totally confirmed to me that God really wanted me to do this!)

The directors, George Ebenezer and his wife Manju, are strong Christians who began this home out of a desire to provide quality orphan care that is sorely lacking in India. Rather than shoving dozens of kids together in low-funded, state-run orphanages, Santhosa Samsara follows the foster care system, with house parents in a loving, Christian environment. The ten children at Santhosa Samsara are mostly full orphans (both parents deceased). Some of their parents were Christians killed by Hindu or Muslim extremists in areas where persecution (sometimes even government sanctioned) occurs on a daily basis. During the summer, the regular Christian house parents take a break to return to their families and raise funding.

From May 10th until September 3rd, I will be filling in for them and teaching the children English and some basic kindergarten skills before they begin school in the fall. I will also be helping out with their ministry called Beyond Barriers.

God has totally provided all the funds I need to go! Now all I need is lots and lots of prayer support, and so do these precious children. They have already suffered so much in their short lives. Please pray that God will give them, George, Manju, and myself strength as we take this journey together.

I take this very seriously. I learned in one of my classes that the role of “sender” is just as important as “goer.” There’s a reason why India has only 2% Christ followers after 2,000 years of missionary activity there, and it isn’t because God loves them any less than He us. There are a lot of spiritual barriers there, just like in Japan. (Interestingly enough, multiple professors in the class noted that for the amount of time, money, and personnel that have been poured into missions in the last three centuries, Japan and India have been the least receptive. I consider that a challenge!) I promise to keep you all posted via this blog and facebook. Thank you for all your support, and God bless!

Specific Prayer Requests for now:

1.)That I will arrive safely in Bangalore.

2.) That I will stay healthy while adjusting to a new environment (and food)!

3.) That God will give me opportunities to witness for Christ in both word and deed.

Thanks again, and God bless!

Kids putting on a VBS presentation:

Link to a video about George’s ministry Beyond Barriers:


Rebekah Loper said...

It was wonderful to chat with you at OWFI and get to know you a little! I'll be praying for you while you're ministering, and watching for your updates! Safe travels!

L.J. Popp said...

Thanks, Rebekah!