Posted by: janpierce | October 9, 2015

Looking Back

333     Roger began visiting India years before I did. My first visit came at Christmastime. Of course the weather was warm in most of the country and Roger played a very jovial Santa in Delhi at Rodrick’s home. I marvelled at the contrasts in the things I saw. The vibrant colors of clothing and flowers next to piles of burning garbage. The little children, hair in tangles and filthy, begging alongside the streets while swarms of people, cars, bicycles, pedi-cabs and even bullock carts swept by them. Shops that had cows roaming inside and mice skittering over my feet as I entered. The sights, smells–the overwhelming feel of being in an unknown land has never left me.

Yet I love India. I focus on the people– their smiling faces, their joy in everyday life, the simplicity with which they face each day. It’s a difficult time in India for Christians. The government in power is very anti-Christian, and especially opposed to conversions. Anti-Christian groups believe it’s wrong to change a person’s belief so it takes a great deal of courage to stand and continue ministry when churches are being  bombed, pastors attacked and even killed.

The contrasts between India and the U.S. speak most loudly to me when I first come home from a visit. Everything here seems perfect. Everything is clean and bright. My home seems like a palace. Then I have my first meal in a restaurant and my heart sinks when I realize we could have fed a family for a month with the money we just paid for one meal. The longer I stay away from India the dimmer the memories become.

But the needs are very real. There is so much that can be done with a small amount of money. Teams India helps support husband and wife church planting teams who both preach the Gospel and help to feed and educate the poor. The work is never done and what we do is never enough…but it’s something. My friend, Grace, is a widow herself and in poor health, but she serves women and children every day because she loves the Lord. Bilahi in Assam was loaned out as a servant as a child. Her family was so poor there was never enough food and little clothing. Yet she travels by bicycle to 74 churches spreading the love of God. She’s willing to give everything she has for her faith in God.

The Lord spoke about sheep and goats. He said, “Come you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. …I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matt. 25) So we rejoice to be able to give to the poor even though our offerings are small. It’s good to be a sheep.

Come, join us. Even a small gift makes a big difference.

Posted by: janpierce | August 21, 2015

Urgent Need for Housing

orphan home   This building in Allahabad, India may not look like much, but to eighty orphans in temporary housing after being evicted from their former home, it looks like hope. The building is a former parsonage and has been deemed a national heritage site. It can’t be taken down, so it needs major internal restoration to be safe.

The eighty girls are shepherded and taught by Sister Sheeba, a woman who has devoted her life to caring for the needy. While they wait for this building to be restored a wonderful Christian man is paying for the temporary housing out of his own pocket. But he can’t do this on an ongoing basis.

It will cost quite a lot to restore this building, and then a Canadian Missions organization has a long-range plan to build a beautiful new home to house up to 150 girls. But that will take years. These girls need a home right now.

Can you find it in your heart to give? If so, use the paypal button and mention Allahabad Girls.

See a video of Sister Sheeba and some of the girls here:                                                                      

Posted by: janpierce | June 17, 2015

Bilahi and Grace: Good Work Continues

bilahi, ranu and grace, 2015  In 2009 Roger and I spent three weeks at a training center near the city of Hyderabad. At that time fourteen women were completing six months of training in both evangelism and in working with women in a wide variety of programs. These women were recommended by their pastors as those able and willing to learn.

Since that time Teams India has been able to help two of the fourteen women in very practical ways. Bilahi Daimari, the woman on the left lives in northern India in the state of Assam. She is an itinerant worker, riding her bicycle year round to villages where she teaches and ministers to women and children. She lives a very humble life and has written to thank us for our help. Using the funds she has been able to add a room to her brother’s home, giving her a place to live. Until that time she was not welcome in her brother’s home and suffered a great deal.

The woman in the middle is Ranu, the wife of Bilahi’s pastor. She is a lovely woman with three sons. I remember how sad she was that she had to send her boys away from home to attend school as their home is so remote,

The woman on the right is Grace Jogal, working in Hubli, Karnataka in south India. She continues to do wonderful work with groups of women and children in very poor villages some distance from Hubli. Grace helps women through savings groups to begin small businesses. She also teaches women to sew, to make candles, and to make various kinds of inexpensive cleaning products. She occasionally runs medical clinics and women’s seminars on simple things such as hygiene, purposeful living, parenting and more.

This picture was taken at a reunion at the training center where they’re celebrating thirty years of service. The women have been commissioned to return to their home areas and do research on indigenous groups nearby. The training center then works with them to develop plans to reach the groups with the Good News of Christ.

I’m constantly amazed that Teams is able to be part of such amazing work and that we’ve built a partnership with such wonderful women.

Grace has written an extensive plan with goals for future work and with the financial requirements to build her ministry. If you are interested in seeing her report of the work accomplished in the last year, add a comment and I’ll make that available to you.

Well done, ladies.

Posted by: janpierce | April 3, 2015

Changing Hearts, One Village at at Time


This picture shows young girls from a village in Piplantri, an area in Rajastan, India. Something remarkable has been happening here since 2007. The village has begun the practice of celebrating the birth of girls–something unheard of before that time. When a girl is born in Piplantri the village plants 111 trees. In addition the family receives a village donation of 21,000 rupees which is put in a fixed bank account until the girl turns 20. At that age she may use the money for her education. The parents sign a promissory note that they will not marry her before that time.

Besides changing the attitude toward the birth of a girl baby which in the past was seen as unlucky, a curse, an unwanted expense to the family, the whole area is thriving financially. To protect the young seedling trees from insect damage, the village has planted thousands of aloe plants. In turn, these plants have been marketed for medicinal purposes, bringing in much needed revenue for the village. The work of planting and tending the trees and plants has provided much-needed jobs for the area. It’s a win-win for the village and a miracle in terms of the attitudes toward young girls and women.

India has presented the Nirmal Gram Award for Cleanliness to Piplantri. Crime has decreased due to a better job market and villagers are proud of what they’ve accomplished. The practice of celebrating the birth of baby girls is spreading in the area. Perhaps one day there will be no more female infanticide.

Good swallows evil. Light overcomes darkness.

Posted by: janpierce | March 18, 2015

Honoring Mike’s Memory


This is a photo from a few years back of the infamous Boys Club. Just take a look at those faces and you’ll see what I mean. These guys meet regularly for breakfast and prayer and to mutually support one another. Right in front you’ll recognize Mike Monson, our good friend who died just two years ago.

It seems like Mike just walked in our door for a cup of coffee and to watch tv with us. We miss his ready smile and wry sense of humor. Mostly we just miss him.

I told Roger yesterday that Mike was a perfect example of the way God can change a person once they “get it.” Once we begin to learn that our life has purpose and that we’re given gifts and abilities to do some good in this sorry world, we see with new eyes. There’s work to be done and fun to be had along the way.

Before Mike died we promised him we’d continue to support the work of Russal and Kumari of the Baby Girl’s Home in South India. That’s the ministry Mike found when searching for someone who cared about the rampant murder of baby girls in India. Russal and Kumari have rescued fourteen beautiful little girls from death at the hands of their own parents. Baby girls are seen as curses– an unwanted expense to the family.

Recently Russal was able to enroll all ten of the older girls in a good school. Up to this point the better schools would not take them because they lack proper birth certificates. The new school costs about $900 per year per child which is triple what they had been paying. Sadly a good education is not free in India.

Let’s honor Mike’s memory by helping to get all ten girls into school this year. They will begin their new school year in April. Let’s invest in life and overturning the godless practice of female infanticide one child at a time. Go to Your donations are tax deductible.

Posted by: janpierce | December 30, 2014

Tough Times

104  Today, all over India there is an outcry against Christianity. Hindu extremists, mostly young men who want to see India a completely Hindu nation, are accusing Christians of all sorts of evil. They say that evangelical Christians are bribing Hindus with food, Bibles, education, etc. to change their faith. They believe that the Western influence will invade their territory and take over their country. They fear losing control of their own land.

In some ways they’re right. The people are needy and will gather to hear a speaker and have a free meal. They will respond if food, medicines and the like are offered to them. But those who truly believe in the Lord are in danger when they gather as this group in the picture shows, to worship and pray.

Teams India work goes forward. Our dollars are changed to rupees and they provide for salaries, tuitions, food supplies, medical care and more. It’s not too late to give an end of the year donation to help the work continue.

Please pray for freedom of religion in India. Pray that the anti-conversion laws are repealed and that the current wave of arrests and attacks are stopped. Pray that the people remain free to believe as they wish. But if the persecution continues, pray for courage and faith to remain steadfast and for the number of believers to increase.

Posted by: janpierce | December 11, 2014

Do No Harm

??????????   This is Jacintha. She’s about seventeen years old and she has a hole in her heart. She is weak and not able to perform simple tasks due to lack of energy. She is one of the fourteen children living with Uma and Sampath. While Roger was in India he was able to arrange for Jacintha to travel to Bangalore to have heart surgery in a top-notch cardiology hospital. We were so excited at the possibility. But when Roger got home and we tried to make the arrangements, we found out that Jacintha’s mother is hesitant to have her daughter travel so far away from home. She elected to have the local hospital do the surgery which has been postponed several times.

When we travel and work in India we want to always do good and never do harm. Would we be willing, in a similar situation, to have a stranger arrange for our precious child to travel somewhere that seems like a million miles away to be treated by an unknown doctor in an unknown hospital? Maybe not.

Jacintha went in earlier this week to have the surgery, but it was found that she had an infection and was placed on antibiotics. All we can do is pray that the local doctor is well-trained and that God guides his hands. Will you pray with us for Jacintha’s healing?

Posted by: janpierce | November 25, 2014


Roger, Leo and Holly Michael, hospital, Bangalore    I was going to title this Divine Appointments or Blessed Encounter and then I decided I need to curb my tendency to speak in Christianese. It may be understood and appreciated by some, but not all. So I just called it Surprises.

During Roger’s five week trip to India I saw that a writing friend, one I’ve never met but follow because she and her husband work in India, had a health crisis. While traveling on a twelve hour bus ride, Holly’s husband, Bishop Leo Michael came down with Dengue fever. Dengue fever is serious and is contracted through mosquito bites. By the time a very worried Holly got Leo to the hospital in Bangalore he was near death. He had a high fever and was severely dehydrated.

Imagine how Holly felt. Her husband was too sick too respond, she was a stranger, unfamiliar with the land they were traveling through and unsure what to do. Roger happened to be in Bangalore at the same time the Michaels arrived there and Leo was admitted to ICU. Holly spent the first night in the hospital not allowed to visit and knowing her husband was near death. By the second day he was stablilized. Roger was able to visit on the third or fourth day when Leo’s blood count was improving and they knew he would get well.

I wish Roger had been there to be with Holly on that first night, but when he and Chad visited, Roger was overcome with emotion for this brother and sister (I did it again) whom he’d never met. The entire event surprises me. Why did Roger and Chad’s path cross with these two? It doesn’t really matter why— it was just a great big happy surprise that two men could comfort and pray for a sick man and his very worried wife. I’m so glad it happened.

In the middle of so many dark and disappointing happenings in our crazy world, this one makes me smile.

Posted by: janpierce | November 14, 2014

All Over India

DSCN0613  Roger has been all over India from top to bottom. He began in Delhi where he spent about ten days in meetings with a local ministry. Then he went to Hyderabad where he met Chad Oathout. He and Chad met with several of our friends in the Hyderabad area and also visited Dayanilayam orphanage two hours away. Chad was able to meet a young man he and his wife Jill sponsored from the time he was about ten years of age. He is now a high school student and doing well. Then they went north by car to visit a pastor and his wife, visited two students who are daughters of one of our pastor friends and then took a train to Chennai to visit the Baby Girl Home. Now they’re in A.P. with friends. This picture is the living area of the home where  church services are conducted. If you look closely you’ll see a picture of Roger and I on their shelf. Roger and Chad will go to Bangalore to visit my daughter in law’s parents and then home. Roger flies home from Delhi, Chad from Bangalore. They will have lots of stories to tell.

It’s always exciting to get updated news from the people we support through Teams India. Children grow up and begin to minister with their parents, new house churches form, land is purchased and new homes constructed. The intensity and dedication of the believers comes through loud and clear. Even little children take part in worship with abandon. I can’t wait to get the reports when Roger gets home in about a week.

Look for a video on facebook showing a meeting taking place in one of the pastor’s homes last year.

Posted by: janpierce | November 1, 2014

Akanksha and Thomas, a Success Story

100_0140                        DSCN0333

Roger first met Akanksha at Dayanilayam orphanage near Hyderabad in 2005. She had been left as a “ragpicker” at a local dump by her aunt. She was brought to the orphanage dirty and without real clothing. She had lived at the dump for three or four years by then and was about eight or nine years old in 2005. She was afraid of Roger, but polite as she was taught to be to Americans who might sponsor her. We saw her each year when we visited the orphanage and bought her little presents from time to time. She was allowed to travel with us when we were in the area and we treated her to her first ice cream when we took her to Hyderabad. She saw stairs and elevators for the first time and also her first airplane. When she was about 14 she ran away from the orphanage and married her first cousin. This was a marriage match made at birth by her Buduga Jangam tribe. The tribal people are outside of caste, even lower than dalits, and her group made their living by weaving mats, traveling from village to village to sing and bless or give curses and they often ate birds and rats. More recently the adults from this group have become day workers in the fields. When Akanksha ran away we thought we had lost her, but through another cousin we were able to find her about four hours away from the orphanage. She was living with her new husband and his parents in a dwelling put together from plastic, boards and other rubble. It broke our hearts. We gave Thomas some money and told him to use it for education. He promised he would. We were so happy on our next visit to find them at a Bible School near Hyderabad. We visited them and met their teacher. Later we heard Thomas was becoming a pastor and had received further training. In 2010 when we were in Bangalore for our son’s wedding, Thomas and Akanksha came to the service with their newborn son, Paul. That was four years ago. This weekend Roger will visit Thomas and Akanksha in Nalagonda where they live and work. Both are Christian leaders and they now have added a daughter to their little family. God raised these two young people from beggars to Christian leaders. We couldn’t be prouder.

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