Posted by: janpierce | December 21, 2009

Part of the Solution or……….

Roger and I once attended a marriage seminar that must have been a good one because I still remember one of the illustrations they used. It was the picture of an onion and how our relationships are discovered in ever-deeper layers just like that onion. I’ve been thinking about the things we’ve learned in India on each visit and believe that the same illustration holds true for learning about a new culture. Each time we visit I learn more about Indian ways of thinking, how tasks are accomplished, and of special interest to us, how missions has worked in the past and the effects felt today in India’s Christian community. Sadly, to some, the word Christian means a person who doesn’t work, but holds out his or her hand for free money from Western countries. And, also sadly, some of us fall into that trap when we first begin to minister in a foreign country. We see the crying needs and we just want to begin to make it all better.
We have learned a lot about human dignity and respect for our Indian friends and have come to the conclusion that we need a clearly defined outline of those things we will support and those we won’t. In the middle of a busy trip it is easy to be swayed by personalities, dire circumstances and any number of sad situations that would all pull on our heartstrings if we weren’t mindful of using the money God has entrusted to us in the most effective ways possible. We’re learning that we are not honoring Indian people if we fund a plan or dream that is not yet up and running. We’re also learning that the responsibility for progress in ministry needs to come from the workers first, and then we can come alongside to provide training and support. I think I learned these things on the third or fourth layer of the onion when we realized that in spite of building relationships and providing quite a lot of oversight, we are still sometimes disappointed by ministry results. So we live and learn and with each journey we see what is fruitful and what is not.
We are tracking the strategic action plans of the TENT women we met on this trip. Some of them will begin to grow and produce fruit and then it will be time to join hands with them and fund specific projects. We continue to support the education of seven young people in different English medium schools in Andhra Pradesh and just set in place a scholarship at the Indian Mission School in Peddapalli which will help promising 10th grade graduates attend their “plus two” which is 11th and 12th grades. We purchased sewing machines for the five graduates of the Cherial Women’s Bible School which will make it possible for these women to support themselves as they serve God. We continue to encourage house church networks and their leaders as they share the Gospel along the lines of their people groups and beyond.  Education and goals of self-sufficiency will ensure that Teams India is part of the solution and not another part of the problem. Pray with us as we dig deeper into that onion, that we will be faithful to the calling God has put on our lives to spread the news of a loving God to the people of India.

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Responses

  1. I’m sure glad you didn’t use that “no funding a plan or dream that is not yet up and running” ideal with my college education!:)

    • You were “up and running” from age 2!


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