Posted by: janpierce | July 8, 2010

Same and Different

 I spent a good part of yesterday writing letters to the fourteen women I taught last year near Hyderabad. Each one of these women was sent by their churches or pastors or someone who believes in their leadership ability to learn cross-cultural evangelism principles plus a whole slough of “technologies”. These technologies are hands-on skills and small business ideas to make a little extra money; things like candle making, detergent making, and compost making.

Every one of these women live far below any poverty line we have here in the states. One woman, when giving me her testimony talked about being a “slave” to another family as she grew up so that she could eat. We might call her a housekeeper (at age 11 or 12) but she used the word slave. This same woman is now a leader over 74 village churches in the mountains of Assam and travels to each of them by bicycle. She has no home of her own, but lives in her ancestral family home with her sister and brother in law. She says she has suffered much in her life. But she has a deep joy inside her as well. This is Bilahi and I love her.

When I think of the things that are the same about my fourteen friends and me it is the inside things. We all love the Lord and want our lives to count for something in His kingdom. But the tangible, material things will never be the same. I long to share some of the comforts I have with each of them. I wish I could provide a home for my friend Bilahi. I wish she had electricity and running water. I wish she always had enough to eat and that she would know she would eat tomorrow too. I feel so fortunate to have met these women and know they are a microcosm of thousands of believing women in India. Pray with me for these women who give so much and are happy to do it.

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