“I will call those who were not my people, my people; and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved’ and in the very place where it was said to them, ‘you are not my people,’ there they will be called sons and daughters of the living God.”
Women in the Window International has been invited to serve the women of India once again. As I reflect on my first trip to India, I am amazed by how God orchestrated the events leading up to and during this life-changing encounter, and how He continues to work in amazing and Life-giving ways. Those who were not His people, have become His people, as the burgeoning church of India boasts millions of men, women and children, yet this is only 8% of the total population, with millions who are still unreached and unengaged. In the northern states, where we are heading, less than 2% of the population is considered “reached” or has a Gospel witness among the people of their cities and villages.
In the year 2000 I was invited to visit India for the first time as my church prepared to serve as part of a national team of doctors, construction workers, and evangelists. I labored in prayer and waited to hear God’s answer, “Should I join this team, Lord?” He made it very clear that He wanted to send me there and yet the Scripture passage that accentuated His call had a different tone than I had ever heard before. “For I know their works and their thoughts; the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and see My glory.” Isaiah 66:18
Little did I know that this concept —gathering them “from all nations” to serve the peoples of their own nation and declare His glory—would soon become a normal and prominent part of Christian service in the world of global ministry as well as my own personal life and work.
Beautiful memories from the teeming population of cities and tent villages, banana leaf meals, hard beds, and loving welcomes warm my soul as they remind me of myriad opportunities to advance the Kingdom in the second most populous nation of the world, India! Since that time, I have had the personal privilege of ministry in these major cities and numerous villages of India as well: Delhi, Guntur, Chennai, Mumbai (formerly Bombay), Hyderabad, Trivandrum, Bangalore, and Kolkota (formerly Calcutta). Our Women in the Window teams have also served in the northeastern states of: Assam and Jharkhand.
I am thrilled to be returning to the exact location of my first trip to India 17 years ago, and will have an opportunity to visit with a young woman whom I met on that very first trip. Her warm welcome to her home and invitation for tea became a transformational moment for us both. We will be serving approximately 100 women leaders of India as we provide micro-enterprise training to help them launch their own small businesses and to train potentially hundreds and hundreds more. . .
Please join us in prayer for this trip from June 7 to 19 and the two trainings conducted by our team, Jackie Hilliard, Kathy Caprio, and myself, along with our ministry partner. Here are some specific requests for our trip and trainings:
- With a literacy rate of only 60% among the women of India, pray that as we pilot our new WiW curriculum, it will provide both oral and practical application to the lives of women through the stories of multiple women in the Bible who were successful with their own businesses.
- India has the most people living in conditions of slavery, an estimated 18 million, and has the largest number of child laborers under 14 in the world, with an estimated 12.6 million children engaged in hazardous occupations. Pray that our WiW micro-enterprise skills training will directly impact the condition of human slavery, especially among women and children in India!
- As we reunite with friends of many years and make new friends, too, pray for God’s Holy Spirit to knit our hearts together in love within our own team, with our ministry partners, and among the women of India! “…that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:2-3