Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dr. Ananthi Jebusingh and Laura Marie Come For a Visit

Last month my precious friends, Ananthi and Laura Marie, came to visit as a part of their fund raising campaign for The Good Samaritan School in Delhi, India. I may, possibly, once or twice, have mentioned my missions trip to this school last June. It was my first missions trip and it renewed my life long passion for serving overseas. It pretty much changed my life! Anyway, they arrived on a Thursday night and bright and early Friday morning Ananthi spoke at the chapel service at Davie's school. She was so wonderful with the children. She was just so captivating! The Good Samaritan School has a wonderful history and an amazing story of God's calling and provision for the slum children of India. Ananthi and Laura Marie travel once a year in the U.S. to share about what the school does and what the needs are. The Good Samaritan School operates completely on the generosity of Christians who believe that a Christian education can change the lives of the impoverished children in Delhi. One of the unique aspects of the school is that they teach English and in India if a child can learn English they can gain employment and help support their family. Like many charitable organizations The GSS is struggling financially and have discerned that the best way to meet the needs of the children is for the children to have individual sponsors. So, on this trip Ananthi spoke to as many as would listen about the ministry and needs of the school. If you have read my posts in the past then you know that my heart was changed because of the needs and the joy I witnessed in the midst of such great need while in Delhi. Having Ananthi and Laura come to my home was such a joy and to be able to show them a bit of hospitality was my privilege and pleasure. We stayed busy and made sweet memories. The photo above is from the Friday night dinner we had with some precious friends who prayed for me faithfully while I was in India(Laura is behind the camera).
One of the sweetest times that weekend was when Ananthi and I were able to go visit Leu Gardens together. It was wonderful to spend time with Ananthi and share our hearts. She is such a precious person. We talked about books and family and life. One of the things about Ananthi that I admire and want to emulate is her teachable spirit. Even as learned as she is, she is always taking notes and writing things down. I shared about books I had been reading and what the Lord was showing me. I shared about struggles in my extended family. She shared wisdom and her commitment to pray for me and for these situations. We also share a love for nature and photography and so the gardens were a perfect place for us to go. We saw many beautiful flowers and butterflies. I even saw a red-tailed hawk eating something in a tree...I'd never seen that before!
We talked about the school and the children and my hopes to visit the school again in the next year...but not in June! Maybe September or November over Thanksgiving break or something. We shall see. I am open to friends joining me....any takers? You will LOVE it! I promise!
I want to share a bit about my sponsor child from the Good Samaritan School. Her name is Mercy. She is 14 years old and the only child of her parents who work for the school. She is the top student in her class. In India they have these big major exams to move ahead in school and she just took her midterm and again scored the highest in her class. She is this sweet and shy teenager who reached out to me while I was there. When she found out that I liked to read she loaned me some of her favorite books. I knew then that we were kindred spirits and that I wanted to sponsor her. Through our sponsorship Mercy is given a real chance to continue her education and then even go to the university when she graduates. University is so inexpensive, like $300 for the year, that I am hoping that we can sponsor her all the way through. My eyes fill with tears at the chance that she has to go to college and make her way in the world. Mercy comes from a Christian family and so she is blessed with supportive parents who understand the importance of an education, even for a girl. When I found out that Ananthi was coming I began to plan what I wanted to send back to Mercy. If you know me it will come as no surprise that I sent her the Anne of Green Gables book series and The Lion, Witch and Wardrobe series along with a few other things. It was so sweet that when she sent her thank you note that she said she is most thankful that I will be coming back. Isn't that remarkable? When you sponsor a child you change their lives and in the process God changes you. His heart for the poor becomes your heart for the poor. We fulfill a deep God-given need in ourselves when we give and serve those less fortunate than us. We were created to serve...and not just ourselves or our own families, but the world. If you are interested in child sponsorship you can go here and fill out the appropriate forms. It is only $35 a month. Please give it prayerful consideration. All through the Bible we are called as ones who should minister to those less fortunate than ourselves. Proverbs 21:13 says,"Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered." Proverbs 22:9 says, "The generous will themselves be blessed,for they share their food with the poor." Prov 29:7 "The righteous care about justice for the poor,but the wicked have no such concern." Please consider what your gift could mean to the life of another. With love, js

It's a Wonderful Thing...Life

(This photo has nothing to do with my blog...I just loved it.)

I don't think I could ever be a true writer. It takes tremendous discipline, time and focus to sit down daily, even weekly, and post my thoughts. But, when I don't do it in a logical manner then I end up trying to process all my thoughts for the last few weeks at one time, in one post, in the middle of the night. Not a very good plan. With that duly noted I am going to try to put some thoughts down over the next few days and actually post in small doses. My thoughts probably won't be anything too noteworthy, but I do have a few things rolling around in the ol' noggin that need to get out.

I attended the Women of Faith conference this past weekend. For the most part I enjoyed it. I have thought for years that they do too many commercials, but it seems to work for what do I know? While I enjoyed all the speakers tremendously, the one I heard and enjoyed the best was Andy Andrews. Apparently he is a best selling author with a ton of books out there that I was completely unaware of, although my friend Kathy did mention one in passing this summer, but I paid little attention to her recommendation. I should have listened to her! Mr. Andrews is a master storyteller. He is a southern guy from Alabama and he was able to draw me in as he shared of his life's difficulties and lessons. The thought I took home from him in a big way is that "every decision in our life matters". There is no way to know the impact our life will have on those who come behind us as we live in service to God and others. I love that thought. All of us want to know, need to know that our life counts for something. When God set eternity in the hearts of men He also created the desire for our lives to count....for all eternity. I love the thought that my life, a rather average one, can affect the world in a big way when I take advantage of the opportunities for good that God puts in my path and because that matters to me I can trust that God will take my efforts and do things I can't even imagine. I really do love that thought. In Ephesians 3 the apostle Paul says it this way, "I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!" He can take my life of obedience and service and do more than I could ask or imagine. Amazing! I pray that your life's decisions have an eternal value and that you are always living with eternity in mind.
With love,
Jackie Sue