Recently, on one of our GCC India Teams, one of our team members passed by a little group of village children gathering impromptu before school to hold hands, close their eyes and speak softly for a few minutes before heading into their day. When the team member asked one of the village elders what the kids were doing, the village elder explained, "They do that every day. They gather to pray on their own before heading to school. They pray for their families, for their teachers, for their classmates and for the specific things going on in their lives. They pray in the name of this Jesus that you have been speaking about." I asked Raj to send me a picture of this little gathering and you will see it here. You'll notice little Rajasuri (that i mentioned in a previous post) standing second from the left on the far side of the circle too.
From my perspective, this is a snapshot of what it means when all these things that we talk about in terms of "church based community development" come together. Ask any of these children why their lives are different now than they were four to five years ago and they will point to the People of God in their midst. They will point to Jeyan and Jency (the local Indian church pastors), to adults in the community who have come to Jesus and are working more often, have been liberated from slavery, and are seeking to be better parents and spouses. They will point to a clean water well, a community vegetable garden, to whole and strong homes now constructed over their heads, to a community center in their midst and to regular visits from Indian mentors through Life Mission International and new friends from the far away land of Granger in the United States. This little band here marks what it looks like when a plan comes together. And, like Hannibal from The A-Team, "I LOVE it when a plan comes together!"