In 2017 with our partners we will provide skills training in leadership, Bible, hair dressing, jewelry making, computers, and cell phone repair.
<perhaps add a sentence like…
Though these seem like trivial skills to us, they will provide the opportunity [for our new friends] to apply for jobs they never would have been able to / qualified for before…
I dunno; something like that>
Your gifts and prayer make it possible.
This is a story about two people. One who found hope! Another who brought hope.
Suresh (not his real name) lives in a very remote village in India. He’s almost 20 years old. He went through 10th grade in a rural school a mile from his village. His Father died three years ago. Since that day, Suresh stopped going to school so he could work to provide for his family.
Most weeks he could only find paid work for one or two days. He sweated in the rice fields, cut sugar cane, pulled tea leaves–whatever day labor he could find. What he earned went to his mother to help feed and clothe two more children and his aging grandmother living with them.
A year ago, Suresh and some of his friends met Prabhakar, a young man from a nearby village. Prabhakar came a few times each week. When there was work, he labored with them. When there was no work, he told stories.
Suresh loved the stories because they were not like Hindu stories he had known all his life. These stories made more sense to him. Prabhakar said that most of the stories came from a book called The Bible. They gave him excitement and hope. When he heard the stories about someone named Jesus, Suresh knew that his life would change. If Jesus was real, Suresh wanted to be like him.
Suresh and a few friends became Jesus followers. But life didn’t get any better. It just got worse!
Now that they were Christians, few people would hire them. They could find work only when they went to villages and farms where no one knew them. Every day Suresh dreamed about leaving his village to find better work and a new life. But who would help his mother and family?
One day, after being away for a long time, Prabhakar came back. He was excited. He and some other storytellers had gone through a special training from the same people who taught him to tell stories. He had learned how to use a computer. Now, he wanted to help train Suresh and his friends.
With some people from Kolkata (Calcutta) and a few laptops, Prabhaker began to teach them. For the first time in his life, Suresh touched an actual computer. He learned how to put words and pictures on the screen by typing on a keyboard.
One week later, Suresh received a certificate that proved he could now operate Microsoft Office on a computer. Only days later with that certificate in hand he interviewed and found an office job.Today, Suresh is working five days each week in a government office about a mile from his home. He is doing simple data entry. His job pays him enough income to feed his family. He supports a new little church Prabhakar has started in his village. Each month he also saves a little so that some day he can finish school and buy his own computer.
A true story! (At their requests we have changed some names and parts of the story to protect them from persecution if too many hear it).
It began with a LION–India Bible storytelling team training Prabhakar attended almost two years ago. Through his passionate pursuit to tell others the message of Jesus through stories, Prabhakar now has started three small churches.
This year, with additional training provided by L.I.O.N. and its ministry partners, Prabhakar is also putting the message into action. He is helping people in those churches and their communities learn new skills so they can provide for their families and support their church.
It is humbling for me to report that all of this happened without me!
Yes, God used people like you and me to begin the training, discipleship, and mentoring. The results, however, are the evidence of God’s Word and Spirit at work in the lives of those we serve.
Will you help us to continue serving? Please, please consider a generous gift or pledge!
In the coming year, we are prayerfully launching new storytelling and skills training in multiple states of India, Nepal, and parts of Africa. It will be done through young leaders in obscurity whom we have been encouraging, equipping, empowering, and engaging in new efforts to advance the cause of the Gospel.
Your gifts are truly making a difference.