Friday, June 19, 2009

Simply Tools in His Hands

Angela Mooney commented on one of our blogs and reminded us that we are "simply tools in the hand of the Master." This statement has become a full reality for us as we lean on our Father for strength, discernment and grace to be obedient. We have been going through the book of John in our morning devotion time as a team and today we came across John 6:44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him." It was a blessing and an encouragement to know the sovereignty of our great God and to trust Him with the lives we are pouring into.  All of us came to the conviction that we want to share the gospel with more boldness and present decision opportunities. I personally think (and most of the team would agree) that "the sinners prayer" and walking the aisle has been so overplayed in America, that we somewhat shy away from it.  However this is a different culture and we are learning to adapt and give opportunities where people have never been offered that opportunity before. 

Here are a few things we have been up to...

Ryan and John hanging out with Ali.
They met him at New Delhi University and have been hanging out since.
Sarah has connected with his sister, Rukshana. 
Steph, Sam and Supriya.
Supriya is Malveka's sister. Malveka is Indian and is going to school at CBU right now, and her younger sister Supriya lives here in New Delhi. We are loving getting to know her!
**On Sunday night we were able to share the gospel and challenge her to think about the idea of absolute truth. Keep her lifted up. 
Team Norco and the international students at New Delhi University.
(Representing Kenya, Uganda, Fiji, Maldives, India, and America!)

On Wednesdays we travel an hour to a colony called Madipur.  Quick context: Auntie and Daizy have started "life groups" in this area with some of the women. They meet once a week. It has been a blessing.  But as of yet, there has not been a place for the college believers to meet. So a vision that Auntie wanted to see accomplished was that these 2 believers would be leading a group for their own age. That brings us up to date... We have started a discipleship process with these students and for me personally, it has been such a joy.  It is so interesting to see how different aspects of this trip have captured different team member's heart.  We all still serve faithfully but for example but particularly enjoy certain things. For example, Stephanie has such a burden for a pastor's wife and Sarah adores the ministries with the children.  Discipleship is my heart.  To see believers mature brings me such satisfaction.  Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 3:8, "For now we really live if you are standing fast in the Lord."  This has been my prayer and I can't wait to see how the Lord works in this specific situation.

4 weeks is our countdown... 28 days til we get on a plane and come home.  We are pushing through and trying to be the most intentional we can be.  Keep us in prayer and know that we love and miss you all!  

In His Love.... Sam Hauser

Jaya and Amit

Alina and Amena playing in our taxi ( Alina is handicapped
and is 3 1/2 yrs old and Amena just turned 2!)

Pastor Amit loving on his daughter Alina.

Hello all-
My job is to share about a local pastor and his wife and kids who have touched our hearts. Both Amit and Jaya grew up in Hindu homes and decided to follow our Savior years back and met each other at a Bible college here in India. They have 2 beautiful daughters, one of which is handicapped. Jaya is about 7 months pregnant and is having an extremely painful pregnancy. All moms out there can relate I am sure. She can hardly sleep at night and during the day has to keep up with a 2 year old and a hyperactive handicapped child by herself. Talk about humbling for me! I thought my days were tiring! But what a blessing she has been to me (Steph). I have cried with Jaya, and I watch how she struggles to pursue God when she is so tired... and I then look at my own faithless heart and see how I struggle over things of no comparison! Pray for this family and their faithful ministry. For financial provision, spiritual blessing, Jaya's health and for them to learn how to raise their children well.
Something else that has struck me every time we go over to their house-- Pastor Amit is full of smiles and asks "How many hours have you been praying?" Needless to say-- we all laugh quietly and wonder in our heads "Is he serious? Should I answer? How awkward! Did I even pray today yet?? What do I say?? How much does HE pray???" Challenging. He told Scott he prays 6 hours a day.
Ryan and John have been busy teaching boys English out where Pastor Amit lives twice a week.
Sarah and Sam have been teaching the girls. What a blessing they have been to those kids who desire to learn! Scott and I hung out with Amit and Jaya- helping them with their children and encouraging them.
As I finish-- I would like to share a funny story that has a good point to it. Bear with me....
Once upon a time, an itty-bitty girl began a journey to India. At the LAX airport, 2 of her teammates and her forgot to finish their water before going through security. The 2 others got passed through within a minute. However, this little girl had to wait for the slowest security lady in the WORLD to walk her around security...and she had to wait in line again while her team waited for 15 minutes. Finally! After arriving at her desination in New Delhi, this little girl and her team had to go through more security for "bird flu" checks. Joy Joy. However, lo and behold she was the only one singled out to get physically checked for it! Out of EVERYONE in line, the security pulled her aside and shoved a thermometer in her ear! What?? So, she awkwardly stood there for 10 minutes as the man who apparently had no idea what he was doing was shoving a thermometer in her ear. It kept beeping, and he would put it in again. Meanwhile the line is pushing past her- she feels like an idiot- and stares are being directed their way as the WHITEST person in the airport is being assaulted by a thermometer! Nervous giggles escape her...and he finally realizes that the CAP IS ON THE THERMOMETER! Finally, it works and she escapes. Weeks later, this little white girl takes a subway across the city. You receive a chip that scans you through security. All 5 other teammates pass through. BEEP BEEP. "Unauthorized". Not again! She scans again. BEEP BEEP. Everyone is waiting. The security man asks her for 5 rupees to pass! She laughs. No way! Her tall husband walks up and asks what the problem is. The smaller Indian man scans her through with no more questions. lol. THAT part was funny. Whew! Made it!
Then.... one day this little girl's head was curiously ITCHY. Odd. Maybe dry scalp? She waits 2 days and finally asks Aunt Linda and the girls to check her head. The diagnosis? Lice. Yes, I said it: Lice. The little girl cries. She cries again. LICE? Auntie Daizy declares war on the little girl's head and self-titles herself as "The Great Hunter" and gets the lice out. Whew! However, lice takes weeks of combing to get their naaaasssssssty eggs out as they hatch. DID YOU GET THAT? Hatching eggs. 3 hours of combing a day-- which has led to bleeding scalp. Not her cup of tea.
Now- why did I just share all of this with you? Most of you are strangers to me...probably feeling a little itchy yourselves now..=)
I share this story because for a few days I was a WEE bit cranky about my lice situation. It is still not over. But it was my personal "breaking" point. I am learning humility and a need for Christ. I saw my anger and selfishness. The security checks were pretty DARN funny to me. I blame it on my size and color (extra extra white, green eyes, light hair, 5'2"...) lol. But the lice? I have not fully processed it all- but I would have to say a not so pretty side of myself was revealed to me. And over what? A little bug. What would I do if my health and posessions and family was stripped away as Job's was?
Did you all bear with me through it? Perhaps it was more rambling than anything. It was therapeutic for me. Maybe you got a giggle. Maybe you feel more itchy than ever. Or maybe you got a chance to examine your own sinful and selfish heart for a moment.
Joyful in any affliction?
He has saved me from so much filth!
God bless you all.
Have an itch-free day with my blessing and love to all. ;-)
Steph Rendel

Hindu Boys School

The Norco ladies and the boys!

The Norco men and the boys!

These are the younger boys singing a Christian song in Hindi...

Some of our favorite boys coloring a picture of Jesus feeding the 5,000

Our sweet boys... they stole my, Sarah's and Stephanie's heart...

So we taught them a game called "Ninja"... almost one of the greatest things ever invented... (they got a little violent after a while.) ooops...

These are pictures from a Hindu boys school that we are now going to every monday and tuesday. During our time there, us girls spend time with the little ones while the boys spend time with the older guys. A bible story is shared, some songs are sung, a craft is made and a number of games are played. The little ones listen intently to the bible story and are often filled with laughter during the songs and games. The older boys have now heard the gospel and been given a bible in their own language.

This opportunity to spend time at this Hindu boys school is an amazing blessing from the Lord. It is a very special and unique opportunity to be able to openly tell stories about Jesus at this school ran by Hindu followers. The light of Jesus is being shown brightly in this dark place. Please pray for these boys; pray that the seeds planted would impact the boys greatly. Pray that God would cause these seeds to grow. We know that it is only through Him that growth will take place and so pray that He will work in their lives.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Just A Few Pics...

Steph, Sarah and I with three sweet girls...
 (left to right:) Neha (holding Sammy), Sheba and Jerry

A local pastor that the boys will be helping with teaching English as us girls encourage his wife... more to come about them.... 

If it doesn't get all over the place... it doesn't belong in your face...

Our men with the guys from the church... These guys are on fire for the Lord! 

A family we met in a nearby village. Steph and I got to 
share our testimonies...

We were blessed with a lot of fruitful conversations...
Scott with new believer Palandro.

Sarah jammin' with some boys after church...

Kids at a different village when we went to tell stories and pray for the people...
So fun, even when the power went out and a bird pooped on me! 

Continue to lift us up... A typical week schedule will look like this from now on:
Monday-Tuesday: Teaching English in the slums with a local pastor.
Wednesday: appointments with the contacts we've made...
**Discipleship with new believers.
Thursday-Friday: Teaching English and telling stories at the Hindu Boys School.
Saturday: rest day... appointments 
Sunday: church and fellowship.

So you can see all of our free time :)! Would you pray that we would be diligent in the word and faithful in prayer. Steph and John have a ton of school work to finish on top of all this! 

We are all still working through things that God is teaching us and challenging us with. We love and miss you all! Be blessed this week! 

For the Norco Team:
    Sam Hauser 



Wednesday, June 10, 2009


The church service went well. I bet it was a bit more mellow than they are used to but worship was a blessing.  John, Ryan and Sam led worship with a mix of english and Hindi songs so everyone was involved.  Ryan brought the word from 1 Corinthians 3:5-9.  It was such a blessing to the church as well as our team.  Scott and Sarah shared their testimonies with such boldness. Overall last week was a success in the friendships we made and the things we got to share with them... 
Here is some of the group that stayed for fellowship and lunch...

This week we are finally slowing down a little bit!!--- which is good and bad. Bad because it's easy to sit around and be comfortable at home, but good because we now have more time to invest in the relationships we've been making the past weeks.
PRAY for us as we meet weekly with these new friends of all castes and religions. Clear communication, fun times, deep conversations, boldness to share our stories with them, receptiveness, etc...
Speaking for myself, I (Steph) am excited! My introvert side looks forward to one-on-one time for sure! I'm more than happy to be the wall-flower if I feel overwhelmed by people or others take the lead. So, pray that all of us introverts (except for Sam because she most certainly is the vibrant extrovert- in a good way-- lol) BREAK out of our shells and take advantage of this one-on-one time.
All for now. Much love.
P.S. It was Scott and I's 1-year wedding anniversary last Friday. It was a blessed day-- and unique to be sure! God is good.
Steph R. (with a side of Sam) 

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Pray Today Please...

Three days ago we were asked to lead a church service for this next sunday. We have not actually been to the church for a sunday service; but, we have been with the pastor and a few student members, working alongside them to go to the universities all week. We have come to realize that this church is quite different from what we are used to and comfortable with. They are a bit on the charismatic side. Sam, John and Ryan are leading music, Scott, Stephanie and I (sarah) are sharing testimonies, and then Ryan will be preaching as well. We are all pretty nervous. These people are used to services a bit crazier then what we are used to. We would prefer not to bore them to death. Pray that we could be used powerfully to speak truth into the lives of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray that we would not withhold truth out of fear of contradicting an idea they may have. Ask that the Holy Spirit would be evident among us to this body. The service will start at 10 am our time so that would be 9:30 pm your time. Please be praying. We'll be sure to let you know how it goes. Thanks so much for your prayers, they are greatly greatly appreciated :)

Sarah Lopez

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sad Goodbyes and New Greetings...

This evening we said goodbye to the team from Florida that has been with us for the last three weeks. They were a great blessing to us and we thank the Lord for them. Their joy was contagious and their passion for Jesus overflowed. We became united as a family and will miss them dearly.

The last few days we have spent some time in North Dehli University area, having conversations with students. We are working alongside another group of Christian students, many of them being from other parts of the world as well. Our first day was filled with a number of tense frustrations. We really struggled with their methods in sharing truth. As we began to share with them methods that we believe are more effective, they allowed us to use our methods and by the second day they were beginning to really see the effectiveness and use our methods as well. We have been able to have some awesome conversations with the university students and been able to share the truth with them numerous times. For many of them, hinduism is cutlural not personal; they seem open to ideas of other possible truths. Praise God for the awesome work he is doing in the lives of the Indian students, for the willingness they have to listen to the truths we have to share. Please pray as we continue to converse. Ask the Lord to soften the hearts of those who remain hostile and firm in their beliefs. As we make these contacts, we hope to continue the relationships and pour out truth regularly. We are doing well. Some of us have adjusted quicker than others; but, we are becoming a bit more comfortable each day and continuing to learn as we watch and listen.

Sarah Lopez