Sunday, July 12, 2009

A lot of little notes

The weeks have flown by and we are now down to our final 10 days here in India. It is a difficult time as we plan out our final week and become forced to schedule our goodbyes. This last week has had ups and some downs. Pastor Jeff and Johnathon arrived late tuesday night. It has been an awesome encouragement and joy to have them here with us. It has been such a blessing to be able to share what we have been experiencing with Pastor Jeff, and through that be reminded of the great amount of support we have coming from our close knit Norco family back home.

Tonight, in just a couple of hours, an Indian friend of ours will be coming over to talk with Dr. Mooney about Christianity. For several weeks now she has been spending time with us, becoming more and more comfortable with our team. Stephanie has connected well with her and had the opportunity to share great words of truth. This afternoon she shared with Stephanie that she would like to talk with Dr. Mooney and so we look forward to this converstaion. She is an extremely bright girl, having already earned a masters and looking towards a Phd. We ask that you please pray for this conversation and for for the Holy Spirits work in her life. We are so excited about what God is doing; praise him for his work and plead for her salvation.

Scott and Stephanie are heading off tomorrow evening to stay in a India state farther south for four days. Stephanie's great grandparents started a school years ago. Although her grandparents are no longer living, the school remains; and so they will be going to enourage those who now run the school. Pray for safe travels and that they may glorify God through the encouragement they bring.

On a not so happy note, but a necessary one to share; Aunt Linda is very sick. She has been fighting a fever for almost two weeks. Yesterday she was admitted to the hospital and they have diagnosed her with a bacteria infection. I spent the morning with her while the others were at church. She was feeling better today and was fairly talkative, which was good to see. Pray for her healing. We love her and want to see her well, so please be praying with us that her body is restored to health.

God is faithful and his plan does prevail. We are excited for the work he has done and is now doing. Thank the Lord and continue to lift us up as we embark on our last week in India.

Sarah Lopez

Friday, July 10, 2009

Wednesday Discipleship

The Peeps...
(left to right: Pankaj, John, Charu, Sarah and Niveya
Top row: Ryan and Sam)

Every Wednesday we have been traveling to Madipur. Earlier we asked you pray for our time and God has been so faithful to us. Pankaj and Charu are growing and learning a lot. Last week we made a list of characteristics of God and went over it with them. Instead of going to their house, we met at a market half way and over lunch we discussed this very important topic. Sarah was with our friend Neha (a 15 year old girl), whom she has really connected with. Ryan had a great conversation with Pankaj (21 year old college student). John had some great conversation with Rohit (Neha'a 19 year old brother, they both translate for us and have become great friends.)  I was blessed by a talk with Charu, a 19 year old girl.  

This week we met at their home and despite their monetary situation, they are so prompt to bring out chai and snacks. We love their mother. Though she does not speak a lick of english, her sweet presence blesses me every time. On a personal note, I have been struggling with the fact that I am not seeing much fruit. I have been praying for the Lord to humble me and accomplish His purpose and not mine. On Wednesday July 8th, we started our meeting with each of them asking questions that they had from their week in reading. It quickly turned into one on one.  Charu has finished reading the book of John, and is now reading Acts and Matthew. We started our time by me answering some questions from her reading. It was a blessing to explain the Ethiopian Eunuch and the parable of the unforgiving servant. The conversation flowed from talking about sin, to baptism, to forgiveness. She interrupted at one point and told me that before she met us she would only read her bible once a month but since we have been meeting with them, she is reading 5 times a week. This humbled me... God in His mercy chose to show me some fruit. He by no means needed to or should have, but in His grace He blessed me with this conversation. I am astounded by the truth found in Isaiah 55 that His word never returns void. He accomplishes what He wills, when He wills.  

Continue to pray for these believers as they will be starting a group for students their age. Pray for boldness and confidence in the word. Pray that Christ would continue to reveal Himself to them as they seek His word.

We will see you all in 8 days! Pray for our last week here, it's going to be difficult. 

For the Norco Team: Sam Hauser

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Girls Orphanage

We have been going to Grace Home Girl's Orphanage since we arrived in India. Sorry it has taken so long to tell you about these beautiful girls. When we fist went, we were with girls from the Florida team that was here the first three weeks with us. We played hand games (lots of hand games), told a bible story, had a craft and one of us shared our testimony. 30 girls packed in a small room laughing, running and jumping around. It was a sight to see. I learned more hand games in an hour than I have known in my whole life. When we would tell the Bible stories the older girls would correct our mistakes, they knew them so well. These girls have stolen our hearts. 

They love to have their picture taken... 
They Love to sing for us... 
They love hand games... 
And more hand games... 
How could that not steal your heart... 

Their smiles could light up 1,000 rooms and their roaring laughter is sure to bring brightness to anyone's day. This particular day, I found myself observing a lot. It hit me that these girls, despite their present circumstance had amazing joy. The thought of them not having any parents, sleeping 4 girls to a bed and wearing the same clothes day in and day out didn't seem to phase them. Praise songs filled the house and the joy of the Lord was evident there. 

Ryan had a pretty cool conversation with one of the older girls that I overheard. Ryan asked her a bunch of questions but the last question was, "What does India's youth need?" And with great certainty, as if she had thought about it before she said, "Studies and Jesus." Straight from the mouth of a wise 13 year old girl. 

The smiles of each girl grabbed a different part of my heart. I can remember each face vividly. Oh for grace to understand the weight of their present reality, to hurt with them, but to rejoice in the same hope that they rejoice in... JESUS. 
For the Team: Sam Hauser