The testimony of our friends was shocking and heart wrenching at the same time. Here’s the story. . . .
They have been to a province of more than 80 million people in India. This is only one of 28 provinces. The largest has 180 million people!
The parents don’t know what to do with the kids they are bringing into the world.
Many children are being “offered to the jungle gods.”
In other cases, the girls are being sold into prostitution.
When we first heard the report, we knew that we needed to do whatever we could to help our friends who were “throwing their lives” at this gargantuan need.
Their envisioned strategy? Acquire a herd of 300 dairy cows and use the income from the dairy to support four
orphanages . . . to raise wonderful children in a Christian environment . . . which would become an idyllic oasis in the midst of chaotic circumstances.
I knew that our great friends in the dairy business would be happy to help us set up the business model since they have been very successful at it. (I’m not commenting on the price of milk!) They were willing and ready to get involved.
Our friends in Atlanta, who had witnessed the need firsthand, were totally committed. But there were so many things to do to get some legs under this dream. And there were complications. Delays. Confusion and backtracking and adjustments to the plan. At times it seemed the vision would be derailed.
Our daughter, Elizabeth wanted to keep informed on the project’s development. When she inquired, she was sad to hear that there was now total uncertainty about its progress. Help for the destitute children had been postponed indefinitely.
Our friends in the dairy industry asked about the progress on the project as well. Being men of action, they wanted to come right away and get started with the process of breeding cows in India to create the best milk-producing breed in the country!
But no. The Atlanta-based project was at a standstill.
We all wondered what had happened. Why would the Lord make us aware of such a sad ordeal and then let our help fade away? Were we supposed to get involved? How and when?
And then . . . a twist in the story. . . .
Fernando Dantas is a very bright student from Brazil who attends our seminary in Madrid, Spain. He comes from a group of Presbyterian churches in his native land.
When Fernando arrived in Spain, he observed the level of sophistication of the people. He had not been trained in a seminary, and he could feel his handicap. Having heard of our seminary, he decided to take classes alongside his missionary duties to improve his ability to minister in Spain.
Fernando loves music and plays several instruments very well. His love of worship drives his music. Fernando began to not only develop his knowledge of worship through the Scriptures, but also to organize worship seminars for worship pastors in the city of Madrid. He originally came to Madrid serving as a missionary in Youth With A Mission (YWAM).
His YWAM colleagues recommended him for a teaching assignment in India. Fernando enthusiastically accepted and went. The abject poverty and lostness of a nation many times larger than Brazil overwhelmed him. He saw need everywhere and on every level.
• He saw many orphanages that barely touch the desperate need of countless street children.
• He saw the need for training pastors and students.
• He saw the need for planting new churches to become beacons for the vast population.
Fernando felt helpless before such a tremendous need. His action strategy was to come and share with us about what he saw. He knew that we are ministering in a number of countries around the world; he was sure we could to go India too.
Fernando pressed his case with me, but I told him about the plan we had already seen stall out there. Over the years, God has led us to develop a list of seven factors that must be in place in order to enact our model of ministry. One request does not provide all aspects of the paradigm.
But thank God, Fernando’s passion was not quenched. He was invited to become a frequent teacher of pastors in India—basically reteaching, from his own class notes, a series of worship seminars he had attended under the leadership of Dr. Jim Altizer, a visiting professor from California. Fernando has replicated the seminar in India, and he keeps being invited back.
God is the one who calls. He is infinite. He will build His Church. God is the All Resourceful One: El Shaddai.