I had a vision on December 24, 1993, in which I saw thousands and thousands of dark-skinned starving children. They screamed at the top of their lungs from hunger. The mothers held their children while the fathers stood next to them. All of the parents stared at me with pleading eyes, which begged, “Would you help us? Please!”
The screams echoed in my ears and pierced my heart. I fell on the carpet and wept so much I thought the anguish would swallow me up. Whatever my life’s plans were before that moment no longer mattered because I knew that I had to help the hungry, poor, and helpless children of the world.
A second vision in early 1994 reenforced my calling. In it, I saw myself arriving in heaven, but not for a glorious homecoming. A line of dark-skinned children, as far as I could see, waited to talk with me. Each, in turn, said, “I did not make it into my divine calling on earth because you failed to fulfill your calling of helping us. I starved to death as a young child.”
Let me tell you: I do not ever want to arrive in heaven and have that happen to me. The anguish I felt looking onto those children’s eyes erased the joy of being in Paradise. If that was a sample of the pain a person could feel in heaven, I’d hate to ever visit Hell.
Now, let’s fast forward to 2011 when we received a free copy in the mail of No Longer A Slumdog by K. P. Yohannan. The title caught my attention because of the movie by a similar name. I sat down and began reading it.
There were stories about Muttu, Asha, Lata, Vichy, Tusli, and other names of poor children I could not pronounce. I read about a mother who sold her baby for ten pounds of rice. I learned about India’s caste system and how the lowest rung, the Dalits, are considered subhuman and worthy of being treated like dogs. The Dalits comprise twenty percent of India’s population or approximately the same population as the USA.
Every word acted like a rock thrown against my plastic Western Christianity, creating cracks in it. Yet, it was this specific sentence on Page 31, which penetrated my heart:
“In India alone, there are 11 million children like Asha who have been abandoned, and 90% of them are girls.”
All I could think about were the 9.9 million abandoned little girls. If I closed my eyes, I saw little children, but their faces resembled my daughter, Susan, when she was four years old. I could not ignore my heart this time.
My wife and I now sponsor nine children in Gospel For Asia’s Bridge of Hope program. I am a volunteer advocate for Bridge of Hope, a Gospel For Asia blogger, a member of their prayer team, and have just opened a MyGFA entitled, “No Longer A Slumdog X 100.” My goal is to raise $42,000 to sponsor 100 kids.
S0, why do I support Gospel For Asia?
When I arrive in heaven, I want to meet parents and kids who will say to me, “Thanks for helping us.”