My mom, Ruth Nevenhoven, died almost a year ago at ninety years of age. She was a graduate of the “old school” of motherhood right up to her last breath, in that her life revolved around her two children, five grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren. Family always came first in Mom’s life.
“Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth. (Ephesians 6:2-3)
Okay, how can I honor my mother now?
I could place a bouquet of Mom’s favorite flowers on her grave for Mothers Day. This is a traditional way of honoring mothers here in America, letting everyone know how much I appreciated what she meant to me.
Yet, Carol and I decided not to follow the traditional paths for honoring Mom.
Instead, we chose to sponsor a Bridge of Hope child who was born on Mom’s birthday, January 9th. The little girl’s name is Stuti and she lives in Rajasthan, India. Like most Bridge of Hope children, her parents are poor and members of one of the “untouchable” castes.
It’s my belief that Mom walks around heaven, showing everyone pictures of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and a little girl named Stuti. I can almost hear her say, “Stuti is the smartest, prettiest, best, little girl in all of South Asia. I love her and thinks she’s the cat’s meow.”
If this is something that you might consider for honoring your mother, you can check it out at Gospel For Asia’s Bridge of Hope, by clicking here.
“God, is there any suffering beyond this point?” said a man who lost eight members of his family.
Gospel For Asia has already sent 250 missionaries and helpers to serve the poor and needy in Nepal. This is in addition to the 450 missionaries, churches, and twenty Bridge of Hope Schools in Nepal that are already there.
Information from the field:
1.4 million people effected by earthquake are in need of immediate food and clean water.
Death toll has surpassed 5,000, and it’s estimated to reach 10,000.
An estimated 8 million people have been effected by the earthquake.
Please pray for:
Comfort, strength and courage for all those suffering from the earthquake.
God would give wisdom to the officials involved.
God would give clear guidance to the Christian workers and leaders on the field.
If you are considering giving a donation to help the suffering people in Nepal, click here.
“Ruth is not a boy and her parents hated her for it. Like every other girl is South Asia, she won’t carry on her family name. She won’t be able to provide enough income for her parents. She could cost them enough marriage dowry to sink them into debt. But Ruth’s circumstances were even worse than most girls. Before Ruth was born, her parents already had three daughters. They were so desperate for a son, they sold one of their fields and gave the money to a priest, asking him to pray to his gods. So they could have a baby boy.”
The video goes on to tell how Ruth’s life was forever changed because a couple of women told her that God loved her.
If you listen to the video and are interested in supporting a woman missionary, you can do that by clicking here.
I have to admit that when the Lord gave me the idea to start a MyGFA campaign to support one hundred unsponsored Bridge of Hope Children, He dropped an enormous blob of faith on me. The blob of faith was so big that I thought, “This will be so easy. Just a piece of cake for God and me to handle.”
Now, one of the things about God’s enormous blobs of faith is that their effects only last until God has us where He wants us to be. Then, our blobs of faith evaporate and we are forced to operate out of our inner faith.
Yikes, right? What do we do then?
This is how I handle it:
I remind the Lord everyday that this was His idea, not mine. And because it’s His idea, it’s His responsibility to bring the money in. It’s His reputation that’s on the line because, Lord knows, my reputation stinks. If He doesn’t move on behalf of these one hundred unsponsored kids, I will fail. So, Lord, my trust is in You. What do You want me to do next?
Corrie ten Boom said, “It’s not that I have great faith, but rather, it’s that I have a little faith in a great God.”
So, did you know that millions in South Asia are without clean water?
• 3.4 million people die each year from water-related diseases.
• Diarrhea is the second leading cause of death among children under five years of age in the world. The total number of deaths from diarrhea are more than malaria, AIDS, and measles combined.
Gospel For Asia offers water solutions for villages in South Asia with their BioSand Filters and their Jesus Wells. The filters offer families a simple answer for only $30. The Jesus Wells provide water for a whole community, regardless of religious backgrounds for the low cost of $1,400.
If you are interested in helping, click here. Or you can make a smaller donation to “How Big is Our God” MyGFA campaign by clicking here.
I grew up on a farm in Northern Illinois. Our old house had a manual pump with a handle for pumping water from a cistern, two kerosene gas stoves, and an outside toilet. Yes, we had an outhouse…so what?
Our drinking water had to be carried in a pail from an outside well house. The water was pumped up from a deep underground well. The depth of the well caused the water to always be cold and refreshing.
As you can imagine, the day I came home from school to see our new fan-dangled bathroom with a toilet and running hot and cold water was a glorious day for us. We had finally joined the Twentieth Century…in 1960.
All of this seems extremely primitive to me now.
But to 750 million people in the world, they would be happy to have what we had before the new fan-dangled bathroom arrived at our farm. You see, these people do not have access to fresh water at all. And half of these live in South Asia, mainly India.
Mothers give their children dirty water to drink which results in one child dying every minute from a water-related disease. Open defecation and lack of sanitation only worsen the crisis.
To combat this water crisis in nations throughout South Asia, Gospel for Asia digs Jesus Wells and provides BioSand Water Filters to families and communities thirsty for clean, fresh water. GFA also provides safe, reliable sanitation by building outdoor toilets, preventing an epidemic of water-related diseases. Through the provision of clean water, many communities are becoming more open to hearing about the God who loves them and provides for their needs. Learn more about Gospel for Asia’s clean water ministry by clicking here.
• 50,000 female babies are aborted each month just because they are a female.
• One in three women are illiterate.
• Many young girls are forced or sold into a lifetime of prostitution. (1.2 million child prostitutes)
• Women commit suicide at a rate 21 times the world average.
• Every year, 7,000 women are doused in kerosene and burned to death by their husbands because of insufficient dowry.
• Widows are blamed for their husband’s deaths. They are then shunned by their communities, rejected by their families, and forced to live in an inhumane lifestyle. Tens of thousands commit suicide. (40 million widows)
• 92% of India’s women, aged 70 and older, are widows with little hope to survive.
But did you also know that there’s hope for women in South Asia?
It’s one of those chilly evenings in February. You are watching television when the doorbell rings. You hit pause on the remote and walk to the front door, expecting to see the neighbor’s daughter selling Girl Scout Cookies. But instead of a girl pulling a red wagon filled with overpriced cookies, you are confronted by eleven million abandoned Indian children. Each child has a hand out, begging for help. Each looks desperate and malnourished. You blink your eyes and hope the nightmare scene in front of you will change.
I know. I know. This is unrealistic and will never happen on our front porches.
Yet, the fact remains that there are eleven million abandoned children between the ages of 4 years and eleven years of age on the streets of India. Most are abandoned by parents who can’t afford to feed them. These children don’t have the option of blinking their eyes and hoping their nightmares will end because they won’t…unless we decide to help them.
How can we help?
By sponsoring a child through Gospel For Asia’s Bridge of Hope program for only $30 per month. Gospel For Asia has helped 72,000 children so far and hopes to sponsor 500,000 children in the near future.
Maybe we could eat a few less cookies this year and help Gospel For Asia reach its goal one child sooner.
How will the women in India call on the Lord in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard His name? And how are they to hear His name without someone preaching to them? And how can the ministers preach to the women unless they have been sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news to the women of India and South Asia!” (Based on Romans 10:14-15)
The greatest challenge for a woman in Asia today is to simply survive a normal lifespan. From birth — and even before birth — to death, a burden of oppression follows her through all the stages of her life, threatening her very existence.
Asian Women Face Unimaginable Challenges & Degradation.
Young girls throughout Asia are ravenously abducted and forced into a life of prostitution with every agonizing day one step closer to an early death from AIDS.
Widows in India bear the blame for their husbands’ deaths. They’re shunned by their communities, rejected by their families and forced into an inhumane lifestyle. Tens of thousands take their own lives just to end the pain.
Every year in India, more than 7,000 women are doused with kerosene and burned to death—by their husbands. The wife’s crime: an insufficient dowry.
It is no surprise that the suicide rate among women in India is up to 21 times higher than the world’s average.
These are but a few of the tragic conditions faced by millions of Asian women. They are trapped in a never-ending cycle of misery. Utterly without hope.
Yet today, in the midst of a hopeless situation, there is glorious hope.
Through the heroic efforts of 2,000 women missionaries who have dedicated their lives to bringing God’s love to the women of Asia, we can reach them. In many Asian cultures, genders rarely mix, so traditional male missionaries are severely limited in ministering to women. However, it is possible to send trained, dedicated women missionaries to reach the millions who still wait to hear that they are precious to Jesus.
After three years of intense training, GFA-supported women missionaries are driven by a passion: to relieve the pain and suffering of women in Asia by introducing them to the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. They heroically risk persecution, beatings and imprisonment to tell hurting women about a Savior who offers hope for eternity, and strength for today.
The lives of hundreds of thousands of Asian women are being transformed by GFA’s dedicated women missionaries, but millions more still wait.
Every day in South Asia, nearly 80,000 precious souls perish without knowing Christ’s love. We must send more missionaries.
Consider sending one of these dedicated women missionaries today.
For just $30 a month, you can help enable a missionary to reach other Asian women with the love of Christ. For more info, click here.
I watched the above video nine days ago, but I have been sick with a vicious cold since then. Yet, even when I tossed and turned with fever, I meditated on this video, especially these words:
We will live as strangers and pilgrims on this earth, with sacrifice, and commitment, and tears, and fasting, and touch the lost world with our lifestyle and commitment. (K. P. Yohannan of Gospel For Asia)
Now, I understand that not everyone will be touched by Yohannan’s words, like I was, but that’s only natural. A friend used to say, “If you throw a stone into a pack of wild dogs, the only dog that really pays attention is the one the stone hits. He yelps.”
Yohannan’s stone hit me. I yelped!
What do I plan on doing?
I am going to find as many people as possible who want to live as strangers and pilgrims on this earth. I don’t care if they are white, black, brown, Catholics, Lutherans, Charismatics, Baptists, tongue talkers, or whatever. I want to be with them to fast, pray, weep, and give so that a lost world can be touched by our lifestyle and commitment.
You see, at 69 years of age, I’ve run out of time and excuses.