Hey there, friend! Boy, do we have a special treat for you! Lynn Cowell, Proverbs 31 speaker and author, traveled to India with Mission India. Today she’s sharing her story! Enjoy!
Emerging from the van, the stench pushed me back. Having never witnessed deep poverty like this before, the raw sewage and animal waste filling the trench-lined streets caught me off guard. Even the smell wouldn’t extinguish my excitement for the day, though. This day, my friend Amy Carroll and I were witnessing firsthand the life change God was bringing to small, slum communities through the work of Mission India.
Steps from our vehicle, John, our Mission India host, led us to the home we were invited to visit.
I stepped across the threshold and there she stood. Strong. Beaming.
The soft, delicate blush-shaded sari swirled around her slender frame while her gentle, yet sparkling, eyes twinkled on her sun-worn face.
Her poise was so out of place in this residence of deprivation; her loveliness set amidst scents of sewage and sights of scarcity.
John introduced this woman, now recognized in her community as a leader, as a woman who brings change. She has not always been that way.
Several years ago, Sunita began a literacy class sponsored by Mission India. Unable to read or perform basic math skills needed for daily living, Sunita was held captive by poverty. From a social class that has for centuries been told over and over that they are uninvited, considered worth less than nothing. The cows roaming the village streets were more valued than she.
Sunita is not alone, nor is her people group small. Hundreds of millions of Indians are trapped in poverty simply because of the origin of their birth. Sunita has another strike against her: She is a woman. She has been told from her very beginning she has no value; she is an untouchable.
Then Sunita was invited to a literacy class by Mission India, where she received the one thing she had never experienced: Opportunity. She took it.
In this Bible-based class, Sunita not only gained the power to read and calculate; she was invited to meet Jesus. Lies spoken over her were stripped away as she began to see how the One True God saw her. She was not worth less than nothing; she was worth more than rubies! Eyes that before would have only looked at the ground now looked me in the eye.
With this powerful knowledge, Sunita didn’t succumb to the scarcity mentality Lysa TerKeurst speaks of in Chapter 10 of Uninvited. Instead, she wanted to spread this good news and success with as many as she could! She recognized immediately the truth God made us to give.
Sunita became a non-formal teacher, bringing the knowledge she gained to the poor in her slum society. When five families in her class came to know Christ, she was inspired to become a project manager, overseeing five Mission India literacy classes.
Sitting in the classroom, I could see the same sparkle I’d witnessed in her eyes on the faces of each beautiful Indian woman in that room. They’d learned to read to their children, calculate costs at the market and so very much more. They learned about their incredible value in God’s eyes.
Reflect and Respond:
Observe — Can you think of an opportunity in your life that has changed you as a person?
Bible — How do you feel like our Verse of the Week applies to this? Write your response in your OBS Journal!
Stretch — Will you join OBS in praying for the people of India? If you didn’t already do so yesterday, Click here to sign up to pray. Let’s do this together.