Well, we’ve done it again: we’ve found ourselves at the end of another year. And what a year it’s been! Complete with projects and events and change and celebrations, this year has been incredibly CHOCK FULL.
About a month ago, we had our annual VisionTrust All-Staff meetings. Our 45 or so US-based staff and volunteers gathered for a week in Colorado Springs to connect with coworkers, look back on what God did throughout the year and be reminded of our vision and long-term goals. During one of our meetings, it was refreshing to hear person after person share about something they witnessed God do through VisionTrust in 2014. Instead of sharing every story with you, I want to tell you about one of my favorites.
Many of you know I had the opportunity to visit India back in March. Since then, the people and culture of India have held a very special place in my heart. So when I found out that over 1,100 children (75% of all the kids we serve there) have said that they know Jesus, I wasn’t simply excited—I was in awe. Like, goosebumps kind of awe.
It’s not illegal to be a Christian in India, but it’s almost a guarantee for heavy persecution. And when you’re a child, that almost certainly means physical abuse. I discovered that during my trip in March when nearly every child who told us their story spoke of abuse. (Marieswari was one of them.)
So when I heard that 1,100 children in India had come to know Jesus, I also heard that 1,100 children in India trusted Jesus enough to endure physical beatings or some other form of persecution for His glory. Hence the goosebumps.
I wrote about this once before, when I returned from my trip in April. The situation of these kids has struck a chord deep inside me. But as I write today, I realize that this is more than just a situation. This goes beyond persecution or faith commitments. These kids’ lives—what they’re going through—has a meaning beyond all of that.
It means that God is winning battles.
“Live for God and love others” is the vision we have for each of the nearly 17,000 children VisionTrust serves around the world. God is working in the lives of these 1,100 kids in such a way that they’re saying, “It’s worth it. I want to live for God.” How cool is that?! He brings transformation out of their perseverance. It starts with 1,100 kids, but then it happens to families and communities. That’s what victory looks like!
Hearing stories like this is so rejuvenating for me. In a spirit of honesty, there are a lot of days when I don’t feel like I’m contributing to anything meaningful as I sit behind a computer in Colorado. During this season of learning to be a project manager, I find myself becoming weary—mentally and emotionally drained—more often. On those days, the encouragement and prayers I receive from friends and family are such a precious gift. I wonder if the kids we serve feel the same way about the support they get from their sponsors and mentors through VisionTrust?
All that to say—it can be really easy to feel small, incapable and overwhelmed. But when we join in with the One who’s big enough to win battles—regardless of what our day-to-day looks like or where our home base is—it’s really cool to see how He can use us to be a part of making a big impact. That sweet realization helps re-energize me as we begin a new year.
Merry Christmas, friends!