A Message From India
A few weeks ago my family and I welcomed a special visitor to our home. His name is Varghese Thudian, and he is a pastor from Kerala, India. I was introduced to Varghese in 2005 on my first visit to . When I went back in 2007, taking my oldest kids Abbie and Taylor, we spent 7 days with Varghese touring the orphanages in Kerala and the leper colonies where he and his fellow pastors reach out in love and share the gospel with people who epitomize “the least of these.” The week with Varghese changed our lives.
After my first trip to the country, India became a part of my soul. For some unexplainable reason, I have felt a compelling need to be a part of whatever is going on there. I can’t get enough. I buy books about India. I stop strangers on the street who are from India and talk to them about their homeland. I even find myself chatting up the Indian customer service representatives when I am on tech support or calling my credit card company!
It’s been over a year since my last Indian adventure, and I wondered if these feelings would fade. I’ll be honest—a 22 hour plane ride is not something I look forward to for these trips. The prospect of losing luggage and living in the same set of clothes for 8 days (like we did on our last trip) does not appeal to me.
But when Varghese came through the revolving doors at DFW airport, both Abbie and I teared up. We are ready to go back. We are ready to do something for the orphans we met and the heroes of the faith in India who have nothing—that is to say, no material resources. These people have a kind of faith and consuming love for Christ that I have never witnessed anywhere else.
While Varghese was visiting us, I invited a group of friends over for a dessert potluck/ fundraising event of sorts. Varghese is the farthest thing from a polished speaker (in English, anyway) or career fundraiser. His voice quivered when he spoke of the lepers, the ones who nobody will love. “I will love them,” he said. He spoke of the deep hunger—both physically and spiritually—and I couldn’t help but notice a few of my friends staring down at their plates of half-eaten pie, which didn’t look so appetizing anymore. We have so much more than we need. Here is Varghese’s story in his own words. I hope you will listen:
Varghese is the pastor and bishop (overseer) of 70+ churches in southern India.
The pastors Varghese oversees live on $50 a month if they are fortunate to have that much contributed to them. A monthly donation in that amount will allow a pastor to focus on full-time ministry and still feed his family.
The orphans live on much less. In fact, $120 will provide for the needs of one orphan for an entire year. Varghese’s own orphanage has 200+ kids. He sends me pictures and stories of them.
To view these or to contribute to this cause, you can do it here.
India…it just gets in your soul…