In His Image has had a wonderful year. They have overcome many challenges and seen God do many unexpected things. A few weeks ago, the In His Image director shared some of the struggles and some of the joys she has experienced this year at In His Image.
How did God surprise you in the past six months?
With His faithfulness, even though I should not be surprised by it, since His word tells us “even though we are faithless, HE is faithful, because HE cannot disown Himself”. This year I have seen so many instances where He has reached out to us and shown us so many miracles — things we never dreamed would be possible. He has provided us with funds to get out of debt and to grow our programs at In His Image. He has also provided us with professionals that have partnered with us to help with various projects. And we have also been able to streamline, becoming more efficient than we ever hoped. I just feel so blessed that once I was able to let go and hand everything over to God, He took control and has done so much with the center.
What has been challenging or disappointing?
I have personally been struggling to balance my home life and work life. With all the doors God has opened in the last few months I find it difficult to keep up! However, I am not disappointed with it, just overwhelmed.
What obstacles have you faced?
In this environment, change happens slowly. It is easy to become discouraged thinking that nothing is happening, but it is, you just have to be very perceptive to see the changes. For instance, if we are holding a parents meeting, we may only expect 5% of parents to show up, but in reality 20% do attend the meeting. Or, parents begin to open up to staff about the struggles of having a child with special needs. This builds the relationship between our staff and the families we serve and provides opportunities to share the biblical truth that all people are created in the image of God with dignity and purpose.
We have also seen students this term who have never spoken begin to talk. There is also a student who has been given up on by his family now doing three digit multiplication.
What has God been doing in your spiritual life in the past six months? What has He been teaching you? How have you seen him at work?
My relationship with the Lord has blossomed over the past months. God has been teaching me that my call is not to the work, it is to God himself. I am to always look directly to God, not just the blessings he gives me. I must constantly seek His face. I can truly feel that the Lord has turned my mourning into dancing!
What is new, or what do you see on the horizon?
I anticipate In His Image taking off in a way that truly honors God. In the coming months we plan to start working more closely with churches in order to bring God’s truth about disabilities into India.
We have also seen our vocational program take off and we expect it to continue to grow. The students are learning more and more skills. This month they are learning to make mosaic coasters that will be sold for a good price at markets in the area.
Is there one story from the past six months that has been really meaningful or encouraging?
The growth of the vocational program has been so encouraging to me. It was a program that we, as a staff knew needed to grow, but we didn’t know how. Unexpectedly, a company came forward offering to fund the entire program. Not only have we received the funds, but we also have several individuals who have come along to support this program and help it flourish. Everything has come together beautifully, and we cannot wait to see what God has planned next.
A final thought; God honors us all, all he asks is for us to be obedient. Sometimes we are fearful and struggle to obey because we want to be in control. However, when we do allow Him to lead our lives, then we can see the whole array of God’s beauty.
As a special way to celebrate the growth that In His Image is looking forward to in the coming year, the center is looking for financial partners to help pay the salaries of teacher assistants (TAs). In His Image selects potential TAs from low-income areas. They are given hands-on training while also attending workshops about In His Image’s foundational truths and technical skills. Each new TA enters the classroom firmly grounded in the truth of the value and potential of differently-abled children. Teacher assistants earn a salary of $140 per month. $35 covers a teacher assistant’s salary for one week. If you would like to contribute to this project you can do so here.