We have seen God at work in unique and powerful ways over the past several months through the Ending Gendercide Program. We hope that you are encouraged by these updates as we take a moment to reflect on this work together.
How did God surprise you in the past six months?
God surprised us through his gracious provisions when we least expected them. We recently were blessed to receive financial support through a partner that will allow us to scale up our work in a new way. This provision will allow us to deepen our engagement with student volunteers helping them to learn various issues through practical experiences and facilitating a structured process of reflection and action.
The Lord also blessed us with the gift of five young students who interned with us for a period of three weeks to two months. The creative ideas, enthusiasm and skill sets that they brought with them were a huge blessing for our work. It was a glimpse into the glorious future, when those students will be active champions and advocates for the cause in their respective spheres of influence.
We also got a surprise opportunity to hold sensitization workshops with school students from Class VI to Class XI. Holding the attention of 200 students for 45 minutes was a challenge, but the positive response that we received from the students to those sessions was quite a blessing and encouragement.
What has been challenging or disappointing?
The most challenging part of our engagement in the last six months has been the response observed among some of the church pastors and leaders. Some churches hold a very dualistic mindset, meaning any matter unrelated to spiritual issues (such as violence and abuse towards women) is seen as outside the domain of the church. Therefore engaging these churches in our work can be a challenge.
We also had some scheduling challenges as most of our work with churches happens on the weekends. For many of our team members this means that they miss out on their weekend rests and the opportunity to worship at their home church.
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?
God has been reminding me to depend upon Him and trust Him for all things and that through him we will accomplish His purposes. He has been teaching me to delight in Him and in His works, also to not worry and commit all cares over to Him. I have seen God at work not only in our ministry context as described above but also in our family situation. My mother recently faced an unexpected heart attack but the Lord protected her life and enabled us to get her treated at a good Christian hospital. We were reminded of trusting in Him in all situations.
What is new, or what do you see on the horizon?
We are seeing many new prospects on the horizon. One is that we have been encouraged by the number of churches taking personal initiative in responding to needs. Also we have seen an uptick in the number of students volunteering themselves to raise support for the cause. These two elements combined bring reason to be excited. As a greater number of churches and students become engaged we believe we will see impact in an increased feeling of safety and security among women in our city.
Is there one story from the past six months that has been really meaningful or encouraging?
The positive response that we received in one particular church has been very encouraging to us. From our first awareness program in this church we could see the enthusiasm and good participation. Both men and women shared openly about the existence of such practices. The pastor himself showed much interest and followed up the program with the formation of a care group. Though we had suggested only 7-8 members, the group actually doubled that size. The pastor has since shared about the program with many other pastors and through those contacts we have held programs in other churches as well. The pastor and his wife have been a great source of support to our team and have even helped in the translation of training materials to Hindi. They also organized an awareness rally in their community with posters, placards and slogans on the International day of the Girl Child.
If more churches show similar enthusiasm we can definitely hope that change will start to take place in the community regarding the safety of women in their homes and in the city.
God has supplied abundantly for the Ending Gendercide program expenses and we are so grateful, but we are still working on 8 year old computers. For anyone that has worked on a laptop this old you understand just how much time we spend rebooting! To help us be more efficient and less stressed we are looking for 4 new office computers with software- a cost of $820 each. If you would like to donate to the Ending Gendercide Program by making a donation towards new computers you can do so here.