Wednesday, June 17, 2009

MC3 meet KC3

For the last several weeks I have been traveling around southern India in the state of Tamil Nadu. Starting in Bangalore we traveled to Danishpet, Salem, Trichy, Chennai, Kalavai and many other small villages in between. Our goal was to visit people, places and organizations that are concerned with female infanticide, fetacide and the overall devaluation of women in India.

After my last trip to India in December 2008, Brad McElya and I started a cause called The Rhema Project which you can learn more about on Facebook. Shortly, we will be launching a website so that we can better share the story to a larger audience.

One of the key reasons that infanticide is practiced in southern India is education. Education of the individual - especially the girl as well as the poor throughout India. In a small village outside of Kalavai we helped rebuild 12 homes during our December 2009 trip. Last week I was able to visit this same village but it really was not the same village. It went from a group of people connected only by location to a vibrant, caring community. You could see it, smell it, touch it and most importantly feel it.

This summer I have the chance to return with a team of people that will build a community center on the edge of the village. It will be the home for after-school classes, vocational training opportunities, senior care and the hub for ongoing community transformation. Raj, our director of Life Mission India commissioned a rendering and jokingly referred to the community center as the Kalavai Colony Community Center or KC3.

One of the reasons Raj was so passionate about purchasing the property and building a community center in Kalavai is that he had personally experienced the transformation that occurred at Monroe Circle. He witnessed the love and compassion in South Bend and wanted the families of Kalavai to experience the same.

During the announcement ceremonies of KC3 a local Hindu businessman approached Raj and shared that he has been watching this community for the last 6 months and has been so moved by the difference he wanted to do something - so he donated a piece of land to be used by the villagers however they best needed to use it.

When glimpses of His Kingdom appear it is so attractional that regardless of your religion or worldview you are drawn to it. I think many times we "Christians" are so concerned that we need to convert someone before they can become engaged in Jesus' work here on earth that we miss not only great potential but missed opportunities to introduce people to the real Jesus.

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