It’s 2018—the start of a new year, new vision, new ministry opportunities, new resolutions, and new…goats. That’s right, I spent the new year watching goats be delivered on my farm. There are so many things to look forward to as I enter into my third full year here in India. Here’s a look forward to 2018 and some things you can be praying with me about:
New Vision This January we spent almost a week in Broken Stone village doing a vaccination program. During this time, I had countless discussions with my local teammates and the villagers about the dreams and visions that God has put on our hearts. What is our next step in the village going to be? How are we going to use animal health to reach the unreached with the light of Christ? What are the needs of the people at a physical level, heart level, and spiritual level? Through our many discussions, we came to a conclusion that our work in Broken Stone Village is far from over. In fact, our animal health work and goat distribution project were just the beginning. There is interest now to start a small goat-breeding farm in the village with the improved goat breed we are raising on our farm. There is also interest to start taking this animal health work to other villages nearby, many of which have no believers. And there is interest among not only the women but also some of the men to start up regular Bible studies and grow in the Word. Praise the Lord! All this vision is coming from the people themselves, not just from me. I feel that our two years of work in this village has only been the start—a stepping stone to greater work that God wants to do.
New ministry opportunities It has been exciting to see how God has opened up ministry opportunities through the vehicle of animal health. The end of January we trained 20 local missionaries how to serve their community through being animal health workers. I think that more and more churches have heard what we are doing and are starting to contact us, asking us to train their missionaries serving in remote villages. What better way to evangelize than to go door to door offering help to their animals and building relationships of trust through such work? Please pray that we can do proper follow-up with each missionary that we train and that this training will open doors for them to really minister in their communities.
New Resolutions As many of you know, I don’t have a large team here. It’s just me and my local partners Nalam and his wife Premila. Sometimes the burden of making all the decisions and doing everyone on my own gets quite heavy. This January I met with Nalam and Premila and we decided that we were going to start praying together on a more regular basis, for each other, our ministry, our projects, and people we work with. We have always prayed together, but never regularly like this. We agreed that if what we are doing here is going to be successful we have to put prayer first. So that’s our new year’s resolution—to start the year off with more unified prayer!
New Goats! This January we welcomed 12 new goat kids to our farm! Last year this time, we only had 3 goats because they had all been wiped out by a terrible virus. Now we have almost 40! We have named our little project Satlay Farm, which means “goat” in the local tribal Lepcha language. We hope to bless many families through these improved goats and eventually be able to support our ministry through this farm as well. No one else in the whole region is breeding goats systematically or on the large scale that we are, and no one else has the type of breed of goat that we have either. Therefore, many people are coming asking to buy our goat kids and we already have a long waiting list! I could use prayer as I discern who to give the goats to and how to use this project to really bless people and also bring glory to God.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support these last few years. I wouldn’t be here without such a strong support team behind me! I am grateful to all of you who have walked with me on this journey and who have made me realize I am never truly alone.