When I left Mongolia in October of 2013 I was willing and ready to follow God’s call to a new place, however, my biggest fear was going somewhere alone without a team. So when I felt called to India I thought to myself, “Can I really do this? Can I really go to a new place and start a new project with no teammates?” That was January 2016 and here I am over two years later realizing that although God has not provided me with other westerners to join me, he has provided me with an awesome team of locals. Perhaps God’s plan all along was to have me start out without other westerners on my team so that I would forge deeper relationships with the local people and learn to lean on Him more. Whatever his reasons for not raising up people to join me, I can truly say that I am grateful I didn’t let my fears keep me back from moving here!
I want to introduce you to some of the wonderful people that God has raised up to be my national team here. Some have been with me from the start, like Nalam and his wife Premila. Others have just joined my team recently in the last couple months. I would like to ask for prayer for these special people with whom I am working—that we would be unified in our vision and we would build each other up as we move forward with our work and ministry.
Nalam and his wife Premila
Nalam and Premila. I started training Nalam back in 2015 when I did a six-month vision trip to India. He began translating for me during our animal health trainings and showed a keen interest in the work and ministry. In 2016, we set up an animal health project under the Church of North India and started working together in Broken Stone Village as a pilot project. Last year we registered our goat breeding and training farm and Nalam has decided to take full ownership of the project. He and his wife live out on the farm now and we are conducting our training and projects under the newly registered business. Nalam and Premila have become my family here. We are currently building a house on the farm property and will be living on the property together (them on the first floor and me on the second floor). Please pray that we will continue to be united in our vision, work and ministry.
Gabriel and Samson with one of our bucks
Gabriel and Samson. Gabriel joined my team about six months ago as one of our farm hands and Samson joined only a couple months ago. As our goats increase in number we have realized that we need more help on the farm, especially finding and cutting grass each day. Gabriel and Samson are both believers from a small village a couple hours away. They were desperately in need of work to support their families, so they agreed to come and work on our farm full time. We have built them a little shed to live in and are currently helping pay their children’s school fees as well as a regular salary. It has been really fun getting to know them and seeing them interact with the goats.
Vinod with his wife and son
Vinod. Vinod is originally from Punjab state, but he married a local Nepali woman and is now settled in a little village about 45 minutes from where I live. He recently attended an animal health training we did in February and was one of our most motivated and talented students! He asked us afterwards if he could help us with our work and ministry. He and his wife have so much vision for reaching their community. They want to build a little prayer room on their property. They also want to start a small computer lab and eventually a drug and alcohol rehab center. However, they have no income source right now and can’t really do anything without money. So when he asked us if we had any part time work for him, we put our heads together and came up with a job for him to do. He will now be supplying all the people we have trained as animal health workers with veterinary drugs and equipment! He will get paid based on commission of medicines sold and the workers we have trained will also mark up the medicines and make some money as well. He himself is a local missionary and all the trainees are local missionaries as well, so I see this new venture as a unique business as missions model. Please pray as we take steps forward in setting this up and working with Vinod and his family.
I have also partnered with another American missionary family here to do a joint tourism business. They live in another city three hours down the mountain, but I try to meet with them regularly for accountability and fellowship. So on top of running a for-profit farm, and a veterinary training and drug sale business, I am also running an eco-tourism business. That MBA I got in international development is really coming in handy these days!
I share all of this because it is so evident that God is bigger than our fears. I told myself I would NEVER go overseas alone without a team, but I made the decision to come here by faith and God has provided exactly what I needed exactly when I needed it. What a great God we serve!