Dear Friends & Partners,
In this second report, we are moving from “Hope City” to “Impact of Hope.” From my partnership with Bishop Ezra Sargunam to Murli Menon.
In Part 1 of my report on India, I shared with you about how my parent’s trip there before my birth impacted and imprinted my spirit with a love for India. Growing up under their unfulfilled desire to be career missionaries in India, I developed a passion for a place and people I had never been to – except through their pictures and post cards.
Growing up, I often opened up their “travel trunk” for a vicarious missionary adventure through their pictures and mission memorabilia. As I looked at those pictures and souvenirs from “far away places with strange sounding names,” a fantasy for the world was planted and awakened in my young heart.
That “travel trunk” still sits in my living room today and is a constant reminder of my mission heritage through my parents. I still enjoy opening it and seeing some of the “mission treasures” my parents brought back! At the sight of them, the little boy within me still gets excited!
During those early growing up years, my fascination for travel and adventure was far more fanciful than it was spiritual! But it was still the genesis of a vision for missions in general and India in particular that God would shape and mature down through the years – which continues to this day and hour!
So for me, my parents’ “India adventure” continues with each trip I take there. Regardless of where I go or what I do in India, I am always aware of the fact that in some mysterious and miraculous way, I am fulfilling a dream that God first planted in my parents’ hearts many decades ago. It is a sacred trust and inheritance I must fulfill and want to pass on to my children and grandchildren.
Perhaps that is why God led me and my siblings to build a church and children’s home in Chennai in my parents’ honor as our first project there back in 1991. Both of my sisters, Hannah Thompson and Judy Baer, and their children were there with Patt and me and our children for the dedication of the church. Patt’s parents, “Pop & Mom Joynt” were also there with us to celebrate their “50th Wedding Anniversary.” So that trip was a double celebration of our spiritual inheritance from my parents and Patt’s parents.
The dedication of the Clarence & Edith Williams Church
My sisters, Hannah Thompson & Judy Baer, and the 50th Wedding Anniversary for Robert & Carol Joynt
My older brother, Eddy, and his wife Becky, and I visited the church and Happy Home a couple of years ago. I was in India with them for a World Medical Mission Hospital Project being dedicated in Becky’s honor. She has worked for Franklin Graham and helped him longer than anyone – except for his wife, Jane! So this ceremony was to celebrate her many years of service with WMM through which she has helped facilitate the deployment of over 5,500 doctors on short-term medical missions around the world!
Eddy and Becky visit the Memorial Church in honor of our parents
After Eddy and Becky’s visit with me in Chennai with Bishop Ezra, we traveled to Coimbatore to be with Murli and Usha Menon – the main focus of this second report. They are the first people I met in India decades ago and began to partner with. At that time, they were newly married and living in Bombay – now Mumbai. We started a wonderful partnership that has grown deeper and wider in impact through the years. So go with me through the following slide show from “Hope City” outside Chennai, to “Impact of Hope” outside of Coimbatore.
Eddy & Becky listen to Murli’s vision for this Campus
Becky & Eddy meet Murli & Usha’s precious little girls – who are living miracles!
Now, buckle your seat belts and fly across the world with me again to India. I think you will be blessed and encouraged by what your prayers and partnership continue to make possible...
Still passionate about God’s Plan for India,
PS: Please look at this newsletter we recently shared with a few friends about Murli and Usha’s ministry. He will be back in the States from August 22 – September 10 and is available for speaking engagements in churches. Please contact us if you can arrange a strategic time of ministry for him. You will not be disappointed since he is one of the best communicators you will ever hear!
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