Under the Banyan Tree

So, you know how it goes. You make new friends at church… get to know them a bit… discover you have a lot in common… think to yourself, we should totally hang out more… and then they announce, “Oh hey, we’re moving to India!”

What the heck, guys?

Seriously… our friends Nathan and Abby are heading to the border of India and Nepal to spend a year serving, learning, and discerning. Abby grew up in the region. Her parents have spent almost three decades (and counting) providing education for children and rehabilitation and support for exploited women. Trafficking, illiteracy, and poverty are all serious challenges affecting the region.

Over the next year, Abby will offer counseling for at-risk women and students (she has a master’s degree in counseling psychology). Nathan will work with indigenous ministry leaders, focusing on leadership development, theological training, and what he likes to call “life-on-life discipleship.”

I mentioned in my post yesterday how Nathan and Abby had shared their vision with our church. We’re not just supporting them because they’re our friends. We’re supporting them because we believe in the vision they have for doing compassionate work in a cross-cultural setting.

They don’t see themselves as “coming to the rescue.” They don’t see the people they’re going to serve as “helpless.” They’re going to India and Nepal to discover—and amplify—the good that’s already there. In the people, their communities, and their culture.

In other words, their vision starts with Genesis 1, not Genesis 3. God made the world good. The people of India and Nepal are good. Their culture is good. Nathan and Abby see that. They also understand the tremendous challenges facing extraordinary the people of this region. Abby and Nathan have spent the last several years equipping themselves to help others overcome these challenges. But the important thing is, they are starting where God starts. Like they said when they shared their vision with our church, “We’re not going to bring light where there isn’t any already. God’s glory fills the earth. It’s already there.”

We need more people who will go out and serve from this vantage point. If you are looking for a good cause—people who are not only doing the right things, but doing them the right way—I encourage you to visit Nathan and Abby’s website, Under the Banyan Tree. Watch their video to hear more about their vision for serving the people of India and Nepal. They deserve your support.

You can also go here to make a gift to support their work. 

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