Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | November 7, 2009

Groundbreaking News

   Early on the morning of November 5, Doyle and I drove through Kolkata’s still-sleeping streets to the airport for our flight to Bhubaneswar. Our route took us past Prem Dan, Mother Teresa’s home for the destitute. Sadness tugged at my heart as I reflected on our brief time of service there. I closed my eyes for a moment and could see the faces of the men who reside and will likely die at Prem Dan and breathed a word of thanks for Mother Teresa’s compassionate legacy. She wanted for those who had lived liked unwanted animals on the streets to have a place where they could die like angels – surrounded by love.

   After our quick flight to Bhubaneswar in the state of Orissa, we drove six hours into the Khondhamal Hills – the location of Kingsland’s boarding school for boys. The drive took us past vast rice fields and through small villages congested with people. We sped past diesel-belching busses bulging with human cargo and slowed to a crawl behind cows lazily lumbering down the road. When we arrived at our destination, our boys welcomed us with waves, smiles, and flowers. They are the reason we are here. These boys are from Christian homes. Their families have experienced much personal pain and loss at the hands of Hindu-led persecution over the past two years. Many have suffered the destruction of their homes and the death of family members.

Surveying Land   Once we settled in, we traveled with the director of our school the short distance to the land we recently purchased. It’s a beautiful piece of property surrounded by green hills and is adjacent to a gently flowing stream. Nearby are two old schools established by early missionaries to the area — a short walk for our boys. While there, we looked at our building plans and discussed the placement of our dormitory, kitchen, toilets, and sports field. It’s exciting to think about what God will do on this piece of property in the coming year. In Orissa, this hectare of land is indeed like a table prepared for our boys in the presence of their enemies – those committed to driving Christianity out of Orissa.

   On the afternoon of November 6, we returned to our property along with the high school age boys and several of the local Christian leaders who will assist with the upcoming building project. We assembled under gray skies with clouds pregnant with rain. I talked to the boys about Diane Patterson for whom the school is named. Diane had served as a missionary in India for two years and lost her life in a tragic auto accident in Houston. This school is dedicated to Diane’s memory and to fulfilling Kingsland’s purpose of loving God, loving people, and equipping the generations.

   While I was speaking, it started to rain. I referenced Isaiah 55:10-11 – “For as the rain and snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” The rain served as a timely reminder of the purpose of our boarding school and why we want for our boys to develop a solid biblical worldview. Then, the rain stopped for a brief moment and the sun came out and painted a beautiful rainbow over our property. We took this as a good sign!

Groundbreaking   With a rainbow overhead, we used a pick-ax to break ground. Breaking ground is all about the coming of something new. Just as a farmer must turn the ground before planting, we turned the ground in anticipation of a wonderful harvest for God’s kingdom. Our boys’ boarding school is committed to equipping the next generation of believers who will in turn break new ground and sow the seeds of God’s love in one of the most hostile places on the planet for Christians. Long after we are gone, our boys will grow to become godly men who will love God, love people, and equip their own children to do the same. That’s groundbreaking news worth celebrating.

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