Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | December 30, 2011

A Significant Day

Khondhamal Hills | Orissa, India

Today was a significant day in the Khondhamal Hills in Orissa, India — one of those days in which one can see how God has woven many threads together to make something beautiful. My part of the story here started with what I thought would be a one-time visit in the Winter of 1998. Little did I realize when I left these hills to return to my home that one of the threads of my heart had become entangled here and would unwittingly keep me connected to a man named Sudhansu. Years later, when persecution of Christians intensified, Sudhansu opened his home to boys from poor Christian families to ensure that they had a safe place to live and received a good education. When he started this initiative, my friend Jeff Hastings, a Houston attorney who had traveled with me to Orissa, agreed to personally support the work. Later, my friend Jerry Smith, who cares for orphans in Mongolia, agreed to take over support and to help Sudhansu care for an additional 45 boys. And then, finally, after the death of Kingsland member Diane Patterson, I felt a tug on that thread that had kept me connected to Sudhansu.

Because of the generosity of the people of Kingsland and those who loved Diane, a significant amount of money was entrusted to our missions ministry to honor Diane’s love for the nations and especially for the people of India whom she loved. I felt a heavy weight of responsibility as the steward of these funds but God gave me great peace about leading our missions ministry to invest in Sudhansu’s work in the Khondhamal Hills. Within a short period we saw the need to purchase land and to build a campus for the one-hundred boys in Sudhansu’s care. And so, we worked with Sudhansu to purchase a hectare of land on which to build a dormitory and dining facility. For the past two years we have worked to see the construction of this campus through to completion — not an easy task because of the resistance of Hindus in the area who would not sell us building materials and supplies. But, by the grace of God and in spite of opposition, the facilities are built and ready for the boys to occupy.

Today, Marcus Patterson and his children Daniel and Danae had the opportunity to see the campus built in loving memory of Diane. It was an emotional day for all of us as we stood in the midst of what is a part of Diane’s legacy — a home for the boys of the poorest Christian families in the Khondhamal Hills. Many of these boys come from homes that were completely destroyed by Hindu extremists and others have lost parents in the outbreaks of persecution in the area. But because of the concern of Sudhansu and the generosity of the people of Kingsland who gave memorial gifts after Diane’s death, these boys have a new home complete with new beds. The beds are a pretty big deal because these boys have slept on the floor, two to a blanket, for the past seven years. But today, everything changed because God wove something beautiful with the threads of several lives, including all who gave generous gifts. Only heaven will reveal the rest of the story as the boys in Sudhansu’s care serve the purposes of God in their generation.


Responses

  1. The school looks beautiful. Get a pic of the boys in their new beds!

    Doyle

    • Yes, the school looks fantastic. It looks huge when standing in front of its 50+ yard length. All is ready for boys to move in with the exception that our mattresses are not yet here. We also need to replace 5o blankets. We will work on some of these needs today. The custom-made bunk-beds are strong and safe. I am so excited for these boys to finally sleep in a bed. But, after seeing the boys yesterday, they are clearly twice as excited as I am about the beds.

  2. Bro. Omar, What a gift, of many, to bring such a vivid picture…to any subject. We are remembering Craig and all who love him, as he awaits his Homegoing. I enjoy all of your writings that I have been fortunate to read. Love to you, Cheryl, and your family and we hope that you all have a blessed 2012. Our love, The Arledges

    • Thanks, Ramona. How good to hear from you. The Arledge family will forever hold a special place in my heart. Thanks for making it possible for me to get through seminary during my financially lean years of being just married and in ministry. Your kindness and encouragement helped me and Cheryl in so many ways. We love you.

  3. Ladies and Gentlemen please help pray for and pray with Dacques Nini as he celebrates LIFE. In life God confirms His choices and decision and methods. Last week I was disappointed for not going to India. This week I am glad to be alive and AS normal as possible. Our niece came in from Alabama, she has been a “safety trained sittter”. I went into a preDiabeties High Glucose Shock and am so thankful that our niece knew what to do (15). Our hospital ~ St. Joseph’s took great care of me. Alcohol/Drugs Neg. CATscan, EKG (NORM), blood pressure (Norm). Thankful to Jesus. Always there to provide insight, understanding, healing, guidance, grace! Whew~I did not think I was gonna come back “me”. Jesus!

    • Praying for you, Dacques. So glad that your niece was there to help. God is good. While it was sad that you were not able to come because of the injury to your knee, God knew what was best. So thankful you are alive and well to travel another day. See you soon.

  4. God’s ways are definitely not our own. I still miss my friend Diane. And I hurt for Marcus, Daniel, and Danae; for they lost so very much. But I am in awe of the One who is sovereign and who works all things for the good of those who are called according to His purpose. May His Kingdom increase in and through this facility!

    • Good word, Pam. Thanks for loving the Patterson family.

  5. Men who can lead are rare, men who can preach well are rare, men who can write well are rare, and men that can inspire are rare. A man who can do all four is incredibly unique, and called Omar.
    It is truly divine inspiration that a woman of Diane’s caliber and inner beauty, and her fantastic family, are represented by such a man as Omar. My thank s to Omar for all he has done so far, and all he plans to do in the future, to help Marcus, Daniel, Danae, and the children at Diane’s school.

    • Thanks for your kind words, Harry. It has been my honor to work on this initiative to honor the beautiful life of Diane and her love for God, her family, and the nations.


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