Today, I need to talk about a serious need of a dear friend on the other side of the globe from me and most of you. If you read my book, you will know that twelve years ago, my daughter Jamie, along with three others and me, traveled to India to visit a ministry called, Peace Mission in southern India. We weren’t there long when we had literally fallen in love with the administrator of the ministry, Pastor Roy Jacob. As we were getting to know him, Pastor Roy told us of his life before he accepted the Lord. In his testimony, he shared that he was much older when he did finally accept the Lord into his heart and began to follow his calling to ministry. He has devoted his new life in Christ to serving wherever he sees a need. Since meeting him those twelve years ago, we have been able to visit with him yearly as he comes to Ohio. He attended Jamie’s high school graduation and even said the opening prayer at Jim and my wedding. He is a dear man to my entire family.
Over the years, Pastor Roy has planted ten churches in two states which he continues to oversee. He also began and oversees an orphanage that has seen over 200 kids since 1993—mostly all girls–pass through. By pass through, I mean be well taken care of, taught about Jesus and most of them put through some form of higher education so that when they leave the home, they are not on the streets as with some children homes. In fact, they don’t leave the home until they have a career or a husband that will support them. Many who have come through the home are now nurses, teachers and even engineers. Currently, Peace Mission India rents two buildings that house thirty-eight girls. Most of the girls in the home are rescued from the tribal areas where they either abandon or kill their girl babies.
In addition, when the tsunamis hit several years back, Pastor Roy was there to help clean up and founded a new ministry supporting the Hindu and Muslim widows as a result of them losing their husbands to the storm. There, he raised funds to buy each one of them their own sewing machine and held classes to teach them to sew so they could make a living even without their husbands. As a result, many of the widows have accepted Christ along the way. He also helped provide them a place to live as well.
Pastor Roy travels throughout southern India to the various ministries overseeing them on a weekly basis. Often, he will be gone from his family for long periods of time as he comes to America to tell others about what he is doing while asking for financial support. He is a man on a mission. In fact, he is probably the most Godly man I can say I have ever known. I don’t care how he spent his first forty years in life as a rebel-rouser. What I see is the new man God created him to be, serving others and living selflessly for those in need. Although there are plans to pass the ministry on to his son when he is gone, Pastor Roy is still going strong at over eighty years of age doing the Lord’s work. He is quite an inspiration to many who know him. The children call him, Appa, which means, Daddy.
We are so fortunate to live in America where we can serve God freely on most accounts. Many times, in this one ministry alone, they have had to rebuild their churches they built due to others burning them down in protest. They have often been fearful for the retribution upon each individual that turns from their family religion to follow Christ. It is a huge risk to live as a true Christian in India. Now, it appears that not only is the government and society making church ministry hard in India, but now have begun to attack the orphanage ministry as well.
By the end of this year or beginning of next, Pastor Roy will no longer be able to rent the buildings he currently rents for the use of the orphanage. Apparently, they have laid down new laws for orphanages, and renting the properties where the children are housed is no longer in compliance with the new regulations. Pastor Roy has donated some land he personally owns to house the new orphanage, but now is faced with raising $40-50,000 to build a new home for his children. If it is not rectified, they will most certainly be evicted from the rentals at some future date which is currently unknown at this time.
My heart grieves for him and the children. These children he and the other caretakers love as their own family will be faced to figure out where they will live and if a new building isn’t found or built, I don’t know what will happen. In this month’s newsletter, Pastor Roy put out the plea to help him raise the necessary funds in order to keep a roof over the heads of those currently there as well as for future children who will be coming to Peace Mission in the years ahead.
The thing I love about Pastor Roy’s ministries is that he doesn’t just take care of these children and widows no one wants to be bothered with; but he also teaches them to be self-sufficient and make a way in society. He is doing so much in an area of the world that might otherwise only have prostitution and the like as a means for these unwanted women to make a way. It’s unbelievable to me that their government wouldn’t welcome this kind of help in their communities. Peace Mission is not just a business…it is a family that takes care of its own until they no longer need help.
In the days ahead, please pray for Pastor Roy, Peace Mission India, and for those whose hearts need to be moved to help them find a way to overcome yet another hurdle for the mission. Perhaps you might be led to have a love offering at church on their behalf, hold a garage sale or do another fundraiser to help out. This is a big challenge in the life of Peace Mission India and will take all of us working together to overcome the obstacles ahead. Please also help by posting this story on every Facebook page and even forwarding it to your email contacts. You never know who might want to help. There is so much good happening in this ministry that I have personally witnessed first-hand. I trust that God will have yet another victory through faithful people like you and I who are praying and acting on that which God asks us to do.
Checks can be written to “Peace Mission India” and mailed to Kim Vanskee, 253 Parkway Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45216. She will make sure you are mailed a receipt for your donation and will get the money into Pastor Roy’s account. Please mark on the check “Building Fund, Lori’s Blog” so that we know where the funds should be appointed. Thank you for listening to something that personally makes my heart very heavy. I just wish I had the money and could write them the check for what they need. It’s hard to see my friends going through tough times, especially when it seems so senseless. If you decide to have a fund raiser for the cause, please share so that perhaps those of us nearby can jump in and help! In the meantime, thanks for your prayers, efforts to spread the word, and perhaps even your donations. God bless you all!
James 1:27(NKJV) Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
James 1:12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
2Corinthians 4:8-9 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—