Posts Tagged ‘Justice’

Escaping to a Life of Dignity

Post a Comment » Written on June 3rd, 2013     
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Commercial Sex Work in PuneAsha was living the painful life of a prostitute in Pune, India. After few years, she gave birth to a baby girl.  She cared for her child for many years, but when her daughter turned eight years old, Asha’s living conditions made it impossible to care for her little girl anymore. To make matters worse, the local people had begun commenting on how pretty Asha’s daughter was and how should would make a very good prostitute. Asha also noticed signs of physical abuse on the little girl.

Asha was able to contact HCC and shared her difficulties with the staff.  She gave the child to HCC and requested HCC to care for the little girl.   HCC agreed to help find a better solution for the child’s future, so they took her out of the brothel and cared for her at the Convent of St. Mary in Pune. All expenses related to her care and education were covered by HCC, which provided relief for Asha.

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India Reflections from Greg Yee

Post a Comment » Written on May 22nd, 2013     
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A number of CWR-connected people recently took a trip to India to visit CWR projects. Below are reflections about the trip from Greg Yee, who is a member of the CWR Advisory Team and currently serves as the associate superintendent of the Pacific Southwest Conference but has been nominated to serve as superintendent of the North Pacific Conference.

India groupI had the privilege of traveling to India with some of our Covenant’s finest leaders.  We represented the wonderful diversity of our home mission field in the U.S./Canada: four conferences, three ethnicities, different generations and genders.  Besides Dave, it was the first time in India for all of us.

My travel companions already blessed us with their thorough perspective and reflections of our trip here on the CWR blog [click here, here, and here].  To add to their entries, I would like to offer a couple of reflections but then move to sharing more personally how this trip affected me. Continue Reading »

Freedom for the Oppressed in India

Post a Comment » Written on May 1st, 2013     
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Stephen Sharkey, pastor of Highrock Covenant Church in Quincy, Massachusetts, and a member of the CWR advisory team who recently visited India with CWR. 

Vijay shares his faith at a street rally in New Delhi, India.

Vijay shares his faith at a street rally in New Delhi, India.

It’s not often that we get a glimpse of what Paul’s ministry might have been like. Recently I was afforded the opportunity to see God moving like most of us only hear about in Sunday school.

I had been in New Delhi less than twenty-four hours when I met Vijay, a member of Truthseekers International, whose mission is to set India free from its 3,000 year-old caste system that today results in hundreds of millions of Indians living in abject poverty. Their message is simple—the caste system is a lie holding India captive, but Jesus is the truth that will set them free. The message of that freedom so moved Vijay that he left Hinduism altogether. He rejected the lie that he was inextricably defined by his caste and embraced the truth that his identity is defined by a God who has set him free. Before hearing the good news of Jesus, Vijay was a stonecutter. Over the years he had perfected the art of carving Hindu gods, which he had made into a successful career. Vijay had been participating in and perpetuating the very system that holds him and his country captive.

Isn’t it so true that freedom always comes at great cost? Nowhere has that been clearer to me than in this New Testament-like street gathering as we listened to Vijay. The same system that enslaved him was also the same system that provided income and security. Yet for the sake of true freedom, he laid it all aside.

Loosing the Chains of Injustice

1 Comment » Written on April 22nd, 2013     
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Below is an exciting update from Truthseekers International, our partner in India working towards ending the injustice of the caste system in India. 

Earlier this month, Sunil and Grant [leaders from Truthseekers] went to Madhya Pradesh to start the first batch of Truthbearers training. Truthbearers is a term we are using to equip the OBC [other backward caste] priesthood. As villages accept their King, Yeshua, this means they reject the Brahmin priesthood that previously performed their sacred events. Truthseekers has begun the process of training these selected leaders, calling them Truthbearers, and is working towards teaching them to lead in all sacred occasions (such as weddings, funerals, etc) of the OBCs that were formerly conducted by Brahmin priests. 

Although we went to this event with the priesthood training in mind, God seemed to have a different plan. New people arrived, and we began introducing the people to Bali Raja, speaking freedom from Brahmanism and exposing the lies of their evil code. In closing, Sunil addressed the meaning of the red thread bound to their wrists. Many have been yoked with this thread their entire lives. The thread is a symbol of slavery. When the Brahmin ties it on, he says a mantra in a language no one can understand. It proclaims that, as Bali Raja became trapped in the underworld after he was conquered, the devotee is now trapped to continue steadfastly in his duty to serve the higher castes. Obviously these men don’t know what the thread means, or they would never tie it on.  Continue Reading »

India Reflections, Part 2: Bali Raja Lives!

Post a Comment » Written on March 20th, 2013     
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A number of CWR-connected people recently took a trip to India to visit CWR projects. Below is part one of reflections about the trip from Stephen Sharkey, pastor of Highrock Covenant Church in Quincy, MA and member of the CWR Advisory Team. 

Aligarh, India – Sunil Sardar, the leader of a growing movement called Truthseekers stood in front of a gathering of local farmers and their families. I listened to him share a message in Hindi to several dozen men, women, and children.  Though I couldn’t understand what he said, his charisma was captivating.  He paused and spoke one phrase in English for the benefit of the few American observers: “Will you follow Bali Raja?”

Bali what?  I’d been to a Billy Graham Crusade before, so I knew what was happening. This was ‘the invitation’ to follow Jesus. But who was this ‘Bali Raja

To say that Bali Raja is a translation for “Jesus” could be true, but it doesn’t tell the full story.  I would later come to learn that in Hindu culture, the story of Bali Raja is part of an ancient Indian legend still celebrated today. Bali Raja, which means “sacrificed king,” was a beloved king who gave himself up for the sake of his people.  Sound familiar?  The Hindu god Vishnu crushed Bali Raja in a deal that would spare the lives of the low caste people of India.  As the legend goes, Bali Raja would one day return to his people to rescue them.

In seminary they teach pastors about the importance of contextualization, that is, the art of conveying a timeless message to new people, in new places, in new centuries.  You might be unaware of it, but your pastors do this every week as they prepare their message.  They read the passage, interpret the passage, and they read you the church, and interpret your cultural context.   Continue Reading »