Updated: May 8, 2019
By Christal Haner - Ends Cycling Crew
In January a small team of 3 from Ends Cycling and NMSI went on a vision trip to India. One of the ministries we worked with was Metro Missions who went on to become the beneficiary of our New England Bike Ride in September of 2018..
HOPE: this four-letter word carries so much meaning. It is the foundation upon which we build our future and without it we are stuck in a pit of despair. Today I literally saw hope transform the lives of 19 girls in the span of 30 minutes and it changed my life in the process.
Metro Missions is an incredible organization in Chennai, India that focuses on teaching the youth of the city about God's plan for their lives and His deep love for them. From the slums to the private schools of Chennai, no children are too poor or too rich for this message. Today we had the privilege of working with some of these incredible youth workers in a private school on "Miracle Block".
I walked into the dark classroom with 19 girls and a youth worker from Metro Missions named Pam. They giggled and looked at me expecting to get a lecture on the Bible. Instead I told them to shake off any notions that this class would be like anything they ever experienced before. I told them that for the first part of the class they would get to ask me any questions they wanted about America and I would answer it. Right off the bat a girl asked me what Americans thought about Trump. HA! Then a girl asked me a question that completely shocked me, "Have you ever had a miracle in your life?" Coincidentally, my dear girl, that is exactly where I am heading...
I began to share my testimony about being afraid of food because it would make me sick and it would make my children sick. I shared the story of how God spoke to me in the middle of a church service and asked me why I had never asked Him to heal me. I shared that God used a lady I barely knew to pray life and healing over my body and that from that moment on His healing work began in my life. I shared that when God set me free of my fear of food He also began to set me free of so many other fears in my life.
As I shared I could see the countenance of the room change. The girls began to sit on the edges of their seats attentive to every word coming from my mouth. It's as if I could read their minds. "God is alive!" "These miracles in the Bible still happen today and this lady in front of us is proof." It felt like I brought into the room the legitimacy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I felt the weight of that moment. HOPE had taken root.
The rest of the class was given to speaking life over each of the girls. We talked about how God's love gets rid of fear and that they didn't have to worry about their future if they gave it to God. We talked about their hopes for the future and they shared their passion to help others (a common theme among all of the girls). I prayed for them and hugged them and gave them a gift to remember the significance of God's goodness even in the midst of brokenness. None of us wanted to part ways. We continued to make excuses to stay together and soak in the tangible HOPE that was growing stronger with each passing second. But alas, they had to go to their next class and so we left as friends and sisters.
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 NIV