It Takes a Village to Raise a Village

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the people of Gandhigram, assembling for worship

It takes a village to raise a village.

In the village of Gandhigram near Lucknow, India, that’s exactly the opportunity we have — to be a community that supports a community. Once a criminal tribe and of the lowest caste in India, the people of this tiny village have turned their collective hearts toward Christ. Prior to hearing the Gospel, these were a hopeless people. Adorning each ramshackle building in the village now is a red cross, symbolizing the people’s new found faith in Jesus.

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each home bears the same mark

It is a beautiful people that reside here, and I had the privilege of being with them back in October. They greeted us with dancing, the children recited Bible memory verses, and we prayed with the village leaders over a plot of ground that–they hoped–would someday be the spot where they built a building that would serve as a ministry base for all sorts of efforts–schooling, feeding, church services, and more.

I remember kneeling down on the muddy ground and wondering what might rise from it. The leaders–Firoz, Nixon, and Anurag–had a vision for a community center where children would eat and learn, and where the entire people could worship. Children, once sponsored, would have all the care they needed — fed, educated, and given clean water.

The leaders had the vision.

They had developed a plan.

All they lack is the funding.

Enter The 25 Group. This is exactly why we exist.

The 25 Group exists to leverage the wealth of the American church to fund global Kingdom work. This is Kingdom work, for sure, and if you’re reading this you are wealthy–whether you feel rich or not. You can afford to give $25/month to this and like causes. You might even be wealthy enough to do more, in which case we’ll have this building funded in no time.

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the land where the building will be built

The school/community building for the people of Gandhigram is the first of two projects we’ll be announcing between now and January 1, when we will begin accepting donations. In addition, we hope to fund an extra $3,000 to provide for them a clean water well that will serve their entire village. Long term, we hope to partner with this village in a meaningful way — we will be the global village that helps this particular village when they need a hand.

Because sometimes it takes a village to raise a village.

The following is from Dr. Ajai Lall, CEO/Director of Central India Christian Ministries about Gandhigram and the people there who have recently turned to Christianity:

“I would like to share a story with you about a group of people who belong to the shepherd caste.  They have always been treated like untouchables.  Because they come under the lowest caste.  They take care of the cows, water buffaloes, sheep and goats.  Most of their children never go to school, because ultimately they have to take care of the animals. And these people are not even allowed to enter the temples. Just recently  some of their Christian neighbors started sharing with them the story of Jesus.  They told them that shepherds are not the low caste, but they are the high caste people because when the king of kings and the Lord of Lords Jesus was born God sent the angels to shepherds.  Shepherds were the first ones who saw Jesus when he was born.  Not only that, but the shepherds were the very first people who shared the good news that the Savior was born.

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the village chief and his wife

This was an exciting news for the shepherd community people. Not only that but then these people told them just what Paul told the people in Athens, that the unknown God that you are worshipping is the God who is the creator of the heavens and the earth. He is the real God. He is Jesus Christ who came and died to pay the penalty of your sins and rose again on the third day so that we may have hope of eternal life. He is the only way the truth and the life.

The school building is a part of the shepherds movement.

The construction of this building will provide six classrooms which includes a worship center. This whole place will be like a community center where children will get education on a daily basis. These children being from the lowcaste untouchables and their families having criminal background, they are not accepted in any public or private school.  Therefore this center will be an educational center and a worship center that would also include the regular youth meetings and Bible study program for the entire community.

There will be 300 plus families benefited by this center. We will further drill a well which would be another $3000 to provide safe and pure drinking water for the community.”

This village is on the rise, and it’s because of the Gospel. Jesus has gotten a hold of these people, and they’re never going to be the same. But it’s going to take a village to raise this village.

Consider this your invitation to be a part of that village.

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the villagers of Gandhigram

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