08 Mar 2018 Building a Legacy in India
by Hilario Pardo |
As we walked down the hill of the compound in India, my eyes were full of tears, seeing what the generosity of the people of Northshore had accomplished.
Just minutes before, our team of seventeen people from Northshore arrived here to celebrate the opening of this new building with an eye-opening experience. Near the entry of the Living Water Compound, a multitude of people had gathered to sacrifice a goat as an offering to a rock painted orange that they call god. As the gate was closed, a beautiful building full of peace, joy, and majesty stood in front of our eyes. What a contrast with the turmoil and despair, the violence and the anguish of people who were trying to do their best to appease and please an idol.
The purpose of the building is to provide rest, training, and fellowship to pastors and community workers in many areas of Central India.
As the gate was closed, a beautiful building full of peace, joy, and majesty stood in front of our eyes.
The dream was born not too long ago by our Indian partner in ministry in a conversation we had together about dreams and aspirations; we talked about this center being a legacy for years to come of Northshore’s involvement in India. The Lord heard our prayers as we presented the idea to the congregation. The donations from the Beans and Rice Challenge in 2017 made possible the finances to construct this realization of our dreams. When I told the pastors gathering for the celebration how Northshore raised the support for the building, some of them cried. I never thought a story of our sacrificial giving with our Beans and Rice Challenge would touch the hearts of so many.
The official events and the celebrations went on for a few hours; the choir formed by team members was led by Carolyn Lucas, former choir director of Northshore. They sang “Amazing Grace,” one of the best-known classical hymns of the Christian faith, and a crowd of Indian brothers and sisters joined them in singing in their own dialects and languages. Before us, we saw a small vision of heaven, when, in front of the throne of God, people from all tribes, languages, and nations would be singing together. We all cherished the moment.
The most significant moment occurred when our brother and sister in Christ, Paul and Norma Olson, former members of Northshore, revealed the plaque which dedicated the building to them because of their love and commitment to the people of India. It was one of the highlights of my ministry career to see the tears of gratitude and humbleness in their faces. Year ago, Paul and Norma left their comfortable home in Kirkland to follow God’s calling and direction to accomplish mission work around the world. They lost it all and gained it all. That was the moment to celebrate and to honor what God had done through them.
Before us, we saw a small vision of heaven, when, in front of the throne of God, people from all tribes, languages, and nations would be singing together.
The public celebration continued after the ribbon-cutting ceremony. We expected 400 people, but more than 600 showed up. Everyone was welcomed, honored, entertained, and fed. What a night! What a celebration!
Last Sunday, Wolfgang preached a message about the “ripple effects of our actions” – a very meaningful message about the “wave” of love and hope for the future, which formed right there after a week of donations from the Beans and Rice Challenge at Northshore. I experienced the joy of the celebration there, and I want to thank you for the ripple effect of your love and actions, not only in India but around the world. I have experienced our ministries and seen time after time the impact of the wave of your love, your commitment, and your compassion reaching the people of the world in a very amazing way–as amazing as The Olson Living Water Center in India. Thank you all.
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