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Kumari Gondu’s Road Out of Poverty

April 15th, 2014

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Losing your father is never easy. And when your eking out a living as subsistence farmers in India, your father’s death can make life go from difficult to nearly impossible.

This is what Kumari Gondu experienced when she was six years old.

To make matters worse, the illness that led to her father’s death had been a costly one to treat, so Kumari’s mother was forced to sell everything the family owned in order to pay her late husband’s medical bills — she also had to enter the workforce so her family could eat.

Still grieving, and working for what amounted to just pennies a day, Kumari’s mother was unable to provide for her children’s most basic needs. It was then that she heard about Master’s Home for Children.

Desperate to give her daughter a chance at a better life, Kumari’s mother made the difficult decision to send her to Visakhapatnam.

Master’s Home — which was still in its infancy when Kumari arrived — quickly became a refuge for her. She thrived in the safe, familial environment of our children’s home, becoming a spiritual leader to the girls around her as well as a serious student.

The opportunity to escape the grinding poverty that marked her early childhood motivated Kumari to study hard. Though she struggled at times academically, she never gave up, and eventually Kumari was accepted into college — her tenacity and grit rewarded with a chance to become the first person in her family to earn a college degree.

A fatherless eight year old when we first met her in 2000, Kumari Gondu is now a college graduate seeking employment. She wants to be a teacher or work for a non-profit organization, but most of all she wants to say, “Thank you — to God, to those who cared for her over the last fourteen years at Master’s Home, and to the family from the United States who sponsored her.”

Kumari credits Master’s Home for not only shaping her into the godly woman she is today but for showing her that the road out of poverty starts in the classroom. And with the ink on her diploma barely dry, she’s eager to share what she’s learned with others.


Since 1992, Vision Nationals has been planting churches, training nationals, and caring for orphans and widows in India. Through your prayers and financial gifts God has graciously sustained our work.

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The Healing Power of Jesus

April 10th, 2014

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One of the coolest things about my job is reading the biographies of our pastors. So many of their stories include some sort of miraculous encounter with God, and there’s never a sense of sensationalism around what transpired. Not an ounce of hype. All of it gets told in such a matter of fact way.

I guess miracles are God’s way of reminding us that we’re not stuck in a world that’s had the supernatural sucked out of it. Anything’s possible. And it’s that hope — grounded in the reality of a God who sees and knows and hears and has the ability to transform our circumstances — that has sustained Christians for centuries. And from what I can tell, it’s what sustains our pastors as well.

This morning, while reading Pastor Yesu Rao’s (pictured above) bio, I was pulled back into the landscape of grace — that place where nothing’s impossible with God, where Jesus is still at work in much the same way that he was in first century Palestine.

When Yesu Rao’s brother became deathly ill in 1994, a pastor from a nearby village came and prayed for him to be healed. He spent many days at his bedside, praying earnestly for him. Finally, Jesus healed Yesu Rao’s brother, an intervention so extraordinary — so miraculous — that Yesu Rao and his entire family came to faith.

Not long after his conversion, Yesu Rao had a dream that changed the course of his life. In it he saw and heard someone teaching Scripture. Challenged and inspired by the life-giving words of this teacher, Yesu Rao awoke from his dream and committed his life to proclaiming the good news of Jesus.

Nearly two decades after his brother’s healing, his family’s conversion, and his own call to ministry, Yesu Rao pastors two churches in Khammam district. He has such a love for his wife and two children, both of whom are college-age. He’s asked us to pray that God would provide a house for his family, as well as a new church building for the congregation he pastors in Kotha Karaigudem.

Reading a story like Yesu Rao’s, I’m reminded that our problems don’t define us; God defines us. Our problems are neither the first nor the last word of who we are — God is. And it’s that truth — writ large in the lives of our pastors — that captivates me every time I hear or read about what Jesus is doing in India.


Since 1992, Vision Nationals has been planting churches, training nationals, and caring for orphans and widows in India. Through your prayers and financial gifts God has graciously sustained our work.

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5 Things You Should Know

April 5th, 2014

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Published on the 5th of each month and designed to be informative and brief, 5 Things You Should Know highlights five of the most important things going on at Vision Nationals.

No. 1: At our campus in India, our priority project remains the construction of new classroom space for Master’s School. The proposed 7,800 square foot facility — which we hope to have finished in the next three months — will allow us to empower and educate hundreds more children. We can build the new school for just $50,000, which is a modest investment when you consider how great the return will be.

No. 2: Though it didn’t get a lot of attention last month, Srinu’s story happens to be one of our favorites. If you’ve ever wondered if child sponsorships work, the turnaround in Srinu’s life is evidence that they do. Once a vulnerable, young boy walking through the doors of our children’s home, Srinu’s now entering his third year of studies in medicine on his way to becoming a doctor. Thanks be to God for allowing us the opportunity to care for children like Srinu.

No. 3: We’ve written a lot about the strategic importance of prayer, and that’s because prayer really is the lifeblood of our ministry. It’s critical to everything we do. This month we’re praying for God’s will to be done in five specific areas. We’re also giving thanks for the incredible blessings we experienced in March. As always, we invite you to join us as we give thanks and pray. We believe that out of the goodness of his love, God will answer us, and in his great mercy he will turn to us.

No. 4: God is certainly on the move in India, drawing people to himself. Many of our churches are experiencing a season of unprecedented growth. There are three new church buildings currently under construction and many more waiting to be built. Knowing the importance of a building in a context like ours, we’re trusting God to provide us with the resources needed to build 12 new churches this year.

No. 5: Starting in June, we’d like to begin caring for more of India’s vulnerable, abandoned, and orphaned children. As we make plans to do that in a new place and in a very different way than we’ve done it in the past, we’re counting on you to help us. We believe that God is nudging us in this direction, and that the potential to make a lasting difference in hundreds, if not thousands, of young lives is too great to ignore.


Since 1992, Vision Nationals has been planting churches, training nationals, and caring for orphans and widows in India. Through your prayers and financial gifts God has graciously sustained our work.

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