Well, just when you say you “won’t ever,” you do!!!
Loren is going to India in a couple of weeks. We received a phone call late one night last week. The caller said, “Sir, will you come to my wedding?” It was a total mystery as to the caller. Dr. Suresh came on the line and said, “That was Vasenta.” “Vasenta??? He doesn’t speak English.”
Many of you have told me to write a book, well Vasenta’s life story is a book all by itself.
He was only 8 years old when we first met him— a dirty, barefoot, thin little tribal boy from the “Bird Catcher” village with a desire to change his village. Over the years we have seen him become the first ever child/person to go to school, the first to take Self-Reliant training, and first Christian and true missionary to his people. The villagers, who have no written language, would sit around at night, as he would read stories from a Marathi Bible, but speak in his tribal language.
Many years ago several of you received his artwork on one of the Prakash Christmas cards. His family’s small mud-brick hut was covered with pictures he had painted on its’ outer walls.
Everyone who visits Prakash loves seeing this unusual village and its people. We try to make it a must.In order to learn this one single English phrase Vawnta went on his motorcycle to a college in Nagpur and found some girl to teach him. It took several visits, but he was determined to invite Loren to his wedding in English.
He and his mother arrived at Dr. Suresh’s home early in the morning and asked that they call us. We were so excited and overwhelmed. May is unbearably hot 114 to 120 degrees, and we have said we would NEVER go to India in May, but Loren said, “I will pray and see how things worked out. He wanted to also make sure it was OK with the chief of the village. We were assured that it was indeed the wish of the entire tribe for Loren to be in attendance. Well, God does work miracles. The money came in for his ticket and we know that there may never ever be another opportunity to speak to this whole combined tribe about the love of Jesus.
I was concerned that Vasenta was marrying a non-Christian, but we were told the girl learned about Jesus from a missionary who taught DVBS when she was a little girl. She is from the same tribe, but her village is about 100 miles away. I am sure there is going to be a neat story in how they even found her.
After such a long phone call we became uneasy about the cost for Nupi and Suresh, so Loren told Nupi to let him know how much the call was and he would send some money. Nupi said, “Oh, that’s OK, we are using Nani’s (that’s me) phone.” We burst out laughing. I guess God knew I needed to leave my India phone there for just this reason.
Please keep Loren in your prayers for health and safety as he travels. You know the Lord could make it be a balmy 85 degrees if He wanted.
Thank all of you for your support of Prakash.