- Published: Wednesday, 27 May 2015 14:05
- Written by Jimmy Gunderman
To gain an understanding of our current circumstances, we would like to share pieces of our story of how the Lord has led us to this point. Through a circle of friends in high school and college, stories were told from a girl who lived in India and worked with this family...this family that is technically a group home with over 40 children. These stories captured the heart of Jimmy as a young college student. Stories of young kids with lives that display hearts sold out to Jesus. Specific stories challenged his own heart. Before we were dating, I remember him saying that one day he would live in India.
After the Lord placed us together, I remember silently hoping he had forgotten that desire.
During our years of working in student ministry, he would share some of these stories as examples to our students.
Years later, while working in a different non-profit ministry, Jimmy and his friend/business partner met with a local pastor in our community to share about their non-profit. As they shared their passions for missions, Jimmy recalled some of these stories to this pastor. He listened with a huge smile as he shared that he knows this family and the missionaries there and that his church supports and loves that community well in India. Jimmy was amazed that he could hear names to the kids who he heard about many years before. Through the Lord's leading, that local pastor became our family's pastor, and we are blessed to call our church, Vintage 242, home.
We are thankful for the missions heart of our church.
One of the first families that we connected with in our church was a family that knew the Lord would be leading them to missions overseas. We were blessed to walk that road with them as the Lord led them to Bangalore, India. Through our heart connection to them and their new home in India, we knew we wanted to visit. In April of 2014, our whole family went to India. It is impossible to be with the community there and see what God is doing and it not capture your heart. Though we knew our visit was purposeful for us, we did not anticipate living there. We returned home with passions for ministry in our community. We were confident we would be approaching the beginning stages of stepping into foster care.
Though we were uncertain about timing, we ultimately knew God was stirring our hearts and preparing us for big changes. We would pray about direction and God just seemed silent.
One day, Jimmy came home early to share with me the opportunity for us to join the team working with Daughters of Hope in India. He said he would not even pursue in thought if I wasn't peaceful. For someone who had never felt like I would survive living overseas, God gave me an instant peace. Our prayer was not whether or not we would go. Our prayer became, "God, our hearts say yes, but make a way if you want this." He immediately began confirming His calling in very specific ways.
Our families and friends have been crucial in walking this road with us.
From weekly prayers over our family in the early morning hours to major efforts in our support raising, we are overwhelmed with our loving family and friends who have emotionally yet fully embraced this journey with us. We sold our house in late March. We have lived with my parents through the month of April. Though transition is never easy, we have treasured the time with our families and friends during the last weeks we have in the states. We look forward to sharing all that the Lord has done and will continue to do to make His name known among the nations!