The Work You Don't See

A Look Behind the Scenes

Our most recent India blogs have covered some really exciting projects: a documentary we are producing to help preserve the legacy of the last midwife in a surrounding village, and a literacy project that helped young girls write their own stories. These projects are powerful, enough to produce tears by even the short synopsis of the projects. This article is primarily focused on the organization behind the scenes of the exciting things that are happening. Now you’ll likely feel the temptation to click off this page. I’ve been guilty of the same. It’s like reading through the Bible, and (I’ll admit it) skipping the census texts in the book of Numbers. There are just too many names and not any talking donkeys!  If you stay with me here, I’ll try to help you see how these behind-the-scenes organizational efforts help ‘exciting projects,’ happen effectively.

  While I was in India, Manohar, team member Rachel Nowlin and I, worked closely with volunteer Cathy John (L) through hours of discussion on God’s Word and examination of our program area.  Cathy John has been volunteering with us for the last several months and has been instrumental in the documentary I referenced above and in the production of a teacher resource magazine for APS teachers and staff. In this photo, she is translating this magazine with our employee Anil Panthi.

While I was in India, Manohar, team member Rachel Nowlin and I, worked closely with volunteer Cathy John (L) through hours of discussion on God’s Word and examination of our program area.  Cathy John has been volunteering with us for the last several months and has been instrumental in the documentary I referenced above and in the production of a teacher resource magazine for APS teachers and staff. In this photo, she is translating this magazine with our employee Anil Panthi.

It was for such organizational efforts that I recently returned to India. This trip marked roughly two years since I traveled to India to meet our newly hired cultural liaison, Manohar Paul. In the two years that have passed, through hours of Bible studies and collaborative projects, cultural misunderstandings and resolutions, we’ve become brothers. Manohar has developed in his biblical understanding, and now manages our team of staff in India, playing a key role in each of our ministerial projects. This month, we continued forging our relationship as brothers and co-laborers, as I offered seminars about our organization mission to our employees and volunteers. In addition, I helped them examine and assess the needs of our area (India’s National Capital Region), and conducted occupational training to equip our team there to become agents of societal transformation.  

Through these discussions, it was wonderful to see Manohar refer to our organization as “we” and “us” instead of “you” and “them.” Incorporating someone into a mission and calling doesn’t happen just because they’re offered a job. Manohar is not just an employee for G.O.D. India, he’s my brother. It was even more exciting to hear his ideas for how we could better serve our neighbors and demonstrate Jesus’ character. Behind the scenes of exciting programs, you’ll see Americans and Indians working together to change the situation of a community of need.

  With team member Nick Sherrod, Manohar and I planned with Sunny Singh, principal of APS, how to continue to  partner  together to meet the needs of APS’ precious students. In addition to the aforementioned new courses, team member Rachel Nowlin will be facilitating small group English reading courses for students and faculty. Also, cooperative Sneha Purti, Manohar’s wife, will facilitate a discussion group for APS teachers centered on women’s health, an extension of the  class  she will continue for APS girls.

With team member Nick Sherrod, Manohar and I planned with Sunny Singh, principal of APS, how to continue to partner together to meet the needs of APS’ precious students. In addition to the aforementioned new courses, team member Rachel Nowlin will be facilitating small group English reading courses for students and faculty. Also, cooperative Sneha Purti, Manohar’s wife, will facilitate a discussion group for APS teachers centered on women’s health, an extension of the class she will continue for APS girls.

One of these ideas was a class on moral development for Aquatic Public School’s (APS) middle and high school boys, which will launch this month. This follows a music class for these same students, which recently concluded it’s second session.  Manohar has always had a strong desire to work with young people, but I’ve now witnessed the other side of that desire: an effective program for kids that is the result of a biblical foundation that’s been built in Manohar’s own life. That is what gives it the platform to flourish.  

Much of what I did in India was a continuation of the efforts many team members have put in through their own time in India--and also through their spotty late-night Facetime connections.  To use Jesus’ parable of the sower (Luke 8:4-8), the good soil we found in the hearts of individuals several years ago has been cultivated and is beginning to sprout. A harvest is emerging in the form of laborers like Manohar, who is becoming a capable minister- skilled in God’s word and able to manage programs and projects that built up people around him.

Okay, so I may have misled you above. There is no more exciting project than developing human beings.  This is our primary project and the one most worthy of our time and effort. And, it makes for really good stories along the way!