Monday, 28 July 2008

When God gathered the Vineyard in Dungannon their mission was clear 'to see the lost found and the found grown'. The Vineyard is a missional community existing to love people into a relationship with Jesus and see God's rule and reign break out into communities all around us.

On January 2008 God opened my eyes to see that He had an arrow that would penetrate the darkness in our communities. God had reinforced Isaiah 58 to go repair the broken down walls.

Now the time has come, the Vineyard has opened their hearts and hands and we have started work on the storehouse to leave a legacy by investing in children and teenagers, to care for mothers, welcome the stranger and touch the Dalit's in India with a message of hope. As excited as I am about the work that's now taking place it doesn't compare to the excitement  of taking a team out to Lucknow, India this Thursday as our commitment to the Dalit's as part of our leaving a legacy challenge. We have a great opportunity and privilege as the Vineyard to resource, equip and touch this community with the love of God.

"We need the poor as much as they need us" Wimber

Despite India's recent economic advancement, its 250 million Dalit's still live in poverty and suffer from every conceivable form of discrimination. Sadly the benefits of economic growth do not descend to those who by birth are condemned to be outcasts from society and are labelled 'untouchable'. As such they cannot eat with or even drink the same water as high caste people. They are relegated to the lowest jobs, and live in constant fear of being publicly humiliated by upper-caste Hindus seeking to keep them in their place. A
Dalit is not allowed to wear shoes in the presence of an upper caste. Merely walking through an upper-caste neighbourhood is a life-threatening offence.

Under the caste system Dalit women are especially vulnerable with only 2 or 3% of Dalit women able to read or write. Women's labour is undervalued and the atrocities committed against them common and often vulgar in the extreme. Recent cases have included Dalit women being paraded naked, being forced to eat human defecation, being beaten and gang raped.

Dalit children too are abused and oppressed. Many thousands are held in bonded labour from a very early age. I heard of a young man who from the age of 4 had risen at 5 o'clock every morning to go to a factory where he worked till 6 in the evening. Like many Dalit children he had no opportunity to attend school.

Please pray for the guys who travel to Lucknow that God would be gracious and we would see His Kingdom come. Check in regularly with the blog as we hope to post our happenings with some pictures.

His Kingdom Come!s. God had r

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