It is hard to believe that we have now completed our third year serving with Saving Grace World Missions and Promise Child. It would not have been possible without you, our faithful partners who have supported us and the ministry financially, prayerfully and with much encouragement. You have cheered us on as we have spanned Asia and Africa several times over. As we spent Thanksgiving in India, we set aside time to thank God for each one of you in our payers as we often do. May the Lord bless you for your generosity and sacrifice!
|School of Ministry Graduates|
Earlier this year in May, four young men graduated from the School of Ministry in Northern India. Bond has had the
privilege of teaching these young men for a few months each year, while Pastor Pratim (our ministry partner) has been investing in their lives year round. It was an honor to attend the graduation ceremony and be part of sending them out to do full-time ministry in the surrounding villages that scatter the mountaintops.
This past month, we were able to visit the graduates in their new location where they are teaching, preaching, reaching people and going further than we could ever go with the Gospel! We loaded up into a jeep on a Sunday morning before the sun was up and after 3 ½ hours on a windy mountain road, we arrived in the small town at the base of the mountains. Pradeep and Rakesh live in a one room rented place with beds and the bare essentials. They have started small, hosting a Sunday morning service in their home before they head out to the villages. Both Pradeep and Rakesh then head out up the mountain to separate villages to teach in the afternoon / evening and again in another village later in the night.
We were able to attend service in a village with Pradeep about an hours walk up the mountain from the town. We then hiked to the next village, where we spent the afternoon visiting several homes of those who are sick and being reunited with families that we met on our first trip to India. Between the two young men, they host services in 4 – 5 villages every Sunday ministering to many who would otherwise not have any access to the truth of God’s Word. Their commitment is remarkable as they minister in areas that are difficult to get to, amongst many who are illiterate, and face the reality of persecution at times. They are going further, deeper and higher up on the mountains than we could ever go and we could not be more proud.
Bringing Love From Afar
|Sharing the Sponser Letter with Pramod|
At times this past month, the needs of the those we met with in India seemed overwhelming. We were graciously reminded in 1 Corinthians 13:13 that says, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” There were many opportunities to share the love that God has put in our hearts. He has given us so much love and many in this world have never experienced a love like this.
Sometimes we think it is complicated, but really it is very simple. We spent time with Pramod, who lives in the Promise Child hostel full-time with 9 other boys. His sponsor from So. CA wrote him a letter and we were able to share her love from a far with him.
|Sainji School Cook Rocking Mom’s Apron|
We were able to sit with the school cook who serves meals to 60+ children each day and share about Heather’s mom and her testimony and legacy. In giving her a gift of an apron that Janice once wore, she experienced the love of God in a special way as it is very rare to receive a gift. During the youth conference, a young boy who is 15 shared with Heather how his mom had passed away months earlier leaving him, his father and six siblings behind. With tears in his eyes, we cried together, but by God’s grace we were able to comfort and love Subhash with the same love that has been demonstrated and given to us.
On The Home Front
We returned to the states in early December as Heather’s dad received news that the most recent round of chemo did not work and his cancer remained. Thankfully, we were referred to a new doctor at UCSD who is a specialist in Leukemia and our hope was renewed. Unfortunately, it has required Bud to be hospitalized to undergo another round with a new type of chemo with the goal of getting into remission. He has now finished with chemo, but must remain hospitalized until mid-January while they monitor him closely. Your continued prayers for Bud are much appreciated, especially during this Christmas season.
We have opportunities to teach the Word and share updates as well while we are in the states before we leave again in February for Nepal. If you are in the area, we would love to invite you:
- Sunday, December 28th @ Calvary Chapel WestGrove in Garden Grove, CA
Bond will be teaching the morning message at 8, 9:45 and 11:30 a.m.
- Sunday, January 4th @ The Chapel in La Mesa, CA
Bond will be teaching the morning message and sharing an update at 10:30 a.m.
To some of you we will greet face to face, to others we will see you in the New Year, but to all….Merry Christmas!
With Love From So. CA,
Bond and Heather Gaona
Gaona’s in India on the Mountain Tops