India (MNN) — It's been an eventful, and perhaps slightly stressful, year for the New Life Academy in Orissa, India.
All throughout 2010, Mission Network News followed New Life's progress through an ordeal that only God could see them through.
In December 2009, Worldwide Christian Schools told us that New Life had lost their lease and would be evicted by their Hindu landlord. The school had plans to build, but their lease would be up in April. How would they ever get in the funds and then start building by April?
WWCS asked for your help as well as the help of many others through prayer, and, if possible, donations. Last July, WWCS' Scott VanderKooy reflected on the task at hand: "When you think about the process of raising funds, finalizing a plan, and then securing the local labor to build it, from a human standpoint it's almost insurmountable."
True to His character though, God provided. By March, the school had already raised all but $5,000 of the $87,000 they would need for the project. New Life's 134 students–52 of whom were orphans–would have a school and a place to live.
By July, not only had all funding had come in, but an eight-classroom building with plenty of toilet and shower facilities had been erected. In fact, there was more usable space than the school had originally planned for.
Last month, VanderKooy was able to visit New Life and attend its dedication. VanderKooy reports that there are now 174 students at the school, and eight teachers with teaching degrees–a rarity in that part of India. The students are joyful, and more and more Hindu parents are asking about the school for their children.
The school is also actively serving as an outreach and witness for Jesus Christ. The hope and joy that flow out of the school are a natural draw for many Hindus in the area. Several Hindus even offered to help build the school when it was going up, excited to have it in the area.
The positive feelings toward believers and a Christian institution provide a stark contrast from how Christians have been historically treated in Orissa State. New Life is consistently reaching out to the community with various events, and even shared the Gospel message with the 1,000 mostly Hindu villagers that attended the dedication.
More importantly though, New Life teaches every student about their Lord and Savior. Several of the children who attend New Life are Hindu, but over 50 students have already come into relationship with Christ after hearing the message at school. Pray that all 174 students would one day come to know the God who is big enough to build their school in a matter of months.