For Such a Time as This
Short-term mission trips make a difference for people we serve, but they also make a difference in people who go.
A Brazilian couple traveled on a short-term team to a remote country in South Asia. As recently as the 1950s, only 5% of the population could read and write. Even nearby poor countries look to the nation as a source of more vulnerable children as commodities in the sex trade. Silvio and Rosmari went to provide counseling for children and youth who knew family rejection and life in the Red Light District. Not long after they returned, the couple permanently moved, establishing the Apple of God’s Eyes in 2000.
The Apple of God's Eyes provides safe harbor and healing for children and youth rescued out of darkness, providing receive extensive biblical counseling, education, vocational training, and most importantly—hope for a new life in Christ.
In this South Asian setting, laws carry stiff penalties for people who convert from the majority religion to a new life in Jesus. It’s why we’re careful not to name the nation. In addition to the primary work of helping and healing wounded and vulnerable youth, Apple of God's Eyes reaches out to remote villages with dental care, trafficking awareness, and the saving news of the Gospel.
Surrounded by idols with the hope of reincarnation, one group bears a greater burden than most. The girls. Their lives are most often valued for profit in the sex trade. To be a girl in such a belief system is to be a burden.
“Only a son can speed his parents on to heaven or on to a beneficial rebirth … Given the important of a son, both in this life and the next, and to the parents’ immortal souls, it is no wonder every man and woman desires at least one son.”
“Female children do not benefit their parents’ souls; they only place a heavy sacred obligation on them.”
A Jewish girl named Esther had no choice when she was forcibly taken for consideratino by King Xerxes, a powerful ruler given to heavy drinking and anger. He valued her beauty; we remember her for her courageous voice. When it was understandable to cower, she went forward on behalf of God’s vulnerable people. “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14b)
The Women’s South Asia Team is a unique combination of women from all 3 Bethel campuses. They span 4 decades and 42 years. They’re a blend of professional and personal skills, abilities, and experiences. The team will serve with AOGE in mid April.
This multi-generational, multi-campus team has a single desire to show the love of the true God to the children, youth, and staff of AOGE. They take a combination of trauma-informed care training to support the staff, maternal and infant medical training for families in the fragile health conditions, teacher training for educators, and a combination of loving, creative, and Bible-based activities and music to touch the lives of youth. One team member will even share the story of how she was born in this same dark nation, but greatly valued and protected by her earthly Father. “For such a time as this.”
In a land where a girls' life is a burden, 7 Bethel women of all ages present a picture of the great love of the Heavenly Father. Unlike silent idols who never respond to pain, the one True God is our Heavenly Father who keeps track of every tear we cry and came down to redeem lost girls and boys. (Psalm 56:8)
This South Asia destination is difficult to reach and delicate to serve. The team covets your prayers, your partnership, and your support. We believe God has gathered these 7 women "for such a time as this."
If you would like to give towards the costs of the Women’s South Asia Team, please email the Global team at firstname.lastname@example.org