Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."
Here's how it all began...
In January of 2006 Lea Haisch received an email from a pastor in India. She nearly deleted it immediately but was a little curious since she had an interest in India. Lea assumed it was some sort of random junk mail asking for money. The letter was written by Pastor Matthew, and he shared about his church, his family, and the orphaned and abandoned children sleeping in his one-room church.
Instead of deleting it, Lea sent back a very short (and somewhat curt) reply, asking who he was and why he was writing to her. She received a response shortly afterward in which he explained that he had been writing to find encouragement and prayers, so that someone would just know they were there.
So began a friendship with many emails and photos exchanges. Pastor Matthew shared about the widows, the area village pastors, the lepers, and more. After several months of correspondence, Lea felt led to send them some money knowing that whatever happened, it was unto the Lord. The $250.00 she sent was huge for her single income! The response was overwhelming. She received photos of little old ladies holding bags of rice, and holding up a banner that read “Free Rice distribution, sponsored by Sister Lea Haisch." There were photos of children eating with another banner saying “Orphan Helps sponsored by Sister Lea Haisch”. Then they took what money was left and divided it up amongst area pastors as an offering. There again was a banner that read, “Pastoral Helps sponsored by Sister Lea”.
Lea was so overwhelmed to see a visual result of her gift! She continued to send financial support as she was able, each time receiving photos and confirmations that it was being put to good use. Pastor Matthew never asked for any money at all.
After many clear signs from the Lord and some miraculous provision, Lea visited Pastor Matthew and his family in India in June 2007. Upon the arrival at the church she was greeted by the children and widows lined up throwing flower petals. Each beautiful child then gave Lea a flower lai along with their hugs and kisses to welcome her. She recognized these children she had been seeing in the photographs.
"Don't you sit there and tell God what you CAN'T do and you let Him tell you what you CAN!"
Lea was quite excited to be invited to a pastors meeting until she realized, only moments before, that she was the guest speaker! What could she possibly say to these men? There were prayer lines from blind and hurting widows who would fall at her feet for prayers. The children waited expectantly for Bible lessons from their special American visitor. Never having done any public speaking or preaching, Lea struggled for any of message of encouragement she could give.
At one point, towards the end of my trip, she broke. She was on her face on the floor in the hotel room bawling her eyes out saying "God, I can't do this! I don't know what you are thinking sending me here, but it must be a mistake! I don't know how to speak! I was praying and no one was getting touched! I don't know how to help build an orphanage, raise funds, build a website or start a non profit. I must have manipulated something to get here and it's all wrong God. I can't do it!" But just at that moment, she realized the TV was on and there was an American preacher talking. The words seemed to snap her out of a haze, and as she realized what he was saying, she quickly grabbed my journal and wrote it down. "Don't you sit there and tell God what you CAN'T do and you let Him tell you what you CAN! You are full of can-do power, and He has placed you where you are for a purpose. He has fitted you to your world, and placed within what you need to know. God is going to raise up others and He will cause them to want to help. So don't tell him what you can't do and rise above it!" Never had an answer come to so quickly or obviously! She has held on to those words ever since and is now seeing them come to pass.
The little thatch church is now a small concrete building. The children now sleep in bunk beds inside a house. The outreach to the community has been enlarged and they have reached many with the Gospel. Children are safe, widows are fed, lepers are cared for, and the evangelists are reaching their villages for Christ. And it all happened because one woman, with a curiosity about India and a love for broken people said "yes" to God and allowed Him to show her what He could do.