Here is the latest update from Sarah! Only a few short weeks away from her moving to India.
“I am less than one month away from my departure date for India! My heart is bursting with joyful expectation as I ponder what God might have in store this next year. While there are the occasional anxieties and fears that come to mind every so often, I am longing to be where a big piece of my heart already is.
That being said, I must admit that I am filled with conflicting emotions – I am so excited to go, to begin the work that I am passionate about; yet I am deeply saddened to leave, to be away from Red Village Church that has been my family for the past six years. Yet, I have been so encouraged by the support I have received. I know that distance changes relationships, but I can boldly go out from this community knowing that we will continue to keep in touch and pray for one another. As people have asked how they can support me over this next year, what I always tell after prayer and financial partnership is to please stay in touch – please send me pictures and updates on what you are doing and how your family is doing, please tell me how I can specifically be praying for you. RVC family, I know that I will miss you deeply, so the most loving thing you can do for me is to allow me remain part of your lives. Even if we don’t regularly spend lots of time to together, I will still miss the updates I normally hear from being part of your church body and it would be such a blessing to hear from you. I do care so deeply for each of you.
As I prepare to go, please pray for sweet time with friends and family. Please also pray for God’s grace to study well and retain the knowledge I need to pass my board exam at the end of the month. Please pray that I would trust God’s sovereignty over all things, including exams! I have to admit that this exam is stressing me out and I am feeling the pressure of not having a “plan b” if I fail, since I will be in India before I even find out my score. As always, please pray for adoptions for the children. I feel so privileged to step into a temporary “mom” role in their lives, but they what they really need is a family. And please pray that God would be working in the hearts of the children and the women I will be working with to bring about their salvation. Please pray for the light of Christ to shine in the country of India as a whole. Below is a little more information about this place that weighs so heavily on my heart:
With 1.3 billion people, India is one of the largest, neediest, and most unreached countries in the world. I will be living in Hyderabad, which is the 4th largest city in India and home to over 9.5 million people. There are over 2,500 people groups in India, 88% of which are considered unreached. About 75% of the population is Hindu. There are pockets of Muslims as well and there is a great deal of tension between these two religious groups. Just 2.2% of the population is evangelical Christian. India is an incredibly beautiful and diverse country. Upon arriving, your senses will be overwhelmed by a symphony of vehicles honking, the smell of spices mingled with sewers, and the sight of brightly colored building, signs, and clothing on the crowded streets. With all this beauty, there is also a lot of darkness. Deception, theft, and violence are accepted as the way of life and there is very little accountability in place by the justice system. India is considered to be a country that is hostile to Christianity – it is not a “closed” country, but Believers face persecution of neighbors, friends, and family. Those who come to faith often do so through large rallies or through healings and miracles, but they are then left without any form of discipleship. As a result, many Indian churches struggle with universalism and liberal theology. India Christian Ministries – the larger organization that Sarah’s Covenant Homes is a ministry of – aims address this problem by providing regular pastoral training, discipleship, support, and accountability for the churches it plants. There are over 25 million orphans in India. Children with special needs are the most likely to be abandoned. They wind up on the streets or in overcrowded and understaffed institutional orphanages, where they face various forms of abuse and neglect. There is a great need for the freedom, hope, and love of Christ in this place.
Thank you for praying and thank you for loving me so well. My last day in Madison is January 31st and I would love to get together with you before I head out! Please do stay in touch after I leave – my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. I will post stories at https://sarahruplinger.wordpress.com/ (password “delights” for posts with pictures) and I will also send out monthly e-mail newsletters with updates, pictures, and prayer requests. To subscribe to the newsletters, please use this link: . I love you all dearly and I am praying for you.”