• Steve Pettit

The Gale Force Winds of Adversity

When I made my most recent trip to Indiana to see my grandchildren, I drove my oldest car. This car has given me many faithful miles but has recently been exhibiting occasional issues in the internal electrical system. Every now and then the dashboard indicators don’t work, and I’m left in the dark regarding my gasoline levels. For the first time, in my almost flawless driving career, I ran out of gas. It was a very blustery day, and I had a two-mile trek to the nearest gas station in gale force winds. I literally had to lean into the wind that was pressing hard against me and exacerbated by the vehicles passing by me at speeds of 70mph. On that particular day, it seemed as though everything was working against me. My only break was a truck driver’s offer to drop me off where my wife was tending our thirsty Caravan.

As I bottle fed my gas tank enough milk to get me to the next petrol station, I received a text from our ministry partner in India expressing some news I did not want to hear. It had to do with a governmental issue that oppressed the poor with even greater burden. I simply bowed my head in prayer and breathed in the toxic fumes through flared nostrils. I suppose it was a prayer of frustration to be absent from the body and present with the Lord.

I had to remind myself that this kind of external/internal force that works against all we are trying to do to rescue children of extreme poverty is part and parcel of India. I don’t believe it’s primarily due to a government that is corrupt and wants to harm its people. Every government has corruption, and where there is corruption, there will be harm to the people.

But India has a unique, internal “gale force wind of adversity” that seems to incessantly war against humanitarian organizations striving to alleviate sufferings that come from poverty. This requires me to lean into the gale force winds that work against our mission with unrelenting strength, patience, and endurance that can only come from God.

I have had the opportunity throughout my life to bring impact for good in 47 different countries, and I must confess that India has been the toughest for me by far.

You see, the gale force winds of adversity against our mission to provide opportunity for those who suffer poverty in India begin internally due to the religious beliefs intrinsic to the Hindu culture. The Hindu belief in karma and reincarnation leads many Hindus to disregard or ignore the cries of suffering. In a very real sense, the BWP mission to provide homeless and hopeless children a future of hope-filled possibilities in Jesus’ name is in opposition to a Hindu’s most basic belief system. Most Hindus believe that those who suffer actually deserve their lot in this life for doing something wrong in a previous life. So for those of us who are engaged in the work of helping children who are suffering, we are in essence interfering with their karma.

My word to you this day is this: know what gale force winds of adversity are working against you and the work you are seeking to accomplish for good. Never stop leaning into that good work, no matter how strong those winds of adversity might be—even if you run out of gas. Why? Because I’ve met thousands of people who are deeply grateful for the kind of love that will not fail, a love that springs from the heart of God. When you sponsor a child at $20 a month for one year, you are really helping us to lean in against the forces that want to destroy precious children. www.bigworldproject.org

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