From Chodavaram to Austin:
Triumphant Love member Suman Sade is a bright and charming young man from the small village of Chodavaram in South India who moved to Austin last year to work for Wipro and Charles Schwab. At age 25, he was the first person in his family to leave India. He joined Triumphant Love because he and his family are Lutheran.
The Lutheran church in India grew out of the American Lutheran Church’s missions there, and Suman’s village is near the very Lutheran seminary in which Mary Halaney’s father Ray Martin taught as a missionary—a rich and meaningful connection to many long-time members of Triumphant Love who also benefited from the teachings of Dr. Martin.
“Our village is very small, and our old church is very tiny church. It even can’t accommodate 50 to 60 people,” Suman writes. “When it was built only 2 to 3 families (including our family) were into Christianity. Due to the word of God from our Lutheran mission, people started believing in our God, and the crowd has increased enormously. Now we have a crowd of almost 150 people, which we are very happy about.”
“But our church doesn’t have enough place to accommodate all the people inside,” Suman continues. “So every Sunday we will arrange some temporary tents outside and some people will sit under the tents, and some people even can’t get a place under tents so they sit under the hot sun around the church. Mostly children and women will be sitting inside and all other people will be sitting around the church. During winter and rainy seasons it is getting really tough to sit outside. Our current church is very old, and it’s almost in collapsing stage, so we have decided to build a new and bigger church.”
This is the beginning of Chodavaram’s story. And, as we’ve seen time and time again in our congregational outreach, big things begin with small steps. Suman and his village are asking for our support and prayers to help complete the rest of the story. If we as a church family should accept this mission, glory be to God. And, oh what a story we’ll have to tell. You are invited to view photos of Chodavaram Church