In 2013, Zach and I took a 2 week mission trip to Asian Christian Academy in India.  We flew into the city of Bangalore and stayed on campus near Hosur.  We went with Neil and Vela Tomba as well as a few others from Northwest.  

Fast forward to September, 2021.  I now have four children and we are all at [a] playground near their elementary school.  I strike up a conversation with […] another mom there with her pre-school age daughter.  By her accent and mannerisms I quickly can see she is from India.  When I asked her where she was from she told me she and her husband moved here two years ago from Bangalore, India.  When I tell her I visited Bangalore in 2013, her face lit up!  

**Need to note here, that about this time is when I started a Moms in Prayer group and we began meeting once a month after morning drop off to pray for the school, staff,  and our children. 

[This mom] and I became friends and she fit into our “playground gang” group of moms who frequent the park after school.  Around December 2021, [she] asked us moms as we stood around watching our children, “What is Christmas about?  This is all new to me.” 

Along with me, the other moms are Bible believing Christians.  We took turns sharing the story of Jesus’ birth.  [She] shared that like many children growing up in Bangalore, she attended Christian grade school and boarding school while her parents remained nominally Hindu.  

It was at this time I was inspired to host The Jesse Tree Project and invite [my new mom friend].  “Sometimes I leave the 99 to go after the one.” Is what I heard in my head.  Hosting this project was a leap of faith.  In a big way, it was all for [her], but I also had to convince 22 other moms to participate!  Not to mention, it wasn’t a given that [she] would want to do it at all.  But I kept hearing from the Lord, “I’ve got my heart set on her, I leave the 99 to go after the one.” 

The prayer and planning for this started in the summer of 2022.

Each step in planning the project and hosting the 2 gatherings at my house, God was so present and provided each detail.  I was not alone, I got exactly the number of women I needed to make the project a success.  Everyone contributed and did their part!

[The woman] was glowing at the first meeting.  She chose Jacob’s Ladder.  As the meeting was coming to an end, she thanked me and told me that I remind her of the nuns in the convent in India teaching at her school growing up.  I knew this was high praise, and I treasure this compliment today.  

The final gathering party in November was the exchange.  [She] was there and at the very end of the night, she thanked me again and then eagerly said, “Can we keep doing this??” 

I invited her to join our Moms in Prayer group.  Her daughter is now in kindergarten at our elementary school.  She enthusiastically said yes.  On January 11, she joined us for our first meeting of the year!  She mostly listened solemnly, and this meeting was a big one since I needed to go through the Statement of Faith to prepare to make our group official and register us on the Moms in Prayer International website.  

Her prayers for her daughter […] were full of thanksgiving and child-like wonder.  

I haven’t heard [my friend] make a personal declaration of faith yet, but she is with us I count her as “added to our numbers” !  And she has blessed me and encouraged me and I am so grateful she is praying for me and my kids! 

And I am amazed at how God had [this particular mom] in mind for all of this back in 2013 when I boarded that plane for Bangalore! 

Thank you, Church for your faithful prayers!