I want to share some news with you that I’m really excited about: I’m going to India with my daughter Hayley in August. Tonight she said, “I really want to see what another country is like!”
For years, I have been convinced and committed to the idea that working for justice in the world is something I value. Over the last several years, we’ve tried to find tangible ways to do our part: reducing our energy use, simplifying our lifestyle, and giving to organizations like Samaritan’s Purse and Remember Nhu and Kiva. I’m a part of a Quaker meeting, and throughout our history we’ve emphasized the need for our faith in Jesus to lead us to impact the world for justice.
Over two years ago, several people in our church began learning about human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children that goes on around the world, and wanted to do something about it. Hayley and I will be part of a team of 11 people from our church traveling to India to serve in two different cities with two separate ministries to children. In addition to the work we do, we will also be exploring and discerning how our church might partner over the long term with one of these two ministries. I’m excited for the personal chance to get my hands dirty overseas, excited to expose Hayley to another culture in the developing world, and excited for what this might mean for the church I serve in the years ahead.
We have a website for our team, with lots more information about the trip; I’d encourage you to take a look. While there, you’ll find our group’s purpose:
As Friends of Jesus we have a concern for the exploitation of children and young women. As we have listened to Jesus we have sensed a call to combine our prayers with action. We intend to travel to India to build friendships and to explore the possibilities of partnering with Friends in India to ensure the protection and rescue of God’s beloved children. We intend to use the experience of this adventure to inform our prayers and aid in our ability to advocate for Jesus’ work of justice and mercy in our world.
I’m writing to let friends and family far and wide know that we are going. Some of you share my faith in Jesus, while others don’t; I hope all of you will consider with me the importance of standing in the gap for those who are truly powerless and abused in our world.
I’d invite you to pray for us as you are able. We leave August 15 and will return August 30.
Our trip will cost $5,400 for the two of us; we’ve already raised all but $1,900 of that. If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to our trip, that would make my day! You can make checks out to Newberg Friends Church, write “Koskela-India trip” in the memo line, and mail them to:
Newberg Friends Church
600 E. Third St.
Newberg OR 97132
(If by any chance your giving exceeds what we need, you can be assured that the extra money will go directly to the orphanages we are serving in India.)
I look forward to sharing with all of you how this trip shapes me!