Ernesto and Angela

Alison, the girls and I headed to a favorite local haunt, Baja Burrito, Saturday night to meet up with some friends who were briefly in town. Catching up on their story was inspiring and encouraging. I want to share it with you.

Ernesto and Angela (who I continue to call by different 6-letter names beginning with "A") Alaniz are from Michigan. They've been a continuing presence on the road since I was back in The Normals. Ernesto bought "Coming to Life" in bulk as gifts for his groomsmen.

They always roll up with a giant van full of middle-schoolers to catch whatever show is nearby. After the show, the audience has cleared out, the band is packing up and Ernesto has thirty kids sitting in a cluster in the middle of the room and he is talking to them about what they've learned that night. This guy is awesome.

So the Alaniz's came to a show on our "Share the Well" tour, an evening dedicated to raising awareness of a people group in India called the Dalit. These are a group of people larger than the population of America who have no civil rights, no chance for improvement, and who are considered less than human by the prevailing Hindu belief system. They are the most oppressed people on Earth.

Ernesto and Angela heard about these people and started praying for them, and for how they should be involved.

Meanwhile, in Andra Pradesh, India, a poor, struggling pastor decided he needed help, both financially and with vision. He pastors one of the 13 Christian churches in a region with a population of 60,000. Few of the pastors can read or write, and none have any money. He went to the big town nearby and his son, who knows some English, helped him use the internet to find an American. Because, as we all know, Americans have money. The name of their church is "Faith Baptist Church" so that's what they Googled. One of the first things that pulled up was a church in Michigan where Ernesto was the pastor of youth and missions.

Now, two or so years later, Ernesto and Angela are getting ready to move to that impoverished village for the next five to ten years. They leave January 12. For the past two months they've been traveling America, speaking in churches and raising support to allow them to go.

They have sold their house, their cars, a quite impressive DVD collection and surround sound system. They are saying goodbye to their friends and family, including a brother who fights in the UFC under the name "The Mexicutioner", which is awesome beyond measure.

You can find out more about them by CLICKING HERE. They are amazing people, who have supported me for almost a decade. I am honored now to return the favor. I hope you will, too.

Ernesto and Angela - Your picture is on our fridge, and Ella wants to take the rest of the cards to everybody on our street. You will be in our prayers. Send me updates and I'll post them here so more of us can know what's going on with you guys. It was great to see you, and to learn from your example. God bless you guys.