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From the Editor

By Barry Rodriguez

“Wouldn’t it be cool if you could do this full time?”

I will never forget those words. It was 2008. I was in India on a three-month adventure and I’d been having an awesome time. Blogging about my experiences, learning a ton and doing things I would have never dreamed I’d experience in my life.

On this particular day, I called my dad to see how things were going. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting on the edge of a bed in a small New Delhi apartment. My dad was in his car outside a grocery store in Indianapolis. We chatted for a few moments about home, our family, etc. but then our conversation turned to the things I’d been writing on my blog.

To my surprise, he told me that my blog posts were getting people really fired up back home. Folks were saying things like, “This changed the way I see the world” and “I want to get involved with Truthseekers now.” Somehow, by doing something I enjoyed, I was helping suburban Americans get engaged with global justice issues.

And that’s when he said the words.

“Wouldn’t it be cool if you could do this full time?”

It was like a lightning bolt struck me straight in the brain. For a moment, I was stunned.

“Uh, yeah. That would be very cool,” I replied.

And just like that, the seed was planted. This idea, of using stories and photos to get suburban Americans involved, of traveling the world to awaken the American church… This idea is what gave birth to World Next Door.

So here we are. Four and a half years after that fateful conversation. This seedling of an idea has sprouted into an entire ministry, and God has used our work to touch the lives of hundreds. Maybe thousands.

This is one of the main reasons I am so exited about this month’s issue. We’re going back to where it all began. Back to the streets of New Delhi. Back to remote Indian villages. Back to the stories of “untouchable” people who have discovered dignity for the first time.

To join us as we venture into this beautiful nation. Take in the photos, let the stories speak to you and, most of all, keep an open mind and a soft heart. Who knows? The next lightning bolt might be for you.