1981 – Brent has a Dream
Spring of 1981, Brent Hample, a college sophomore and member of the same church as Marietta, had a vivid dream that involved a disaster and a meal with Jesus, a British gentleman, an angel, a friend, and himself. Brent knew that God was calling him to India, but did not know when or how that might happen.
1984 – Pastor Babu Visits the US
With funding from the Lions Club International, Pastor Babu took a trip to the United States, where he finally met Marietta and her husband, Ernie, for the first time. Pastor Babu spoke at several churches in Oregon, including Central Lutheran Church (CLC), where the O’Byrnes attended. The congregation was moved by Pastor Babu's dedication and passion, and a member of the congregation gave Pastor Babu a $1,000 check to further his work. Marietta suggested that Pastor Babu start a child sponsorship program. Pastor Babu was thrilled about the idea, and Marietta coordinated the program as a volunteer. The name of the project was CLC India Mission.
1985 – Children are Sponsored
Through the enthusiastic work of Marietta, the child sponsorship program grew. One of the first sponsors was Brent Hample, a member of CLC, who was still praying about traveling to India. Over time, more and more people became sponsors, both within and beyond Central Lutheran Church.
1986 – Brent’s Dream Goes Public
Over the previous five years, Brent, now a college senior, continued praying about how and why God wanted him to go to India. That spring, Brent shared his dream with the Pastor of CLC, Dick Trost. With Pastor Trost’s encouragement, Brent talked with the O’Byrnes about traveling to visit OFH. The O’Byrnes were very excited because they had been praying that someone from the church would go to visit OFH. And Brent was one of two people the O’Byrnes had thought of in prayer. CLC embraced Brent’s vision and supported his visit to OFH. Midsummer 1986, Pastor Babu and Brent began corresponding about Brent visiting OFH.
24 July 1986
Brother Brent Hample,
Yes, my Brother, you can stay with us as you like?. We eat rice and curry. Vegetable curry we make, eggs curry we make, fish curry we make and mutton curry we make: but with curry, rice must be there. So, please start learning how to eat rice and curry. I have showed one time to Brother and Sister O’Byrne how to cook rice and curry, but they eat very little. Brother, can you eat spicy food?
The Spirit of the Lord is impressing me to take you to all the working areas where we are ministering the Word of God. People will be looking to receive your loving hands upon them for prayers.
Your Brother, Pastor G. Parishudha Babu
1987 – Brent Visits India
In January, Brent visited Pastor Babu at OFH for six weeks. He brought over gifts of medicines, a water filter and a used typewriter. While in India, Brent visited many Dalit villages. He told stories, prayed for the sick and took many photos of children waiting to be sponsored. Brent returned to the United States and spoke at more than forty churches, civic groups and schools on the West Coast. In his church's newsletter, he wrote, "I know now that the Lord has brought me back ... for several reasons: to share the miracles and stories and deeds of our Christian brothers and sisters in India; that our faith may be increased through theirs; that we may marvel at how Christ works his love in a country on the other side of the globe; that we may praise God for the love and faith we share with our Indian family; and that we may learn to love our neighbor as ourself in reality."
As Brent traveled and spoke, donations and child sponsorships increased. As more people supported the work in India, more projects were adopted. These projects included building a new orphanage, constructing several schools and providing disaster relief.