(Wednesday, January 30, 2013) Sorry about the typo yesterday – I got more response on that blog than on any other! At least it means someone is reading them! I’m back in Hyderabad and have a day off after 12 straight days of traveling and speaking 12 hours a day every day. I even had time to proofread by blog today! Pray for me as I start outlining the book on marriage.
A PARTNERSHIP FORMED IN HEAVEN
I never stop being amazed at how perfectly God put Pastor Moses and myself together to form this team. We comment often about what an unlikely but perfect union it is. We are both independent men who work best alone, not with others. Yet we spend 3 to 5 weeks together every year, 24 hours a day 7 days a week: eating, walking, driving, sleeping and living in the same room. We are different ages, different cultures, different language, different backgrounds and different personalities, yet we have the same heart for this ministry to the pastors in India. We are, literally, worlds apart. We are complete opposites, but we fit together perfectly.
Moses is an idea guy, a big planner, an entrepreneur who gets things done. I am none of those. I work quietly behind the scenes studying and preparing lessons. We are opposites, but we have totally the same philosophy, goals, motives, reasoning, priorities and working strategies as each other. We continually feel the same about every decision, every problem, every challenge and every situation (and there are plenty of them). In this ministry here we are like the same heart in two separate bodies. That carries over to our almost daily communication through the rest of the year as well.
We never really planned it, it just fell together that I would do the teaching, sermons, books, etc. and Moses would take care of the plans and schedules as well as the money needed to do everything. He has never ever once asked me what I would be speaking about or told me what to say or not say. I ask his opinion often and he gives it, but he totally trusts that whenever I speak that I will say what God wants me to say to the people. These are his friends, his burden, his reputation and He trusts God to lead me.
I, on the other hand, send him thousands and thousands of dollars to use for this ministry. I let him plan the whole schedule and follow wherever he leads. I have never ever questioned him or demanded proof of the money use or what he does. Of course he starts with a budget and keeps records of expenditures. I get an overall summary at the end, but I have no way of checking out the accuracy of what He writes. I totally trust Him, for He is accountable to God. He does this because God has burdened Him to do it and it comes from his love for the pastors of India as well. He would no sooner be dishonest with the money than I would be irresponsible for my teaching. I have seen many proofs of his total honesty and trustworthiness over the years.
Not only do we plan, live and travel together, but we teach together. He has been my translator for pastors’ conferences starting in 2006. As often as I have taught these things he has translated. He’s one of the very few Indians whose English I can clearly understand, and who can understand mine. I talk with him ahead of time about tricky phrases, theological points, and word comparisons so we can make sure he knows what is coming and can accurately translate it. He knows my material by heart, as well as I do. In fact, during the year when he goes to new groups of pastors he uses those messages himself. He will use them, too, in Uganda in August. We have been doing this so long we can read each other very well. We what the other will think and how they will respond when emergencies or interruptions occur. We both know the right timing for him to take over and apply a point or conclude a message in a way culturally appropriate for the specific audience. I back off and he takes over. Other times he lets me take the lead. Like me, he tries to make each session a little better done than the last one. Despite doing the same 4 lessons 20 times while here, we each audience as in need of the material we have to present and that keeps it fresh for both of us. I know his English skills and limits and stay within them. He knows what I am thinking even if I don’t express it the best way and passes it on what he knows I want to communicate.
We have become best friends, sharing everything in life, talking about every subject imaginable, and laughing together long and often. I feel I really, totally know him inside and out, and I feel he knows me as well.
Only God could have taken this shy, stay-at-home guy from the USA and teamed him up with a fire-ball of an Indian and have it work out so perfectly. Not only are we efficient, but we enjoy each other. Our similarities bind us together; our differences balance each other out. Truly, this is a match made in heaven!
Colossians 4:7 Tychicus … is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord.
Romans 16:3-5 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.
2 Corinthians 8:23-24 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you.
Who are some of the ‘fellow servants’ God has placed in your life to help you walk to path He has chosen for you? Think of them, thank God for them and pray for them one by one.
NOTE: And by the way, thanks for the good comments about my blogs. I am very grateful God is using them to touch other lives as well. If you are interested some time in the future, I have put all my blogs from my first 5 trips to India into a devotional book, Lessons Learned In India 2006-2012, which you can find at http://www.mainstreetbaptist.org/books/ or http://india.christiantrainingonline.org/books/ Or email me and I’ll send it to you as an attachment. YOUR prayers and gifts make this possible, so this ministry is as much about you as about me. Thanks!!!