(Friday, February 8, 2013) We had a great conference yesterday. There were 50 people crammed into a tiny room with no room to move, very hot and stuffy after almost 4 hours of sessions, when it was time to stop, eat and go home, they didn’t want to go. They wanted me to do another session so I added one more! Those are the problems I love to have!
This is a continuation of some of the highlights and lowlights of the past 5 weeks:
MOST STRESSFUL: Some conferences are full of many distractions: a few men come late, talk with each other, walk around, sleep, talk on their cell phones, or just come before lunch and leave right after. In addition there are schedule changes, even after I have started talking, extreme heat, the focus needed to say everything just right, and then teaching and praying spiritual warfare the end, all adds stress. Often I have digestive problems so I don’t eat right. And I don’t know what is said around me unless Moses translates, but he is usually too busy with other things to do that. If someone feels the need to be in control of their environment India is not the place to visit.
BEST SIDE BENEFIT: Fresh, homemade Indian cuisine every meal is a great added benefit. Unfortunately my stomach has made me say no more than yes. But it does smell great. Also a nice, clean, safe hotel for 2 weeks was a great benefit as well.
MOST TENSE: Moses’ new car was bumped twice while driving, once by car and another time by a motorcycle. Neither time was his fault, but he has two new bumps/scratches as a result.
GOOD SURPRISE: Samuel, a young pastor we support in Korduru who has become a good friend, has a wife and child. I’m thrilled for him. I knew last year he wanted a good wife and he got one – and a child already.
BEST PART OF COMING TO INDIA :By far it is being used by God to touch the lives of these fine pastors.
WORST PART OF COMING TO INIDA: By far it is being away from Nancy. Next is the extreme physical, emotional and spiritual continual drain which keeps me always feeling weak in myself but strong in Him (2 Corinthians 13:9).
UNEXPECTED BLESSING: The very positive to the responses to the blogs I send home and how God uses them in so many lives really touches me deeply.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Asaraj still beats his wife Esther, despite us praying for them for 3 years. God did show us what is causing the access so now maybe he will have victory
GROSSEST, MOST DISGUSTING SIGHT: I’m not telling you. Besides, I surprised you are looking for my answer!
GREATEST DIFFERENCE THIS YEAR AND OTHER YEARS: Because I come every year at this time the main leaders and pastors see me, not as a one or two time outsider coming, but someone who is one of them. Granted I am very different from them but we have established history, a solid foundation of respect and trust. They know my heart is with them and I will keep coming back to provide these things for them. We stay in touch through Pastor Moses during the year. We help support many of them financially and faithfully pray for us. I see the same thing with the men who are the leaders in Moses’ church. I’m no longer a visitor, I’m a regularly returning friend! It’s a subtle but very good difference and I really like it.
STRANGE WAYS GOD WORKS: I am glad God sent me to a warm climate with gentle people, but I wish He would have made it so I could learn the language. I have taught myself a working knowledge of Hindi but almost no one here speaks it, especially in the villages. Telugu, along with sister language Tamil to the south, are the fastest spoken languages in the world – more syllables pronounced than any other language. There aren’t local people in the USA or internet programs to help. I’d really like to be able to communicate at least a little but this language is very, very, very hard to learn!
LITTLE THING WHICH MADE A BIG DIFFERENCE: That would definitely be Air Conditioning in the hotel and in Moses’ car. At first it wasn’t working Moses car and that was difficult. I’m not normally a big fan of air conditioning at home, but the heat can be oppressive and physically draining. The air is so very dirty its hard to breathe so opening the car windows isn’t really an option. The AC is very refreshing and appreciated.
GREATEST DAILY AMAZEMENT: Each day is filled with numerous things that amaze and astonish me. But the fact that not one pastor in one conference knew that he had a special responsibility to his wife before his church amazed me every day. Twenty conferences, almost a thousand pastors and not one ever knew who his #1 sheep was when I asked!!! The good side of the coin is that when seeing that in Scripture every one believed and committed to be the husband God wants. That brought more positive comments and thanks than anything else I taught.
The other thing that amazes me more and more each day is that, although we are clearly in Satan’s territory, God’ protection has been complete. Each day we teach about Jesus’ victory over Satan and demons, then lead everyone is a prayer of deliverance from anything working against them, their families or their church. Testimony after testimony tells of how God touched and delivered them while praying. One may shared how a neighbor hated his church and told them he put a curse on the, The church gathered and prayed. Three days later the man unexpectedly died and things are fine for them.
Romans 8:37-39 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In what unseen ways has God been protecting you these days? What bad things could be happening in your life but aren’t? Thank God one by one for all that He is protecting you from. Thank Him for His mercy.
7 PM Wednesday, Feb 13, I will be showing PowerPoint pictures and video clips and talking about my time in India.
10 AM Sunday, Feb 17, I will show some pictures and preach abut the first (and foundational) truth God showed me in India. Everyone is invited to a church luncheon afterwards.
If you, your church, or anyone you know is looking for a foreign mission to support please consider this ministry in India! Thanks!!!