(Saturday, Jan 12, 2013) I awake to a new day feeling much, much better. Thank you so very much for your prayers – I depend on them more than you know. Yesterday is a bit of a blur since I was not doing well at all, but I feel like a new person on a new day. Pastor Moses’ apartment is small and everything is crowded but they offer loving hospitality. The noise and smells of the city continually enter in. Windows are always open, temperatures will in the 70’s at ngiht,80’s in the day. It’s impossible to forget where I am!
Yesterday was the first pastor’s conference. About 60 pastors and wives attended. I spoke about what God expects of pastors, marriage and ministry, how to measure if you are growing spiritually and spiritual warfare. It went very well.
Today we go to Pastor Moses’ church for a family life conference: husband wife relationship in the morning then parent child in the afternoon. In a culture where marriages are arranged, sons are valued much higher than daughters (and spoiled where daughters are often used as slaves) it is a challenge to apply Bible truth (minus 21st Century American culture) to the believers here. They are hungry and open for there is virtually no teaching about these things for Christians here.
They know the Indian culture is not correct but don’t know God’s way – haven’t seen it in operation and don’t know where to start in their own families. So my desire is to translate biblical truth into Indian culture with giving them a simple place to start. I don’t want to just drop something foreign and large on them, they must start at the first step.
The gospel changes lives, there is no doubt about that. It changes marriages as well. Here in India, in America, in my life and yours – when the Spirit enters we are changed, different people. It’s not something we learn from others around us but starts with God’s new life within us. I see it across age and caste lines here in India. The believers here have a joy and peace, a smile and openness, that others don’t have. It’s even visible in their children. Light has replaced darkness, joy removes fear and hope overcomes the emptiness of all round them. A meaning and purpose come into life that cannot be given by Hinduism, Islam, education or government programs. It is Jesus in each one of us that makes the difference. Truly Jesus changes lives.
Pray God would use my words to help them be able to apply this change to their marriage and family, so they could reflect Jesus to each other and the hungry world around them.
2 Corinthians 5:17-18 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Take a moment to think of how God has changed your life. What would your life be like without Him? Try to imagine that, then thank Him for all the changes He has made in your life.