(Sunday, Jan 22, 2102, Macherlia, India) I’ll admit that I’m not the world’s greatest ‘people person,’ but I do love the people here. Moslem communities have a dark aura about them, often with an undertow of evil not far from the surface. Hindu children are full of life but that is greatly faded by their teen age years and usually completely gone by the time they become adults. They are like walking dead people – spiritually dead. But Christians, now there’s the difference! They shine beautifully in stark contrast to the others around them. They are polite and many are reserved, but they are always smiling, friendly and looking for ways to help and to serve. There is a joy and peace, a love and gentleness about them that is wonderful to behold. There are no strangers, for when meeting them there is an immediate connection, a bond is formed. Their hearts are open and they reach out in love. I’m not saying they are perfect by any means, but I am saying I feel totally accepted and completely safe whenever I am with them. No matter the district, the caste (or even being below caste), the language or local culture, there is an immediate attraction.
I know part of it has to do with the Holy Spirit in them and in me drawing us together, but it seems to go beyond that. Despite horrible living conditions and daily difficulties we can’t imagine, there is a joy and hope that is truly attractive. Because they are Christians their lot is often worse than for others in India, but that just seems to make them glow all the more. I feel very accepted by them and very comfortable with them, and not just as some rich American. I know they would be the same if I was from the lowest segment of Indian society and had nothing to offer. Truly the love of Jesus is present in their lives and flows from them to any who come in contact with them. They are truly giving, selfless people.
So I am convicted – do people who first meet me get that impression? Do I convey a warmth and openness, a hope and joy, a love and gentleness that draws others? Do I reach out to others with compassion and sacrifice like they do? You don’t have to answer these questions about me, don’t send me your answers about if I do this or not for I already clearly know the answer! But if you would, ask them about yourself. It’s not them, it’s Jesus in them. Jesus in us can shine forth the same way if we let Him. Look for someone today whom you can love in Jesus’ name!
The work is going very well. The responses from the pastors is overwhelming. God is clearly using these things to touch and change their lives and ministries – that’s why He led me to cover the material we go use. The vast majority of the fruit will come in the months and years ahead, but I couldn’t be satisfied with how God is working and using these things to help the pastors. Thanks for your prayers!!!
by Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer, Christian Training Organization