(written by Alan Carlton) As Jerry and I near the end of our India visit, my mind wants to step back and consider the significance of it all. As we began, I had no idea of what to expect. It was my first trip to India. Jerry and I had never met. I did not know what he really did on his annual trips to India. Pastor Moses was only a name, the first two parts of it being unpronounceable. I had never heard of the places we would go. It was an interesting sounding clean slate with the possible potential to Honor our Lord.
Every day, I give God my blank check. I tell Him, whatever you want me to do, I will do. Whatever you want me to give, I will give. Wherever you want me to go, I will go. Last year, God said “Go to India with Glory’s dad, Jerry.” . . . and here I am, nearly ready to return home. I can’t say the trip exceeded my expectations, because my ignorance kept me from having any It did, however exceed my fondest hopes.
Playing the part of Barnabus to Jerry’s “Paul” was both interesting and enjoyable, though probably more for me than for him The thorn in the flesh is a part of Paul’s journeys that Jerry understands. Persistent stomach pain and occasional nausea, when combined with a serious dislike of travel and discomfort around strangers pricked him every moment we were here . . . yet he radiated the joy of teaching God’s truths each day so brightly that the pain was hidden.
I taught a little, took over 5000 pictures and videos (so far) and helped however I could. For most of the trip, Pastor Moses was our rock . . . constantly driving, arranging, translating, answering questions, and making it all happen with few bumps in the road.
The needs and opportunities here are both phenomenal. This ministry is unique and I hope will grow. I am listening each day as I give God my blank check for how He wants me to participate, both now and in the future. You can too.
We are teaching in Pumza Tombing’s Gilead Seminary during our final week here . . . Jerry, many topics . . . me, Heaven. Yesterday, I talked about Jesus’ story concerning Lazarus and the rich man. At the end, the rich man asks Abraham to send Lazarus to warn those he loves, his 5 brothers. Clearly, it is too late for the rich man, but not for those he loves. God gives each of us the choice to follow him, but only while we live. Ultimately, our time for choosing ends.
If we truly care for our loved ones (and this should include all people, as it does for Christ), we need to warn and inform them while we and they are still alive. Life has an expiration date. It was too late for the rich man to warn his loved ones, but it is not for you and for me. We need to use each and every day for the Glory of God while we have it. One key part of this is sharing the wonderful gift He has promised us . . through prayer, living in Christ’s image, talking, or any other means we can think of. This is something that won’t “keep”. It’s expiration date becomes irrevocable with our death.
As I return from a far and rich part of the Mission field, I am reminded that white fields surround us every day. In one sense, I am returning from a mission journey, greatly filled and satisfied that I was faithful in it. In another sense, I am returning to the mission fields that surround my home every day. Will I be equally faithful in those fields? I pray that God will show me how . . . show me what He wants done . . . what he wants me to give . . . where He wants me to go . . . that He will return my blank check filled out with my next mission . . . for His Glory. I pray the same for you. Alan Carlton (Bangalore, February 3, 2015)
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Missions starts in “ Jerusalem”, in your neighborhood. You may never come to India, but you don’t need to in order to enter the mission field. You enter it when you walk outside your door!