(Monday, Jan 14, 2013) I’m writing this in the car as we drive from Hyderabad to Vijayawada and then to Rajahmundry to stop for the night Sunday night – 10 hours of driving. Tomorrow we leave at 4 for the rest of the drive to Visakhapatnam where we will have our first pastor’s conference of the week. The scenery is lush and green: rice patties, palm trees, a clear blue sky. Despite being on a modern interstate highway, a herd of water buffalo is slowly walking toward us spread out over both lanes. Just recently we had to navigate through a large herd of goats. We stopped for a break at a modern rest stop that included Subway and Baskin Robins while sacred decorated bulls paraded past the eating tables. Hindu shrines and signs of idol worship seen no matter where one looked. Moses’ wife and son are with me in the back of the car while Peter is in the front with Moses who is driving. It’s a bit crowded but we are all family and enjoying the time together.
I spoke in their church this morning. I’ve been attending that church several times a year since 2007 – the year it started and my second year in India. I think I’ve ministered about 40 times to and with them, maybe more. I’ve seen many of the children become teenagers and some even marry. On the other side, several of the older ones I have grown to love have gone on to heaven. I talked with and prayed for each family, one by one. I remember their situations and requests and it’s great to see how God works. One family with a girl who had serious eye problems told me that after I prayed last time her eyes were healed. There are not many medical options, even for the few who can afford them. If Doctor Jesus doesn’t heal there is no hope.
The people know me and love me, and I know and love them. They remember Nancy and ask about her. Teaching about marriage and child raising has been an enjoyable challenge. I’ll be doing it about 20 times this trip. In summary, I told them husbands initiate in the relationship by showing unconditional, sacrificial love. Wives are to respond with a submissive and trusting hear which is manifested in showing respect in all she says and does. While that is very contrary to Indian culture they were very glad to hear it. When I dismissed them for a break after the first hour they said they’d rather stay and hear more, so we kept on going.
Our extended teaching and discussion times yesterday were very special and meaningful, perhaps the most I’ve ever experienced in India. At the end of the day they asked for an evening special session to go into more detail about spiritual warfare. I didn’t have any of my notes but didn’t need them anyway. I was wondering how many would come but they spread the word and we had over 70 on a moment’s notice, twice what were present in the afternoon. The group and individual prayers for deliverance at the end were very touching. Coming from idol worship and living in a land dedicated to darkness has brought most, if not all of them, in contact with demonic forces. It is great that my book on spiritual warfare is available for them in their own language.
Christian love, which is a reflection of God’s love, is not limited by distance, race or language. I thank God for the beautiful privilege of getting to know these special children of His!
Galatians 3:28-29 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
John 15:12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
Who are some of the special people God has put in your life? Thank Him for each one of them by name.