INDIA JOURNAL AND BLOGS

2009

 

 

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Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer

Christian Training Organization
252 W. State St
Doylestown, PA 18901

jerry@schmoyer.net

© 2009

 

 

MY INDIA JOURNAL Oct 18 – Nov 17, 2009

 

RAN IN MAY, 2009

 

I used to be afraid of many things but God has helped me have victory over my fears.  One fear that has persisted is fear of travel.  There are so many things that can go wrong, so many things that are completely out of my control.  I’ve always dreaded and avoided travel. Now here I find myself traveling to India.  Of course traveling to India and in India magnifies all my insecurities and apprehensions.  The first two times I went to India I always had someone to travel with.  In fact, finding someone to travel with was sort of a condition I set for returning to India.  However fall I will be returning to India and there is no one to travel with.  I will be going alone.  Or will I?  God has made it quite clear to me that when I think I will be alone I am ignoring His very real Presence.  He has taken away all hesitation of travel ‘alone’ and given me great peace about it.  He has assured me He will always be with me in a very real and effective way. What ever made me think I would be alone?   How can I possible be alone when the God of the universe will be right beside me every step of the way?  What better traveling companion could I possible have?  Who can better handle the challenges and change in plans that come with travel better than Him?  Will I travel alone – no!  do I ever travel alone?  Never!  None of His children ever travel alone wherever they journey in life.  He’s always with us.  You can count on it wherever you go.

 

Heb 13:5  “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

 

Gen 28:15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

 

Deut 31:6  “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

 

Josh 1:5  No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

 

Ps 37:28  For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected forever,

 

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Isa 41:9  So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

 

Isa 41:16 “The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.

 

Matt 28:20 And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

 

 

 

HOLD THE ROPE!

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(Friday, Oct 16, 2009)  I was  great fan of cowboy westerns when I was growing up.  I listen to them on the radio and watch them on TV.  I had a stack of comic books about cowboys.  I loved how the good guy always won the day and made everything right.  Sometimes he handled the situation alone, other times he had some who helped him – but he always succeeded to do what he set out to do.

 

One of my favorite scenarios involved a young child or fair maiden who wandered away from safety and fell over a cliff.  Part way down the cliff they managed to hang onto a ledge or small bush while waiting for help to come and rescue them.

 

The only way to get to them was by going over the side of the cliff.  Of course it was the hero who went down.  He couldn’t do it alone, though.  He would take his rope off his saddle and tie one end around his waist.  The other end would be secured to his horse or held by a group of people who had arrived to lend assistance.  They slowly let him down and then gently pulled him and the person recued back up to the top.  If he failed they died – but I never saw that happen.

 

While the hero got the credit, it was those who let him down and pulled him up that had as important a part as he did, maybe even more important.  They were the unsung heroes but they were absolutely crucial to the success of the mission.

 

So what does this have to do with my imminent departure for India (Sunday afternoon)?  I feel like I am going over a cliff and I need you to hold the rope!  If you don’t hold the rope firmly I’ll never accomplish what God wants me to accomplish. 

 

Don’t get me wrong – I’m certainly not saying I’m some kind of hero for going over the cliff.  I didn’t volunteer for this.  God made it very clear I was to do this.  There was no alternative.  If there had been I’m sure I would have taken it.  It’s purely a matter of obedience on my part.  It has nothing to do with courage, ‘spirituality,’ or any desire to be a hero.  I know how miserable it is to disobey God – I’ve gone that route too often already.  Inner peace and fellowship with God disappear. It’s much better to obey and do what He asks.  So there’s no hero here today, just me trying to do God’s will.

 

And this is no glamorous adventure of trying to save the heathen and become well known.  It’s a rescue attempt, short and simple.  There are people lost in darkness about to go over the edge into eternity.  If God can use me to bring them to safety in Him I’ll go own down.  There are pastors and church leaders in seemingly impossible situations.  If I can encourage them and help them find stable footing then they in turn can rescue others.  Rescue attempts are hard, difficult and not always successful.  But the attempt must be made.

 

However this isn’t about me.  It’s about you holding the rope for me as I go down.  If you don’t I won’t succeed.  What does it mean to hold the rope?  It means to pray.  And then pray.  Then pray some more.  It means to keep the situation and need before the throne of God, asking for His guidance and blessing, His protection and provision.   

 

So I beg you – hold the rope!!  Hold it firmly, strongly, consistently.  Put all your strength into it.  Don’t be distracted or discouraged.  Don’t give up.  Pray, pray, pray and pray.  Pray without ceasing.  Keep on praying.  Remember, I’m on the other end of the rope.  Don’t let go!  Keep praying until I get back up on familiar ground again.  And by the way,  THANKS!!!!!

 

 

 

THE ROPE OF PRAYER

 

(Sunday, Oct 18, 2009)  In my last blog I stated  that I feel like a rescuer going over a cliff to save someone in dire need.  I can’t do it unless I have a good strong backing to hold my rope.  That means you pray for God to be glorified in all that is said and done.  Prayer is a command, not a suggestion.  It is imperative, not optional.  As certainly as God is calling me to take this trip to India He is calling you to pray for me.  Unless you do your part in holding the rope I won’t be able to do what God has for me on the other end of the rope. 

 

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I know each one of you believers this, the problem is that it’s easy to just assume someone else will hold the rope.  That isn’t true!  A doctor in a small village was planning to retire. The people wished to do something in honor of his services. They proposed that on a given day each person would bring a pitcher of wine and pour it into a barrel on the village square and present it to him as an expression of their gratitude.   The day arrived, and all day long the people came with their pitchers. Then they presented the gift to the doctor. At evening time the doctor was left alone with his memory of love. He drew off a bit of wine and sat comfortably by the fire to enjoy it. The first sip was a shock. It was water! He called the mayor and the people together. After a hurried consultation, the truth was revealed.   Each one had reasoned, “My little pitcher of wine won’t be missed; I have so little for myself. The others will take care of it.” It is a tragic story. It may never have happened. Yet it is happening every week in the church. Don’t expect someone else to carry your share. Don’t assume someone else will hold the rope God assigns to you to hold!

 

Maybe you aren’t good at rope-holding.  Just do your best and you will improve.  Don’t assume Nancy, my wife, will do all the praying.  She can’t hold the rope all by herself.  Besides, in many ways she is going over the cliff as well.   She’ll be alone and also have to carry a double load.  She’ll be a ‘widow’ for a month so hold the rope in prayer for her as well.

 

I represent you when I go.  In that way we all go.  You make it possible by your encouragement and financial support, by your help and assistance, by your prayers and your love.  You will be blessed now and rewarded in eternity for it.  We share the blessing and reward because we share the challenge. 

 

I can’t do this alone.  No one could.  India is a nation in darkness, under the control of Satan and his demons.  Who am I to try to make even a dent against any of that?  How can I bring any light to that immense darkness alone?  When I attack the darkness – it will fight back with all its power.  Satan will do all he can to make my efforts ineffective and to defeat me in any way possible. 

 

Only prayer can change that.  Only prayer can bring victory.  Only prayer will bring accomplishment and protection. 

 

John 14:13-14   And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

John 15:7  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.

Jeremiah 33:3  ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

Matthew 7:7-11  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

1 John 5:14-15  This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of him.

 

What should you pray for?  The same thing Paul asked prayer for from those who were holding the rope for him.  “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:19).  Pray for protection, strength, wisdom and guidance for me.  Pray for open minds and hearts for those who listen.  Pray that whenever I open my mouth words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel. Pray that I would connect heart to heart with the pastors so as to encourage them as well as educate them.  Pray that when I speak God’s Spirit would use the truth of the Bible to work with power and authority in their lives.  Please pray!

 

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HOLD THE ROPE!  (FOR TIM)

 

(The following was written for the people in the church I pastor but applies to youth workers as well.)  I was  great fan of cowboy westerns when I was growing up.  I listen to them on the radio and watch them on TV.  I had a stack of comic books about cowboys.  I loved how the good guy always won the day and made everything right.  Sometimes he handled the situation alone, other times he had some who helped him – but he always succeeded to do what he set out to do.

 

One of my favorite scenarios involved a young child or fair maiden who wandered away from safety and fell over a cliff.  Part way down the cliff they managed to hang onto a ledge or small bush while waiting for help to come and rescue them.

 

The only way to get to them was by going over the side of the cliff.  Of course it was the hero who went down.  He couldn’t do it alone, though.  He would take his rope off his saddle and tie one end around his waist.  The other end would be secured to his horse or held by a group of people who had arrived to lend assistance.  They slowly let him down and then gently pulled him and the person recued back up to the top.  If he failed they died – but I never saw that happen.

 

While the hero got the credit, it was those who let him down and pulled him up that had as important a part as he did, maybe even more important.  They were the unsung heroes but they were absolutely crucial to the success of the mission.

 

So what does this have to do with my imminent departure for a month in India?  I feel like I am going over a cliff and I need you to hold the rope!  If you don’t hold the rope firmly I’ll never accomplish what God wants me to accomplish. 

 

Don’t get me wrong – I’m certainly not saying I’m some kind of hero for going over the cliff.  I didn’t volunteer for this.  God made it very clear I was to do this.  There was no alternative.  If there had been I’m sure I would have taken it.  It’s purely a matter of obedience on my part.  It has nothing to do with courage, ‘spirituality,’ or any desire to be a hero.  I know how miserable it is to disobey God – I’ve gone that route too often already.  Inner peace and fellowship with God disappear. It’s much better to obey and do what He asks.  So there’s no hero here today, just me trying to do God’s will.

 

And this is no glamorous adventure of trying to save the heathen and become well known.  It’s a rescue attempt, short and simple.  There are people lost in darkness about to go over the edge into eternity.  If God can use me to bring them to safety in Him I’ll go own down.  There are pastors and church leaders in seemingly impossible situations.  If I can encourage them and help them find stable footing then they in turn can rescue others.  Rescue attempts are hard, difficult and not always successful.  But the attempt must be made.

 

However this isn’t about me.  It’s about you holding the rope for me as I go down.  If you don’t I won’t succeed.  What does it mean to hold the rope?  It means to pray.  And then pray.  Then pray some more.  It means to keep the situation and need before the throne of God, asking for His guidance and blessing, His protection and provision.   

 

So I beg you – hold the rope!!  Hold it firmly, strongly, consistently.  Put all your strength into it.  Don’t be distracted or discouraged.  Don’t give up.  Pray, pray, pray and pray.  Pray without ceasing.  Keep on praying.  Remember, I’m on the other end of the rope.  Don’t let go!  Keep praying until I get back up on familiar ground again.  And by the way,  THANKS!!!!!

 

FOR YOUTH WORKERS:  Who is holding YOUR rope as you venture out in service for God?  Who are those who regularly and faithfully pray for you?  Take some time tot hank them today.  Let them know specifically where you need prayer.

 

Whose rope are you holding?  Whose SHOULD you be holding?  Your mate, co-workers, senior pastor, etc.  Make a list and commit to supporting them in prayer every day

 

 

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SO FAR SO GOOD

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Monday, Oct 19 – So far so good!  The flight to London last night took 7 hours.  I was able to sleep 3 of them.  I’m now flying to Hyderabad (10 hour flight) and hope to get more sleep tonight (Monday night). 

 

The London airport, Heathrow, was interesting.  I spent 6 hours there between flights – too much time to wait and think.  I seem to suffer a good case of homesickness each time I travel like this, and today was no exception.  London was an easy place to be because everything was in English – but it wasn’t home.  In fact, there were 2 flights that took off for Philadelphia while I was waiting.  I must admit I really wished I was on them going in that direction.  I will be in 4+ weeks, but in the meantime He was work for me to accomplish.  How great it would have been to be able to turn in the rest of my ticket for a quick  trip home.

 

But then I got to thinking – how anxious am I to leave this world and go home to my heavenly  home?  Like London airport, this world is comfortable and has some good things going for it.    But we’re here for a purpose and fulfilling that purpose isn’t always easy.  In fact it’s never easy.  Still, sacrifice and service for Him comes first, then the flight home.  In 4 weeks when I’m going home to Philadelphia I’ll be glad I faithfully carried out my responsibility here. I want the same thing to be true when I have completed the work He set for me and calls me home to heaven.  After all, this life isn’t all about us, is it?

 

Heathrow Airport isn’t bad.  In  fact it’ll get worse (in India) before it gets better.  But one day at a time we stay faithful and when the work is done He’ll call us home.  What a great day that will be!  I look forward to going home to Philadelphia, but great as that will be its nothing like going to heaven!

 

 

 

I’M HERE

 

(Tuesday PM, I think)  I’M HERE!  We arrived in Locknow at the Maugers a little while ago.  Finally no more airports, check-ins, etc.  Tomorrow I start the first pastors conference.  This will include various church leaders as well and is being held locally instead of in another town.  So I can sleep in in the morning and we return here each evening.   Pray God will give me the words to teach these truths to such an audience.  I will talk about church leadership and equating it to a shepherd leading sheep.  Then I will talk about how to study the Bible, starting with observation.  The after noon will include 2 sessions over viewing the Old Testament..  I will dress up in costume for one of them and use various magic tricks, especially in the afternoon.  We will be leaving for the town where this will be held about the time you go to bed.  Also pray for my health – I’ve only had 6 hours sleep since Saturday night.  Plus I inadvertently drank from a water fountain at the Hyderabad airport, forgetting I was in India and shouldn’t drink the water.

 

God has given me promises that have been carrying me through.  There are 4 special Bible verses that keep coming to mind, promises to claim and to sustain me.  I’d like to share them with you – you can claim them as well!

 

Deuteronomy 20:1-4 is a promise from God that we have nothing to fear because He will fight our battles and give us victory.  That became very  special my first trip to India in 2006 and has continued to be so ever since.

 

I Kings 17:14 is a passage God spoke to my heart during Sunday School the week before I left.  God promises the widow that every time she used up the remaining food in her pot God would replenish it when she next needed a meal.  God used that to promise me that no matter how tired or physically, emotionally or spiritually empty I get with all the upcoming teaching and preaching, He will give me what I need the next time I minister. 

 

Joshua 1:1-9 was quoted to me by several of you who wrote in repsonse to my ‘Hold the Rope’ blog and God caused that passage to jump off the page at me.  He promises victory wherever He sends us if we faithfully follow Him.

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Philippians 4:4-6 was given me by my daughter Glory just today as I read a letter she wrote for me to being along (everyone in my family wrote a letter as well).  There Paul reminds us to rejoice and not be anxious but instead to pray.  I’ve spent hours readying about ‘Praying Hyde,’ and early missionary to India, last night and today.  God has used his witness to challenge me to go much, much deeper in prayer.

 

So there are 4 verses I share.  You can mix or match, use any or all of them.  They all work – and they never run out!

 

 

 

 

 

DON’T DRINK THE WATER

 

(Wednesday, Oct 21, 2009)  I thought God has finished teaching me about patience after the flights here.  The first flights were 7 and 10 hours long.  The 3 layovers were between 4 and 8 hours.  I thought I handled it quite well. Apparently not!  Today was the first pastor’s conference, in fact the first session of any kind.  There were to be 2 morning and 2 afternoon sessions.  The morning sessions got moved back so the plan was for everyone to gather at 11 AM and start then.  We were ready but only 3 people came.  Half the group finally arrived at 2 so we could at least eat our noon meal.  However after they ate they left!  I kept changing my plans and cutting out material and sessions as the time got later and later. 

 

Waiting to teach is not my favorite time.  I love teaching but waiting is hard, especially the first one and trying to anticipate the audience, etc.  I think of a basketball player about to shoot a free throw or a place kicker attempting a field goal.  Then the opposing coach calls time out and makes them wait so the strain will break their concentration and they’ll miss.  With all the prayers that have gone into this I knew God would take care of it.  Then when we were finally ready to start the electricity went off (that’s not uncommon even several times a day for a few hours at a time) so the fans stopped, the room got dark and the Power Point projector of course couldn’t work.  All in all, thought, I thought I handled this delay quite well also. I think I’m getting this patience stuff down!  I guess we’ll see tomorrow…

 

By the way, we finally got started about 3:30 and I did 2 of the 4 sessions before we ate at 7 PM.  It was a 2-part overview of the Old Testament.  The people were quiet and typically not very responsive but applauded the magic tricks and were very attentive.  They barely had heard of Abraham or Moses or anyone so it wasn’t a matter of putting things in order but of teaching them for the first time.  I felt very good teaching – clearly God giving me the words say.  I excite myself by what I say when that happens!

 

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My stomach has been fine despite drinking a lot of water in the airport yesterday – thanks for asking.  It is so easy to forget for the water looks refreshing and cool in this very hot climate.  It’s very tempting for it seems fine and, after all, what difference could a little make this one time?  What isn’t visible, though, is the unseen bacteria that, which very miniscule, can do a lot of damage when they get into your system and grow.  That’s just how it is with sin, too.  Not the dark, black, dirty sin – but the small, clear-looking, what-can-one-little-time-matter kind of sin.  I would never drink dirty water, but the clear-looking stuff can be deceitful and easy to forget.  The most dangerous kind of sin is the hidden, small, secret kind that sneaks up on us and then grows to cause misery.  God was gracious and protected me from illness, but I can’t sin and then pray for mercy – just forgiveness.  So now I carry my water everywhere with me.  It reminds me of the Living Water I also need to carry wherever I go.  No substitute will do, no matter how great it looks.  It’s only the real, pure Water of Life that will satisfy!

 

Tomorrow we leave at 7:30 and get back about 9 or so.  There’ll be extra sessions to make up for today.  Pray for wisdom to communicate God’s truth and for my health and energy.  Thanks!

 

God bless!  Jerry

 

 

 

 

 

THE BEST AND THE WORST OF TIMES

 

(Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009)  “It was the best of times and it was the worst of times” must have been written for me in India.  I don’t know of another ministry experience that has been harder than being here, but neither do I know of another ministry experience (except perhaps the World View week when they all come to me) that brings more blessing and satisfaction to me.  The very difficulty of being here is the foundation for the very great blessings that come in contrast.  Here I can’t have one without the other.  I take them both or neither one.  If I choose to reject the troubles that come then I can’t have the blessings. I know many could do what I am doing without facing the battles I face in doing so.  But I know it is my very unsuitability for this which causes me to depend entirely on Him for everything.  As Paul said, “when I am weak I am strong!”  And truly His grace is sufficient.  He doesn’t promise to take the stretching away but to keep me going through it.  Take a moment to think about your life and apply this to yourself.  You’ll discover some very interesting and helpful truths.

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Today I talked about the life of Jesus – my favorite topic!  The magic goes over very well, as did dressing as Paul and telling his live story that only Jesus satisfies.  What a privilege to share the good news of Jesus with these fine men who have accepted Jesus and want to serve Him but come from a Hindu or Muslim background and know almost nothing of the Bible or Jesus!

 

In the afternoon 3 sessions I went over how to study the Bible: observation, interpretation, application.  There were 5 sessions today.  Twelve pastors are here.  They have come a distance and sleep here in the compound.  They give up 3 days to be here. Some are illiterate (and that makes teaching them how to study the Bible a challenge).  Several others have Dr degrees in various areas of Islam studies or languages.  All are new, unlearned believers who want to serve God.  What a change in their life and social standing since they turned to Jesus1  What a privilege to be able to open God’s Word to them and help them learn how to study it for themselves!

 

Tonight we had supper and celebration of home repairs at a neighbors home.  Tomorrow I will be talking about being a pastor (personal, family and church life) and leading a church.  It’ll start early but be done by mid afternoon – I’m looking forward to the break!  I haven’t had time or energy to get out and enjoy India.  I had 2 short walks but want a lot more.

 

By the way, yesterday I put a few pictures on Facebook and a few more on the church website.  To see them click on the link for Main Street Baptist Church below in the signature block.  In the left-hand column is a link to ‘Photo Albums.’  Click on it.  In a few days I’ll have a morning off and would like to put more pictures up then. 

 

I have related blogs if you are interested as well.  I didn’t blog about my travel in the airport for I wrote a series of airport lessons which are in the blog archives on the church web site.   There are also many good blogs from my previous trips to India on the church website under ‘Ministries,’ southeast Asia.

 

Thanks for your prayers (for ‘holding my rope’!) and for your emails of encouragement.  They are a lifeline to you and home and I greatly, greatly appreciate them.  I always make sure I take time to read your comments even if I can’t respond.  God uses them to encourage and minister to me  Thanks.

 

 

 

A MULTI-COLORED HEAVEN!

 

(Friday, Oct 23, 2009)  Last night we went to the house dedication ceremony of a neighboring Christian family.  They invited about 100 people and had a very nice ceremony followed by a wonderful meal.  The ceremony consisted of their family testimony, prayers, a short devotional and music.  Their 2 sons, about 9 and 10 years old, sang “Showers of Blessing” in English.  It was slow, sweet and very clear.  The words left a wonderful impact.  A group of about 25 teenagers from northern India then sang.  They looked more oriental or Mongolian than India because of the part of the country they are from.  They sang perhaps the most beautiful arrangement of George Beverly Shea’s old classic, “The Wonder of It All.”  The harmony was out of this world!  I was seated in the front of the room facing everything that was happening (American are honored guests in Christian homes here).  The chorus ends with the truth that the greatest wonder of all is that God loves me.  As I sat watching, listening and worshipping it hit me how much like heaven this was.  But for the first time I really saw God’s people in heaven around the throne as coming from all nations and languages.  I realized that I always pictured heaven with us Americans populating it, but the realization that we will be just a minority there and all nations and ethnic groups will be there together worshipping and praising was really inspiring.  Read and yellow, black and white, all are precious in His sight…..    I guess its one of those things where you had to be there to appreciate it, but I thought I’d try to explain it to you anyway.

 

Our pastors’ conference ended with me laying hands on each pastor and praying for them, then me kneeling and they gathering around praying for me.  While it seems we have nothing in common, in reality we have everything in common.  A close bonding formed as we shared our hearts with each other.  I taught about the pastor himself and the church today.  It was very much needed for most of them are new believers right out of Moslem backgrounds.   Some are illiterate, others have doctors degrees in various Islam studies or various languages.  They aren’t dumb, just totally ignorant of the Bible, how to pastor and what a church is to be like.  Trying to fill that void in 3 days is quite an assignment.  It was a rich blessing for me, though.  It will be a very fond memory I’ll always carry with me.  The price has been quite high, even higher than I expected.  But the blessing was much higher than the price.  Isn’t it always that way?  How many blessings do we miss out on because we don’t want to pay the price?

 

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Tomorrow I have 2 morning and 1 evening session giving an overview of the Old Testament with a special focus on Jesus in it.  Well over 100 people are expected.  Doing the normal walk through procedures like a map on the floor or holding up papers to put in order just won’t work so I remade my Power Points since I will have that to use.  Pray God again gives me the words to use to communicate these truths to this audience of mainly Christians but of which many aren’t very active in their faith.  Pray all would learn more about the Bible and that each one would commit to a deeper walk with the Lord.

 

Thanks and God bless!

 

Jerry

 

 

 

GETTING TO ‘KNOW’ HIM

 

(Saturday, Oct 24, 2009)  First the (very) good news.  The meetings today went extremely well.  I was more than satisfied with the teaching and response.  Over 100 people came, mostly Christians, and it was a joy teaching them.  I was very nervous before it started but when it began and God was giving me the words to speak it went very well.  In fact, 11 young men and one young lady stood to receive Jesus as their Savior.  They had never done so before.  Another young man rededicated his life.  It was thrilling to see.  That is a direct result of your prayers.  Your holding the rope is having some rescued.  But don’t stop praying, in fact it is needed even more.

 

Now for something on my heart.  If you’d rather, just skip ahead to the prayer requests in the last paragraph.  For the last 35 years of my life I have made Philippians 3:7-11 verses that expressed the desire of my heart.  Especially the phrase “I want to know Him” (repeated twice) sums up my main goal in life.  I don’t want o just know ABOUT Him but to develop a close intimacy with Him.  Gradually over the years I can see God bringing that about in my life.  Verse 10 has always been my focus: “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”  I really do want to know Christ and His power in my life, but I sort of skimmed over the second part of the verse, the part about sharing in His sufferings.  Paul may have wanted that, those who moved to monasteries may have wanted that, but I can with all honesty say that part of the verse was not the desire of my heart!

 

While laying awake during the night (a regular occurrence for me here) it all of a sudden hit me that God is recently applying that part of the verse to my life.  My life to this point has been very pain free, at least from physical pain.  I’ve had some times of intense emotional pain but that was usually a consequence of sin – mine or someone else’s.  For the first time I can just in the smallest way begin to scratch the surface of understanding a tiny bit what Jesus went through for me.  The oppression, the aloneness (different than loneliness), the tremendous burden He bore and which sought to turn Him from the cross are only just starting to become real to me.  And I thank God for that.  I’m realizing that the first and best part of the verse, ‘knowing’ Him and His power, is dependent on the second part of the verse, the privilege of in some very small way sharing in His sufferings.  It’s not that we add to His sufferings but to really ‘know’ Him means to understand better what He went through for me.

 

I am the world’s biggest coward and intensely dislike pain.  However I realize I can’t have the produce without going through the process.  And God knows I can’t go through the process alone so He becomes closer and more real – and as a result I really do get to know Him better.

 

Since I mentioned the awake at night stuff let me explain it a bit better.  I’m starting to feel like David who said in the day he wished it was night and at night he wished it was day.  I fall asleep OK at night but awake in a few hours to battle waves of oppression that keep me from falling back to sleep.  Sometimes I’ll doze again later, other nights not.  Its nothing rational, but that’s how the enemy works.  The best I can describe it is feelings of inadequacy, fear, loneliness, feeling overwhelmed, etc.  I battle with spiritual warfare, quoting God’s promises and worship but the battle continues.  I even tried sleeping pills a couple nights but they made the oppression worse at night and I felt like I was in a fog all day.  I have discovered the sweet comfort God can give (the Holy Spirit is often called ‘the Comforter’).  Sleeping here isn’t easy in good circumstances for dogs bark all night and the Mosques start a continual wail from their sirens at 5 AM.  I do have lots of time to pray and even get in a good run early in the morning.  However the battle gets very weary (as many of you know!).  Please pray however God leads you with this: for me to learn what God is wanting to teach me, for me to have patience and trust with this (God keeps His promise to give me energy to minister when I stand to speak although I am drained between times), for Satan’s oppression to be bound, for God to use this to help me to better understand what others  and Jesus Himself went through, to help me get to know Him better through it  – however you feel led to pray.  When it is 12 noon in Pennsylvania it is 9:30 PM for me so pray in the afternoon and evening please!  I understand Nancy isn’t sleeping well, either, so pray for her as well.

 

Tomorrow I speak to a village church in the morning, then have the long-anticipated meeting with interested Muslim leaders in the evening.  I will present the Old Testament and its teachings about

Jesus in 2 sessions.  I don’t expect a large attendance but I REALLY want to present God’s truth well here for these unbelievers – and I know Satan wants them to stay in darkness.  Thanks for praying.

 

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Thanks again and God bless!  Jerry

 

 

NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS

 

(Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009)  Thanks for praying!  I had a much better nights sleep.  I fell asleep at 8 PM and got a total of 6 hours sleep.  In between I had good times of prayer, praise, meditation and reflection.  The oppression was almost totally gone.  Thanks for praying but please don’t stop!

 

Last night I had a surprise visit from an Indian family that traveled 4 hours by bus to get here.  They are friends of a friend.  We had emailed a few times but never met.  Frederick Paul had been a church planted until God led him to start The Truth Mission School in Fatehpur.  The school has 450 students and is their was of spreading the Gospel with the children.

 

One of the interesting parts of the conversation was his wife’s testimony.  Her father was the leader of their Hindu village growing up.  When she was in 6th grade her mother got very sick.  Doctors nor Hinduism could not help but the father tried everything to save his wife.  Someone told him to find a Christian and ask them to pray to their God to heal her for the Christian God could do that.  He found a Christian and the Christian prayed she would be healed.  When he got home from the prayer he found his wife totally well and completely healed.  He gathered up all his Hindu idols and things, and despite being the head of the Hindu village took them outside and buried them.  The next day the whole family went to church and were baptized.  They have been serving the lord in various ministries ever since.  This kind of testimony is not unusual.  One of the men at our pastor’s conference was a high-ranking and very well educated Moslem.  He had an illness that couldn’t be cured and in desperation prayed to the Christian God and was healed so he is now living his life for Him.

 

Another way God spreads the gospel here, especially when there isn’t a Christian nearby to talk to, is through dreams.  It is not uncommon at all, in the most unreached areas especially, for someone to dream about a person talking to them about Jesus.  This person shares the gospel with them.   Dreams are highly respected and seen as a great privilege so they are accepted and followed by the receiver.  It is not uncommon to hear in a testimony that a person’s first or main exposure to the gospel was in a dream.

 

GOOD THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED THIS FIRST WEEK

In addition to what God is doing in my life, and it is definitely something although I’m not at all sure what it is yet, there have been some wonderful blessings this first week.  As you’ve held the rope there have been some rescues performed by God.

 

The first pastors conference was attended by about 15 former Muslim men.  Many were very highly ranked and well educated.  They were new believers, having heard about Jesus from a friend or having had God heal them.  They have dedicated their lives to serve him and most already have congregations they pastor.  They gained a solid overview of the Bible and especially the person and work of Jesus.  They have learned the basics about pasturing a church and living the Christian life themselves.  More than that they have been encouraged and built up in their faith.  They are definitely standing on solid ground now whereas before many weren’t nearly as well founded.  What makes that especially significant to me is that they come from the hardest people group to reach (Moslem leaders) and they live in the area of the earth that has the least gospel witness of anywhere.  So it is exciting to think of how these men will be used in the future, but is also sobering to think of all they will have to suffer for Him.

 

The Old Testament Overview in Lucknow yesterday really could have been called ‘Jesus in the Old Testament’ for that’s what it really way.  About 100 attended and paid close attention to about 4 ½ hours of teaching.  Their response and comments afterwards show god really used it to educate them and also to draw them much closer to Jesus.  Twelve received Jesus as Savior and one rededicated his life to God as a result.  I thank God for the privilege you and I have of being involved in these rescues by God!

 

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TODAY I preached in a village church.  It was a wonderful experience of love and devotion.  I always really enjoy laying hands on the people and praying for them.  It’s a very special time.  Tonight (about the time you arrive for Sunday School) I begin the 2-session presentation of the Old Testament (and Jesus in it) to the group of predominately unsaved Moslems.  The number who attend doesn’t matter, speaking to just one is an honor and privilege.  PRAY God would bring whom He would have and use it for His glory. 

 

 

 

 

GOING TO THE DOGS

 

 

(Monday, Oct 26, 2009)  The presentation to Moslems went very, very well last night.  About 30 people attended, mostly Christians who had heard me Saturday and wanted to bring a friend or Christians who heard about this and wanted to learn it as well.  Only about 5 Moslems were there, but that is 5 more than if none came!  Teaching god’s plan for man from the Old testament for 2+ hour without mentioning the name of Jesus is a challenge.  But all the prophecies, pictures and plans for Him were clearly explained.  The need was established and it was communicated so they could understand without being offended.  I’m very impressed with the way God led me to present it – I know it came from Him!  Thanks for your prayers!

 

DOGS IN INDIA are not like at home.  They aren’t pets and aren’t cared for.  They roam free in the streets and must scavenge to stay alive.  They are grossly mistreated and often eaten.  There’re nothing like ‘man’s best friend’ which we pamper and bond with in America.  It’s that way in most eastern countries, including Palestine in Jesus’ day.

 

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When Jesus was challenging the Syrophoenician woman about her request for him to heal her daughter, Jesus answered by comparing Gentiles to dogs.  Now remember dogs in Palestine were like dogs in India.  They are rejected, have no home, are constantly kicked and mistreated.  Their life is seen as worthless. That is how we are without Jesus.  But think about it: when Jesus made that statement He was actually describing not just Gentiles but He Himself as well for He became like us to take our place.  That means He became a dog like that as well – not a pampered pet but a homeless, rejected, abused and mistreated dog! 

 

Try  and imagine what kind of love that must have taken for Him to do that.  It’s impossible to imaging, but it is worth thinking about over and over.  We can’t begin to comprehend the depth of what He went through for us, and because we are so familiar with the story it often doesn’t sink in.  But when I see how these dogs here are treated and think that He became that for me it adds new meaning to His sacrifice.  Imagine loving someone so much you would become that kind of a dog for them.

 

PRAYER REQUESTS  Continue to pray for my sleep – I really need your prayers for my nights.  Pray for my says as well, though.  Today I teach 50 church planters and pastors the Old Testament overview at TellAsia’s training conference.  There will be 2 sessions.  This Old Testament overview is a combination of the OT walkthrough so a structure of the OT is learned but focusing on man’s need of redemption and God’s provision of it in the Messiah.  I enjoy doing it (this is my  4th time and I have 4 more after it).  Tomorrow I will cover the life of Jesus and then a session on the early church.  I dress as Paul to do that one.  Tomorrow night a local church has invited me to do 2 sessions on the Old Testament so that has just been added to the schedule.  Pray for that as well.  Thanks!

 

Here are the names of the Muslim men who came to the pastor’s training conference.  Pray for them by name sometime.  They are so definitely on the cutting edge here and in need of prayers.

 

SPIRITUAL WARFARE IN INDIA

 

(Tuesday, Oct 27, 2009)  Yesterday we had a very interesting visit with a distinguished Indian gentlemen named M. David.  He ministers to Christian families through seminars, counseling and retreats.  Since that is dear to my heart we had a good talk about it.  I asked him what were the biggest problems Indian Christian families face.  He said first it is men who feel their wives are inferior human beings and treat them that way.  Next is husbands who are too busy and don’t give their wives and families enough time.  Third he said was a lack of Biblical teaching about marriage and the family.  As long as the man makes enough money to pay the bills that is all he needs to do.  Sounds familiar…

 

Since he and his wife are also involved in a deliverance ministry (spiritual warfare) we also talked about that in detail.  We talked about the bindi dot Indian women wear and how now some Christians women from Hindi backgrounds keep wearing it as a social custom and to not offend family.  I told them I heard it was an entrance point for demons and they heartedly agreed.  It began as a way of showing worship to Sheva, a female goddess who was to bless and prosper them as wives.  They told of one Hindu woman who became a believer, was convicted and stopped wearing the dot.  She was demonized by ancestral demons that went back 8 generations but they prayed for her and she was freed.  A few years later she was going to a special family event, a wedding I think, and she put the dot on.  She said she immediately felt the demon return.  When she returned for prayer and they prayed to find out why the demon returned they were told, “She put my sign on her forehead.”  He was cast out and she never wore the dot again.

 

These people do a lot of ministry among the very poor Dahlits and others.  They try to provide clothing and other things to help them but it is a very difficult, frustrating ministry.  They gave a bed pad and new clothing to one very appreciative woman who told them the next day that it had all burnt during the night.  When they prayed and asked God why all these things would be destroyed He told them that without Jesus nothing would help thee people.  God showed them how a strong demon of poverty is in control of all of them here in India and his purpose is to keep them in poverty.  Only Jesus can set them free.  How ironic , I thought, that the demon of materialism has America in bondage while the demon of poverty has India in bondage.  Opposites, but not really.  Bondage is bondage, whatever form it comes in!  Only Jesus sets us free.  One of the young girls I prayed for in the village church on Sunday was demonized.  The demon would put her in a trance and have her go places and do things during the night which she wasn’t aware of.  As you can easily guess, demons are very active and strong here.  They don’t try to camouflage themselves as they do here.

 

One of my great blessings is my longtime friend and faithful fellow pastor, Moses.  He has given up these 10 days to travel and live with me to support and pray for me.  He has left his church to others and his family to his wife to support me.  Such is his love and devotion.  It touches me deeply.  I am unworthy of it but greatly in need of it.  It’s a lot easier for me to sacrifice for someone else than to have them sacrifice for me!  There’s another lesson I need to learn.

 

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Something very humorous happened with Moses a few days ago.  Two women from Missouri came to Lucknow to help with the work for a few days.  When they were talking with Moses and I at the table  they started talking about how they couldn’t keep house plants – how every plant they had died.  One said, “I even killed a Wandering Jew a few years ago!”  After which I quickly pointed out to Moses, whose English is good but who knows nothing about American plants, that a Wandering Jew was a house plant, not a person!  We had a great laugh over that.

 

I had an excellent sleep last night – thanks for praying and please continue to do so.  Today I finish with the training program for young evangelists, church planters and pastors.  I will give an overview of Jesus and then the rest of the New Testament by dressing like Paul.  3o minutes later I m scheduled to teach the Old Testament overview to a group of about 30 or 40 believers in a local church.  The first session starts at 3 so it will be a late evening.  Pray God gives me His words to say.

 

 

SPEAKING HINDI

 

(Wednesday, Oct 28, 2009)   The time spent with the 50 young evangelists and church planters for TellAsia yesterday was rewarding beyond words.  Touching the lives of 50 dedicated, gifted young people who live in what is called the least evangelized part of the earth is very humbling.  Encouraging them in their commitment and faithfulness based on an overview of the Bible was a privilege. Together we enjoyed an in-depth study of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.  Staying doctrinal true to these is very important for there are many subtle errors going around here.  I dressed up as Paul and, while outlining the rest of the New Testament, focused on the fact that we only have one live to live so we want to make it count for God.   Their response was overwhelming.  What a joy!

 

From there I went immediately to New Covenant Church and taught the Bible Overview again.  It was my 5th time in 1 week, but every time is different.  I’ve had anywhere from 1 ½ hours to 4 ½ hours.  Its been for believers, seekers, Moslems and nominal Christians.  Some know the Bible quite well and others not at all.  Sometimes I use Power Point, other times flashcards and a large map on the floor.  Some groups are large, others small.  Last night was in a home church with 40 people present.  I used flashcards and had a lot of interaction with the people.  That made it great fun. 

 

For the last 2 years I’ve been trying to learn Hindi.  I have CD’s, books and web sites that have been helping.  I haven’t been able to find anyone to help me with pronunciation so, while I’ve done a lot of memorizing, I haven’t had experience putting it into practice.  Also I’m not sure if I am learning the pronunciation correctly.  It has been pleasantly pleasing to me to realize that I am further alone than I thought.  As I’ve been venturing out and doing some basic speaking in Hindi I find that it is going better than I thought. People love that I care enough about them to try to learn their language.  Many people I couldn’t talk to at all without the little Hindi I do know.  I work some into my talks as well.   Of course by actually using it I am learning lots more and really solidifying what, up to this time, has just been theory for me. 

 

In realizing that I see a parallel between that and learning to walk by faith.  I can read about it, study how others have done it, and learn much about the whole process, but until and unless I get out and get started living by faith myself I won’t really know where I am or how strong I am spiritually.  Then theory becomes reality.  That’s when I learn and grow much faster than just by studying it.  So here I am putting to practice my weak Hindi knowledge at the same time I am putting my weak faith to practice.  Both are growing and stretching.  Both need this practical application.  Learning and studying is good, but now its time to get out of the boat and start walking on the water!

 

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What about you?  Is there a situation in your life now where you should start putting your faith into practice by applying what you have learned about trusting God?  You don’t have to go to India to do that – god gives us opportunities wherever we are.  Just get started!

 

TODAY I was scheduled to speak to a local church in a nearby village but it was cancelled because of some events in the village which made it unsafe for foreigners to come there today.  God is in control of that.  I will do some visiting of people and orphanages as well today.  I will pack and get ready for our flights back to Hyderabad.  Thanks so very much for your prayers.

 

 

 HELPFUL HINTS SHOULD YOU EVER VISIT INDIA

 

(Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009)  Today I leave Lucknow to fly to Delhi and then Hyderabad.  We arrive quite late tonight.  I’m a bit over 1/3 of the way through this adventure.  As I look back on it much of it is in a haze – the oppression which was so bad at the start and the lack of sleep combine to make it all unclear.  I still don’t know what that was all about.  Maybe I never will.  Probably some combination of spiritual attack because of being here which God allowed to bring me closer to Him.  In the 7 days I ministered here I spoke 22 times to groups of between 40 and 100.   Many pastors, future pastors and Christians have gotten a clearer overview of the Bible in general and Jesus in specific.  Several have accepted the Lord as Savior.  I have put it out there.  It’s up to God how He uses it.  I will never know until I get to heaven, but that’s OK.  We are to be faithful if there are great results or no results.  We do it as unto the Lord.

 

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I am often reminded of the words of Paul when he said he felt like he was being poured out like a drink offering for the Lord (Phil 2:17; 2 Tim 4:6) – nothing left, all given for the Lord to take and receive as His own.  I often think, though, as I teach, talk to or pray for these special people that which we can’t have much time or communication now, there will be time in heaven to sit down for a long wonderful talk with each one of them.  How I look forward to that!  Anyway, its on to Hyderabad today.  The next few days will be relaxing – visiting ministries and doing some speaking, but down days compared to what is to come starting Sunday.  Then will begin the major push to the end.

 

Here is something lighter if you care to read more:  HELPFUL HINTS SHOULD YOU EVER COME TO INDIA:  (I understand they apply in Africa and other third world countries as well)

 

1.  Smile and nod when people talk to you and you don’t understand.  Never reach for your wallet or they’ll get the wrong idea and be offended.  When they stop talking and you know you are supposed to respond say ‘Thank You’ several times as if know what they said.  They won’t know what you are saying, either.  Keep this up until one of you finds a gracious way out. Remember that talking louder or slower doesn’t enable them to understand English any better!

 

2. Sari’s are beautiful to look at but often very impractical, especially for women working in construction and other manual labor work.  Often a woman’s bulging abdomen is exposed but that’s OK with them as long as a woman covers her upper arms.  These are considered very sensual and will never be exposed.  So be careful about exposing your upper arms, ladies – but you can let your belly hang out if you’d like!  Men, pretend you don’t notice the bellies.

 

3. When you brush your teeth spit the second rinsing on your tooth brush to rinse it off.  Bottled water is expensive.  If you only rinse once use that to rinse off your toothbrush.  You’ll save water and also tooth paste for you won’t have to put as much toothpaste on the next time you can use it – recycled toothpaste!

 

4. Carry a spoon, hand sanitizer and a couple tissues with you at all times.  Hardly a day will go by without you needing all three of them.  If you’re traveling with other Americans bring extra for you’ll have to share.  You know what the spoon and hand sanitizer are for.  You’ll find out what the tissues are for the first time you go to the bathroom.  Instead of toilet paper there will be a bucket of water.  Be glad if there is a commode and not just a hole in the floor.

 

5. Trust me, you really won’t get run over crossing the street if you just give the cars and motorcycles a chance of missing you.  If you throw yourself in front of them and they can’t swerve you lose.  But if you give them a half chance of swerving to miss you 100 times out of 100 they’ll do so.  Trust me.  I know.

 

6. Never ever use your left hand to touch someone or to eat.  The left hand is used to take care of cleanup in the toilet so it is seen as unclean.  Feet are seen the same way because of the filth they walk in so don’t touch your feet or stretch them in front of you but keep them discretely tucked away.  If you are left handed you’d better get some practice eating with your right hand before coming here.

 

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Thanks for holding the rope!  I’m leaving the home of an American family and won’t see or speak to anyone but Indians for the rest of the trip.  So as I go further down the cliff into India keep holding on!  Keep praying Ephesians 6:19.

 

Thanks!  Jerry

 

 

 

 

PRAYING FOR REVIVAL

 

(Friday, OCT 30, 2009)  I arrived back in Hyderabad about midnight and had a short nights sleep.  Moses and I will visit a lot of his people and ministries today.  I’ll talk to a ministry for Hindu widows and to those who come to the church for their weekly day of fating and prayer.  We will be gone all day doing various ministry activities.  It’ll be nice being involved with the people.

 

One of the first impressions everyone gets of India is the large amount of people everywhere!  To give you an idea of how many people there are here, India has over 1 billion people yet it is 1/3 the size of the United States with its 300 million.  That means there are 3 ½ times as many people in 1/3 the space.  In other words, for the space every American takes up in this country,10 people in India occupy the same space in India.  That is true of the cities and well as the countryside.  Philadelphia has a population of 2 million, Lucknow 4 million and Hyderabad 8 million.  The population density is these cities is 4 times that of Philadelphia and its suburbs.  Imagine making another 6 million people join the 2 million in greater Philadelphia and you’ll have an idea about the massive amounts of people everywhere here.   I keep seeing them and thinking about how much God loves every one of them, how His heart reaches out to the people of India.

 

However very few are Christians.   For every one Christian (all denominations, Catholics and cults) there are 40 Muslims and 160 Hindus!  Where the Indian Christians are weak, though, is more in unity than in numbers.  There are  enough of them to really reach this country should God work through them.  But they don’t seem to have a heart for their own country.  One Indian woman told me of a dream/vision she had which sums up Christianity here.  It was of Jesus with a beautiful crown, but someone grabbed the crown from him, then several people all started fighting over the crown.  That summarizes it well. The churches try to take His glory for themselves and compete among themselves.  Until there is love and unity among them with a focus on glorifying Jesus and not themselves there won’t be revival here.  So if you are praying for revival in India (or anywhere) pray for the believers to get their focus on Jesus and not themselves.

 

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Tomorrow will be the closest thing to a day off I’ll have.  I’ll use it to rest, go for a long walk/run, and pack and organize for the very full last 2 weeks.  Starting Sunday there will be 15 days of talking at least 3 and usually 4 or 5 times a day which taking several all-night train rides as we go from location to location.  Pray God would give me the words to say to minister to the needs of these wonderful people. 

 

Thanks for praying!!!

 

 

 

A DAY TO REMEMBER

 

(Saturday, Oct 31, 2009)  Yesterday was one of those days you can’t experience and stay the same.  It started with a visit to their sewing class at church, and outreach which teaches 20 Hindi, Muslim and tribal women how to sew.  I shared my testimony and a clear presentation of the gospel using a magic trick, then gave them an invitation to receive Christ.  Afterwards each of them lined up for me to lay hands on them and pray for them.  What an opportunity to bind Satan in their lives and pray for their salvation and service for God. 

 

Next was a church prayer meeting attended by 12 praying women (the life force of any church).  I presented a Bible study on Acts 12, the prayer group praying for Peter in prison.  Then they prayed – and did they pray!  It lasted 2 ½ hours.  One of the gray-haired ladies wanted me to lay hands on her and pray for her as well.

 

When that was over 9 Hindu and Moslem widows came for their weekly free food.  I had a few words with them and prayed for them.  Then they wanted me to lay hands on them and pray for them one by one so I did.  What a way to pray for the light and love of Jesus to shine in their hearts.  We then left the church and visited a sick pastor.  I anointed him with oil and prayed for his health.

 

Then we stopped by one of the many Dahlit communities where Moses’ church is trying to minister.  These untouchables live in inhumane conditions.  But they have a openness and friendliness that is amazing.  The community we were at were all unbelievers but we gave them candy and talked with them awhile.  The attached pictures will tell it all.  By the way, the 5 orphan children we sponsor come from this background but are preparing for a much better life because of the gifts you send.

 

Living alongside them in not much better conditions were two Christian families.  The one had a boy with twisted and crippled left arm and no thumb on his right hand.  The other family had had a curse placed on them in the past and were suffering under it.  We talked and prayed in both places.  Our next stop was a visit to a Christian orphanage.  I gave an impromptu talk to the 12 boys there and used one of the magic tricks I always carry.  These were fine children, being raised in the faith.

 

We stopped by a small school held in the open by some Dahlit huts.  They are trying to help these children get some education so they can have a better place in life.  I told a short story, did a magic trick to go with it, and prayed for them.  On the way home we stopped by a birthday party for a boy in the church.  There were 20 children present and again I was asked to talk so I gold a story about salvation and used a trick.  They loved it!

 

Every audience, no matter the size, age, religious or cultural background, is enthralled with the magic tricks.  They sit up, lean forward, focus their attention and are amazed at the result.  Inevitably they start applauding after each trick.  They talk about them afterwards and tell others about them.  What a simple but very affective teaching tool they are!  They provide entertainment as well and a mental break from the lecture presentation.  In America the response is interest, mild curiosity and mainly trying to figure out how it happened.  Perhaps we have so many fantastic visual and entertainment opportunities we have lost our appreciation for something simple.  No matter, using these tricks is fun for me and a valuable teaching tool.  They will remember the trick for years, long after forgetting the lecture.  But along with the trick they will remember what it taught for the lesson and the trick are completely molded into one in their minds.  By remembering the truth of the trick they will also remember other parts of the message.  I never realized these simple tricks would be so extremely effective in communication here, but I bet God thought of that when He first put it in my head to start using them!

 

PRAY God will use me to minister to these people in any way I can.  Today is a ‘day off’ to prepare for the coming pastor’s conferences and Bible college.  We’ll be leaving Wednesday and on the road the rest of the time.  Pray for me as I speak to the children then the congregation tomorrow and as I prepare for these important pastors’ conferences.  Thanks!!!

 

 

INIDA UPDATE: INDIAN PRAISE SONGS

 

(Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009)  Singing is an important part of Indian worship.  They do a lot of it and really put their hearts into it.  Since I have been trying to learn Hindi I can pick up on phrases and parts of it, although they use uncommon words to make things rhythm and be more picturesque, as we do in English.   All Indian music is captivating and catchy, but I have found some of the Christian worship songs especially so.  The last time I was here one in particular caught my attention.  I took a video of it and have watched it over since.  I’ve heard it several times since I’ve been back so asked for the words.  It is ‘Prabhu ka Dhanyard’ – ‘Thank the Lord.’  It repeats over and over and the song grows in enthusiasm.  I’ve heard them sing it for 10 minutes and even I wasn’t ready for them to stop.  The words go something like this:

 

CHORUS:

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I will thank the Lord

I will live in His company forever.

I will go to be with Him.

He will certainly receive praise.

 

1. He will not give me the world all the time,

Just some happiness, peace and rest.

I will always find happiness

 in Jesus’ blessed company.

 

2. there is always trouble in my life. 

This opens the door to hope.

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I will never be frightened.

I will never turn away

Even if I must give my life.

 

3. How good it is!

How blessed my life is with only Jesus.

He does all to meet my needs.

I do not lack anything.

 

4. I will worship you

all the days of my life.

I will live like a burning lamp.

Your glory is my desire.

 

The words take on new meaning when you hear them sung by men and woman who have terrible scars on their bodies from beatings they received for being Christian.  All can tell stories of persecution and of those they know who have died for their faith.  Watching the young ones who are moving up to take the baton to the next generation sing is equally moving.  Being a pastor, even being a Christian here means something.  Truly there is a heavy yoke to carry.  It goes beyond what we in American ca understand.  To hear them sing these words in praise and worship, eyes closed and hands raised, is the next best thing to being in heaven already!  Read them again and while you do pray for God’s people in this country.  Make them your prayer as well.

 

 

 

JESUS EYES

 

(Monday, Nov 2, 2009)  I hope your Sunday was as special as mine!  I talked to the children in Sunday School at Bethany House of Prayer where Moses is the pastor.  I also had the sermon in their 3 hour service.  They start with an hour of singing praise songs and praying.  I preached on Jeremiah 29:10-14 and really enjoy it.  We also had the Lord’s Supper which is very special in these conditions.  Then most of the 75 people present lined up for me to lay hands on them and pray for them. 

 

The evening was unforgettable.  Going to the slum (Dahlit, ‘untouchables’) churches is always a highlight of my time in India.  Tonight we went to 3 slum churches which are composed of believers as well as seekers.  I cannot find words to describe how it feels to walk into their cluster of huts in the dark with only the moonlight to see by.  They come and listen attentively as I speak of God’s love and His free gift.   I show this by giving the children a free gift, finger puppets given me for the children in India.  Since they have nothing it is very valuable to them – a perfect example of God’s free gift of love to  us.  I prayed a prayer of salvation and they all repeated it out loud with me.  Some were believers but others were not.  Then they lined up for me to lay hands on them and pray for them.  What a marvelous privilege that is.  I sense what God wants me to pray for each one and it is different for each.  When we are done they all go back to their huts and quickly return with money for an offering.  Every single one contributes.  It’s like watching the widow give her mite!  If American Christians could see that there would be no excuse for our stingy giving!

 

It’s so easy to quickly bond with the believers here in India. Upon first meeting them it is clear they are different.  They have Jesus in their eyes.  Instead of the emptiness and darkness that others have there is peace and joy and love.  It’s clear from the time you first arrive.  They are open and loving and so very accepting of others like me.  Speaking a little Hindi with them bonds us closer for it tells them I care about them and their life.  We meet on level ground – at the foot of the cross.  There is no rich important white American and poor black poverty-stricken laborer.  We have Jesus in common.  God is our Father and that makes us brothers and sisters in the Lord.  And that’s what it feels like whenever I meet someone who is a believer – like I’m meeting a long lost brother or sister that I haven’t had to opportunity to meet before.  I really want to get to know them better but time and language make that impossible.  So I tell them I will look for them in heaven and we will sit down and have a long, long talk about what the Lord has done in our lives.  I think often of all the people I meet now but will spend time talking with in eternity – what a joy and blessing that will be!

 

One of many subtle results of the difficult times I have faced here is a love of God’s Word.  I always had a respect and admiration for it.  I trusted it, learned it and taught it.  But I have grown to love it in a new way.  It has become more real and richer to me, both individual passages as well as the book as a whole.  During the early days of not sleeping someone said they held their Bible when they went through such a night.  I started doing that and have done it ever since.  It gives me something solid to touch and anchor to, as my soul anchors to the content of the Book.  It shows in the darkness that I am connected to God’s Word.  It encourages me to think of and quote appropriate passages as I lay in bed at night.  It brings peace and comfort, encouragement and strength.  I cherish and hold onto the words in Nancy’s emails to me, and I find I do the same with God’s words to me as well.  If you have trouble sleeping, or going back to sleep at night.  Let me pass this suggestion on to you.  Keep your Bible nearby and when awake grab hold of it and don’t let go!

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PRAY:  Hang onto that rope for today I go further down than I’ve been.  Twelve of the next 13 days there will be pastors conferences all day every day but Sunday.  We travel from place to place by train at night.  Pray God would give me the words to truly meet the needs of these fine men of God and that I would speak His words.  Pray He would help me sleep well at night so I can pace myself during this time.  Don’t let go of the rope now!   Thanks!  Jerry

 

 

MARRIAGE, THEIRS AND MINE

 

(Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009)  Yesterdays pators conference went GREAT once it got started.  Indians are notorious for being late, so the first person didn’t come until almost an hour after it was to start.  When 5 pastors arrived we started.  By the end of the day there were 20 pastors present.  I get very nervous waiting to start but once we begin it is so easy and natural to bond with the pastors that it becomes a great joy – lots of interaction, laughing, applauding the magic tricks, etc.  Several of the pastors have quite large churches, most are very new and hardly any have had any training so it is very well accepted and rewarding.

 

One of the biggest differences in Indian life compared to home is in the marriages.  There is a similar problem to what China has in that there are only 860 females for every 1000 males.  That means 1 in 10 males can’t get marriage, and that growing number of single males is causing a problem.  The growing disparity is because families prefer sons for the same reason as in China.  Thus often when a baby is born a female it is killed or allowed to die.  Even for those who get married life is different because most marriages are still arranged by parents.  That practice is fading in the big cities but still common.  In the countryside it is the only way.  When parents choose a mate the partners usually don’t know each other before the marriage.  The focus, then, is on fulfilling duties and roles.  Emotional love isn’t seen as a component.  It can develop to some extent, but often Indian husbands see their wives as servants and treat them accordingly.  Meeting their needs, spending time with them, showing love – these are not expected by women and often never considered by men.  Acts of service seem to be the only love language they are taught, and obligation often overrules love in the acts anyway.  Sad….

 

Several Bible verses have taken on new meaning for me here and I’ve already shared them with you.  One I haven’t, thought, is Genesis 2:18, “It is not good for the man to be alone.”  I faced much loneliness last time I was here and learned to lean on God through it.  This time God hasn’t taken it from me as He did before.  He is showing me how bonded I am to Nancy, how much a part of me she is, and how much is missing when I am without her for an extended time like this.  We have become one in so many ways that to function alone really shows me all the parts that are missing without her.  God created Eve to fill up Adam’s empty spaces and Nancy really does that for me.  I’ve always known I’ve needed her but this goes beyond that.  She is an essential part of me and I am incomplete without her.  God is helping me better appreciate the special gift I have in her, that we all have in our mates.  I hope you won’t have to be separated from your mate to appreciate them as you should.  Take a few moments to thank God for that special person He has put in your life.

 

PRAY for tomorrow, day 2 of the pators conference.  Also many plans as to transportation, housing, etc., are changing for the trip to Vijayawada and then Koduru in a couple days.  Pray things would smooth out and all those details would fall into line.  Thanks!

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PS:  I’ve uploaded some new pictures onto the church web site as well.

 

 

 

 GETTING OUR ATTENTION

 

(Wednesday, Nov 4, 2009)  The second day of the pastors conference was great.  I love teaching when God so clearly gives me the words and works in their hearts.   We had great worship.  They seem to be really enjoying it.  It seems to really benefit them a lot.  I won’t really know until heaven but God shows me enough now to really bless me for doing this.

 

I joke here with Moses about how an expert is anyone who comes from far away.  A local person isn’t seen as an expert until he travels to a different state to speak.  Coming all the way from America, therefore, makes me an expert.  In fact, that is how they bill me in their publicity, ‘Expert Bible Teacher.’  But we know we are no different now than when we were at home. What we have or can do is totally a gift of God.  I don’t have to come half way across the earth to teach.  Neither do I have to come halfway across the earth for God to stretch me and make me more like Him.  That can happen at home as well.  God gets me over here, not to be an expert Bible teacher, but to get my full attention.  He wants me completely dependent on Him and away from my substitutes and supports.  He blesses me through the privilege of teaching, but He could accomplish that just as well any number of other ways.  What is He doing in your life to get your full attention?  Coming to India isn’t the only way, you know: health, finances, relationships, any number of things can be used by Him to get our full attention.  Nancy sometimes wonders what she needs to do to get my full attention.  I think God has found out – send me alone to India!  What does He need to do to get your full attention?

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Foreigners among Indian Christians are rare.  It seems Americans especially draw promoters and ‘doers’ like sugar draws flies.  Even among Christians there are always those who assume I have money to hand out to whoever I meet.  They want to ‘sell’ me on their ministry and enlist me to come and hold a conference or service for them.  I want to go where God wants and do what He wants so I am open to anything, but I know many of these would not be the best use of my time.  I want to go where people want to learn the word and grow, not have an American to show off and gain attention through my being there.  I don’t want a situation where they make me feel important while I make them feel important.  I just want those who have a hunger and thirst for God’s Word, not for American money!    I have had several future opportunities presented which sound very promising.  They would be in the area of training pastors but also working with families and leading a spiritual warfare conference.  That would be quite something – and talk about opposition then!  Fortunately God has blessed me with a pastor here, Moses, who has the exact same philosophy of ministry and heart for service that I have.  I trust him totally with my money and time, and he trusts me in the same way.  It would be very hard otherwise. 

 

PRAY Today is the last day of our conference.  The pastors asked if they can bring their wives so that will be nice.  It’ll be sad leaving them.  A couple of them I know from past conferences here and email in between.  Tonight night we take a 6 hour train ride to Vijayawada where we start a conference tomorrow so there wont be much sleep tonight.  Pray for that.  We stay in a hotel for 4 days then go to another town for  5 days in a hotel.  The first hotel may have internet, I don’t think the second will.  I have blogs done ahead which Bob and Mark will send to you and I’ll send personal updates when I can.  This is when I get to the end of the rope, as far down as I go, so keep holding on!  Nov 14 you can start pulling me up for I’ll be moving toward home!

 

 

IN THE MINORITY

 

(Thursday, Nov 5, 2009 – If you are reading this it is because I don’t have access to the internet today.  This has been written earlier and I’ve arranged for others to send/post them.  Please keep praying.  I will be in touch when I can.  Your emails to me at jerry@schmoyer.net are always very welcome.)

 

As I travel in India I am often reminded about how in the minority I am.  While I don’t stand out at home, here it is clear I am not from here.  People notice and watch me while not obviously staring.  I stand out.  I am different.  I can’t change that or get away from it.  It’s the way it is.  It’s good in that it helps me realize that I represent another country so I must be careful in all I do and say.  Others are judging America by me.  The same is true of us who are Christians living in this fallen world.  We are different.  We don’t fit in.  We are watched by others.  We must be constantly aware of how we represent our real home country – heaven.  We are ‘pilgrims and strangers’ here as Peter said.  We must never forget this is not our home, we are just passing through.

 

When I do run into another American somewhere (its rare but happens in airports, etc.) there is an immediate bond and level of comfort for we talk the same language and are going to the same home country.  It is encouraging and uplifting to not be totally alone.  So God gives us other Christians to connect with as we together travel through this foreign land.  Having Moses with me and now being with Chris and Debbie Mauger really helps.  Traveling alone is something God wanted to face, but I certainly see why He sent His followers out by twos and threes.  Where 2 or 3 are gathered….  It makes a great difference.

 

Do you often feel out of place in this world, like there is something better somewhere?  Great!  Who do you walk through this life with that understands and shares your same concerns?  Who helps you in your journey?  Who can you reach out to today to offer a little help along the way?  No one likes to walk alone – and we don’t have to.

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‘INDIAN TIME’

 

(Friday, Nov 6, 2009 – If you are reading this it is because I don’t have access to the internet today.  This has been written earlier and I’ve arranged for others to send/post them.  Please keep praying.  I will be in touch when I can.  Your emails to me at jerry@schmoyer.net are always very welcome.)

 

We often talk and joke about things being done on ‘Indian time.’  Everything is invariably late starting.  Our first pators’ session started at 3 in the afternoon instead of 9 in the morning.  Last time I was here a wedding scheduled for 10 AM didn’t start until after 2 because the parents of the groom didn’t arrive until 1:30.  Are they better off than us because they are casual and not rushed while trying to cram too much into a day? Or are they inconsiderate of others and poor stewards of their time as well as ours?  The jury is still out on that one, but when the verdict comes in it’ll probably find the truth somewhere between the 2 extremes. 

 

One things I do know from this, though, is that the ‘success’ of my ministry here isn’t measured by numbers for they depend on efficiency and skillful use of resources.  While I speak many times a day, for the most part things aren’t organized well.  That gives me flexibility to finish whenever I want.  No one watches the clock or times my messages.  If I feel I could do something better as far as planning or time usage, I remember I am here for one reason only.  That is because God wants me here.  So its up to Him as to what does (or doesn’t) happen.  That is out of my control.  I obey by doing my best when given the opportunity to minister arises.  You would think that after pasturing a small church for 30 years that I would learn God is more interested in quality than quantity.  I am here to be available and let the rest go as it may.  I remember an early missionary (I don’t remember exactly who), said we who serve God must be ready to preach, pray or die at a moment’s notice.   That pretty well describes ministry in India, especially for the local pastors.

 

Surprisingly, I find each day when I do my blog, I find I barely have an idea as to the day of the week.  The date I have to look up.  Time is so different and the structure of my day  and week so changed that it really doesn’t matter.  Living in the present consumes all my focus.  I do try to enjoy each moment for itself and not be looking back or ahead too much.  I learned that last time in India – the richness of fully appreciating each experience as it plays out in life for it will be gone and over forever. 

 

 

 

GIVING BICYCLES, GETTING MUCH MORE

 

(Saturday, Nov 7 – written Thursday, Nov 5)  We went to a tribal church tonight to dedicate one of the 5 bicycles that you gave money to purchase.  The pastor and the young man he is training came to the Pastor’s Conference today.  The area was one of the worst places in the city: drinking, gambling, violence and crime everywhere.  Through this pastor’s work the church has taken hold, grown, and totally transformed the whole neighborhood.  Tribal people are those who come from a more uncivilized, pagan background.  They dress somewhat like Hindus but their religion is different.  They are outside the caste system and don’t believe in caste.  They are Animistic in their beliefs.  That is an old, crude pagan belief system that sees gods and powers behind everything in nature.  It is very demonic in practice, and that contribute to their being less civilized than others here.  What a change Jesus has made in these lives!  Some shared wonderful testimonies of being healed n their death bed and idolatry replaced by Jesus.  Very moving, seeing their faces as they talked….

            After a long time of singing I spoke to them and then prayed for them.  Instead of praying one by one when they came to me afterwards I walked through the room touching their heads one by one as I prayed for them.  The room (their ‘church’) was 12’ x 12’ with about 25 people (mostly women) in it – no windows or air circulation either.  As they sat with their heads down and I touched and prayed for them.  It’s the only way I ever touch a woman.  While I was doing this several of them reached out and put their hands on my feel.  I cannot begin to tell you how humbling and moving that was to me!!!!!  Its a meaningful way to show respect and honor to a spiritual leader.  It’s the only way women ever touch men.   “How lovely are the feet of those who bring good news,” I thought – what a privilege to share this good news, especially with those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ and with whom we will spend eternity!

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            We were able to give a donation to a young lady among them who can read and wants to buy some books to start teaching the children there.  What a perfect example they are of the church in operations.  And thanks for contributing for the bikes – they are greatly needed and appreciated!

 

(Thursday morning, Nov 5)  Changes in India….  We found out an hour before the train was to leave that it was cancelled.  We will eventually get half our money back – in India you can be very glad for that.  We had to scramble to find a bus to Vijayawada which left later but we got on it and arrived about 6 in the morning.  Sleeping sitting up was like in the airplane. 

            As of this morning I have spoken 43 times to groups of pastors, Christians, unbelievers, Moslems, Hindus, Dahlits and children.  I have slept in 5 different places in 18 days so far.  I have traveled by foot, scooter, motor cycle, auto rickshaw, taxi (car), bus and plane.  I’ll take a train back to Hyderabad.  I have 13 days left and will speak a little over 40 times and sleep in 4 more places.

 

(Thursday evening, Nov 5)  Today’s pastors conference started very, very well.  I always really dread the first session for I don’t know the men.  I make it my goal to connect with the, heart to heart, and to be transparent and vulnerable myself (without drawing all the attention to me).  I want us to be on common footing, not me being the great expert American pastor!  We bonded very well in the first session and that sets the standard for the rest of the conference.

            The only problem we have is that the pastors really, really want their wives to come – and that’s great!  They want to share the learning as they share the ministry.  Of course we will let them.  The room will be packed but that’s OK.  It does mean it will cost a lot more – meals and help with transportation for the women.  I don’t know what the final costs will be but that will add a few hundred dollars to the cost so pray for God to provide that please.

            Vijayawada is the smallest town I’ve been in so far – 2 ½ million.  Hyderabad is 8 million and Lucknow 4 million.  Vijayawada is a bit bigger than metropolitan Philadelphia, but about ¼ the square miles.  They really pack the people in!  I much prefer the small villages – the places that look like they are right out of National Geographics!  We are 30 miles from the ocean so the weather is different – very hot and humid with some rain today. 

 

(Friday evening, Nov 6)

            This morning an Indian pastor who graduated from the same seminary as I did (Dallas Theological Seminary) had breakfast with us here at the hotel restaurant.  We’ve been emailing for months and it was good to meet him.  He’s very well educated and is doing a fine work here.

             We had 35 pastors and 5 wives today but are expecting much more tomorrow.  I’m really enjoying the teaching, although standing barefoot on bare concrete all day every day does make my legs tired.  I try to run several times a week but with getting back 9:30 or 10 and leaving at 7 or 7:30 in the morning there isn’t much time.  Then there are new messages to develop for special speaking engagements that pop up.  Tonight 75 children and 50 adults came for a special service featuring my ‘tricks’ which they all love.  I put 5 or 6 of them together and tell a story relating to the gospel.  I based it on the colors tonight – black, red, white, green and yellow.  Grace made 120 bracelets with those color beads and I gave them all out.  They LOVED them!!!  I only wish Grace was here to give them out herself!

            We also went to visit several sick people and pray for them.  One was a widow and her daughter who lived in a hut.  Her husband and son died of TB and she literally had NOTHING.  These people give new meaning to the word ‘poor.’ But they are Christians trusting in the Lord.  He is their hope in the darkness. 

            I got my ride on a motorcycle in the rain tonight as well.  I took a video while riding so you can see what it is like – better than Dorney Park and no admission cost!

 

 

 

GOD’S SPECIAL TOUCHES

 

(Sunday, Nov 8, 2009 – If you are reading this it is because I don’t have access to the internet today.  This has been written earlier and I’ve arranged for others to send/post them.  Please keep praying.  I will be in touch when I can.  Your emails to me at jerry@schmoyer.net are always very welcome.)

 

1. When I first planned this trip to India I was very concerned about traveling alone.  Too many snap decisions, changes,  things to go wrong, language difficulties, etc.  But it wasn’t possible to travel with anyone.  God convicted me that He’d be here with me, I wouldn’t be traveling alone. I wrote a blog about that.  He’s shown that in a very real way.  In each of my flights, to London and then to Hyderabad, the seat alongside me has been vacant.  It’s as if God kept it open saying ‘I’m sitting there with  you, you just don’t see Me.”  The second flight had over 500 people and I only saw one other empty seat.

 

2. Perhaps the most dreaded part of traveling to India for me is going through customs entering the country.  I’ve had some very time-consuming and ‘challenging’ situations in the past.  Unpacking, explaining, etc., and all without good communication because of language differences.  Trying to understand their quiet mumbling and provide what they want on the spur of the moment is not fun for me.  So I’ve prayed God would have mercy and make it easy.  Like he sent His angels to go ahead and prepare the way for the Jews to enter I prayed He would send His angels ahead of my checking out and make customs easy.  It couldn’t have been easier!  When it was my turn the guard waved me through without looking at anything or checking anything.  He just waved me through.  That was great!

 

3. I write this at 5 AM from the place I have been at 5 AM every day since I arrived in Lucknow, sitting on the floor of the bathroom with my laptop.  I don’t lay in bed any later than 5 for the wailing sirens of the mosques calling people to prayer is eerily dark and empty.  I can’t fall back asleep with it playing no matter what.  Our bathroom is in the back of the house so I leave our bedroom so as to not wake up Moses and it is quieter here.  What I have been hearing instead is a sweet female choir faintly singing uplifting and soothing songs.  I can’t understand all the words but clearly they are praising God.  What a difference from everything else I hear here.  I found out there is a small catholic convent in back of where I sit and I hear them sing in the mornings. They sing for over an hour. Now they are singing ‘How Great Thou Art.’  BEAUTIFUL!!!   It is a great reminder God is still here in the dark and emptiness of the place.  The youth choir I heard at the house dedication practices sometimes during the day and hearing their English words to familiar hymns is very encouraging.  They practice for hours at a time.  They are here to sing at a 3-day Billy Graham crusade which that organization sponsors here each year.  How great the timing I get to be at the place they are staying during the time they are here to them sing as well!  Light in the darkness…..

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RESPECT

 

(Monday, Nov 9, 2009 – If you are reading this it is because I don’t have access to the internet today.  This has been written earlier and I’ve arranged for others to send/post them.  Please keep praying.  I will be in touch when I can.  Your emails to me at jerry@schmoyer.net are always very welcome.)

 

Rodney Dangerfield built a career on claiming “I don’t get no respect!”  He should have come to India and he would have gotten plenty of respect.  Maybe its because I just came from a country that shows very little respect for anything, but I really notice and appreciate the way Indians show respect for many things. 

 

Older women are on the top of the pile when it comes to respect.  In America they are on the bottom of the stack.  Despite everyone living on top of each other in poverty or semi-poverty, there is a respect for property and personal ‘space’ that at first might not seem evident.  Conversation and terms of address are also very respectful.  There are numerous ways in the Hindi language, including a whole set of pronouns and form of verbs that is designed just to show respect.

 

I am shown great respect wherever I go.  At first it made me uncomfortable to watch a 40 lb girl haul by 50 lb suitcase for me, but I soon learned that to deny her that honor would be an insult and put shame on her.  It does take some getting used to, though!

 

At home I am uncomfortable being referred to as ‘Doctor’ because feel it is often a source of pride and puts distance between people.  In India I don’t mind the title at all for it is seen differently.  They greatly admire learning and those who study so here the title is one of respect and actually helps close the distance between them and myself.  I don’t know if I explained that right but I have always sensed that.

 

What has most impacted and influenced me, though, is the way Christians show respect for God and their faith.  Everyone goes barefoot into a place of worship as a sign of respect (sandals are dirty, and Moses took of his at the burning bush – when God demanded it!.  Women cover their heads with part of their sari in an additional way to show submission and respect.  Everyone wears their best clothing to church and for special occasions.  For men this means long sleeved white shirts and dress pants.

 

Indian Christians are careful about their bibles, too.  While we throw ours around like another piece of junk, they are very careful when they handle it.  They will never set it on the floor and they will never set anything on top of it.  This shows respect for the contents of this special book and gives it an honor and reverence it deserves.  When they read the Bible in private devotions they usually stand as a way of showing respect to its contents.  Imagine standing each morning as you read several chapters of the Bible!

 

I’ve always like the idea of being barefoot whenever I teach God’s Word, which means every time I speak here.  It helps me remember Who I represent and keeps me in my own humble position.  It didn’t take long for me to pick up on the careful protection of the Bible when I carry it or set it down.  I haven’t stood yet to read it, but my level of comfort in sitting down is decreasing rapidly.

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To most of us respect is a trait from ages past, an old dinosaur we admire and wish were still around, but don’t do a lot to resurrect in our own lives.  These downtrodden and struggling people who barely eek out an existence from day to day have taught me a lot about respect – and I respect them for it.

 

 

 

CONSEQUENCES OF THE INDIAN WORLD VIEW

 

(Tuesday, Nov 10, 2009 – If you are reading this it is because I don’t have access to the internet today.  This has been written earlier and I’ve arranged for others to send/post them.  Please keep praying.  I will be in touch when I can.  Your emails to me at jerry@schmoyer.net are always very welcome.)

 

Some nationalities can be identified with certain temperament characteristics:  Italians as fiery, Germans a methodical, Irish as not keeping things inside, etc.  I have spent many hours among Indians, getting to know many quite well.  They seem to have the full range of temperaments and emotions.  But one thing I do notice that is different from people in America:  I have never seen any display of anger by any Indian.  I know they have them but they don’t’ show them in public.  The down side of this is that they never show any kind of physical affection in public: to their mates or children.

 

However I have never heard a harsh word, never seen an act of violence, never even seen someone get critical or harsh with a child or another adult. It happens, but not as overtly as in America. They keep even tempers even when driving.  Their driving is crazy, wild and very erratic.  We Americans can’t stand to watch it for it is so dangerous.  Horns constantly honk to warn others to get out of their way.  To get anywhere you need to cut others off and force your way ahead.  But I have never seen road rage or anyone acting in anger. 

 

I would think people living in these deplorable conditions would have lots of hidden rage.  However that isn’t so.  They are basically gentle, accepting people.  Maybe they should be more motivated at times to improve their society as well as their lot in it, but passive acceptance seems to be the prevailing attitude.  Of course Hinduism teaches that we get what we deserve in this life and that we have to endure it patiently in order to improve in the next life.  That world view certainly affects much here.

 

I miss seeing even the smallest displays of affection in public, but its nice to not see displays of anger or rejection either.  Perhaps our world view in America, where we feel we are owed everything and must have it immediately, leads to a lot of our discontentment.  Perhaps not expecting more is better.  Studies show people in third world countries are happier than those in America or Europe because they just don’t expect more than they have.  They know things will never change and no one will give it to them, so they make do and appreciate what small blessings come their way. 

 

While hopeless poverty certainly isn’t the way to learn contentment, neither is endless materialism.  Let me close with Paul’s words in Philippians 4:11-13;  “ I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through him who gives me strength. “: 

 

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MY DAILY LIFE IN INDIA 1

 

(Wednesday, Nov 11, 2009 – If you are reading this it is because I don’t have access to the internet today.  This has been written earlier and I’ve arranged for others to send/post them.  Please keep praying.  I will be in touch when I can.  Your emails to me at jerry@schmoyer.net are always very welcome.)

 

I thought I’d let you know a little about my daily life in India.

 

I SLEEP on a pad on the floor with a pillow and sheet (it is very comfortable).  Homes and rooms are small in India and I currently share a room with Moses as I will whenever we travel.

 

I DRINK only bottled water.  I like the chey (very milky tea) a lot but because of the caffeine in it don’t drink it.

 

I WASH in a bathroom totally tiled on all 6 surfaces because the shower is in the middle, not in a stall.  This one has a commode (I bring my own toilet paper) but most in India just have a hole in the floor and a bucket of water.

 

I TASTE food rich with a very spicy sauce and some type of spicy over-cooked vegetables every meal (sometimes just the sauce for breakfast)..  The flat bread (roti, like thick pita bread) is always good.  It is used to scoop up food for they eat with their fingers.  The rice and sauce are formed into a small ball and put into the mouth.  Bananas are plentiful and I eat them often.

 

I TRAVEL on the back of a motorcycle or in an auto rickshaw – a 3-wheel golf-cart type vehicle that goes very fast and is driven in reckless abandon.

 

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I SMELL hot air, spice, dust, people (sometimes pleasant, sometimes unpleasant), urine (always unpleasant), cooking food and decay.

 

I HEAR birds, horns honking, wailing calls from Mosques announcing prayer time and dogs barking.

 

 

 

 

MY DAILY LIFE IN INDIA 2

 

(Thursday, Nov 12, 2009 – If you are reading this it is because I don’t have access to the internet today.  This has been written earlier and I’ve arranged for others to send/post them.  Please keep praying.  I will be in touch when I can.  Your emails to me at jerry@schmoyer.net are always very welcome.)

 

I SEE people and animals everywhere, dirt, green vegetation, buildings of all kinds and sizes, colorful saris by the thousands and a continual whirl of activity everywhere.

 

I ENJOY going barefoot almost all the time, mild weather, no telephone calls (I have a hard time hearing using just one ear), zipping through traffic on the back of a motorcycle, the friendliness of the people and getting to do a lot of teaching every day.

 

I MISS Nancy and my family and friends, fresh vegetables, football, Phillies playoff games, American food and snacks, drinking water from a spigot, not having to watch where I take every step outside, being able to run anywhere any time, food that doesn’t burn my mouth so I can’t even taste it and ice cream!

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I DON’T MISS TV, phones ringing and blatant immodesty everywhere.

 

I GET FRUSTRATED BY everything being late, the electricity suddenly going off for hours at a time without any notice, the continual loud noise everywhere, and limited communication because of the language barrier.

 

I GET ENJOYMENT FROM the cute children everywhere, the polite, mannerly people, the colorful dresses the women wear, being able to use my very limited Hindi to communicate better than I had in the past.

 

I FEEL SAD thinking of home, seeing how the people live (physically and spiritually), hearing the wail of the mosque sirens calling people to prayer and knowing there is very little I can do to help the awesome need here.

 

 

 

PRAYING & SIFTING

 

(Friday, Nov 13, 2009 – If you are reading this it is because I don’t have access to the internet today.  This has been written earlier and I’ve arranged for others to send/post them.  Please keep praying.  I will be in touch when I can.  Your emails to me at jerry@schmoyer.net are always very welcome.)

 

Praying before meals takes on new meaning here when you realize there could be something in what you are about to eat or drink that would make you very ill.  Praying is more than routinely giving thanks, it is asking for God’s protection as well.  I know things aren’t anywhere near western sanitation conditions (and even they lack sometimes).  At our first pastor’s conference the translator opened his hand and showing me several small black beans in his dirty palm.  He was showing me great honor by offering me one of his precious treats.  How could I do anything but take one and put it in my mouth (it was very bitter and took forever to dissolve).  Yes, we don’t forget to pray before we eat and we don’t take the matter lightly!  Neither should you. 

 

It’s not unusual to see an adult or child sitting near a construction site with a wire screen nailed to a wooden frame.  They put handfuls of course sand onto it and let the fine quality sand fall through, thus sifting out what isn’t as good for making concrete.    I can’t help but thinking how that screen is like the Bible.  We must sift every idea and thought through its standards.  Only what is found in the Word will come through and can be counted on to be valuable and true.  As I teach the Indian pastors, I want to run all I say and do through the sieve of god’s word and only pass on to them what is true to the Bible.   So much 21st Century Western culture has attached it self to Christianity that it is often hard to separate the 2.  But I’m not here to teach them how to minister as we do it in the west.  I’m here to teach the basic truths of God’s Word and then let them apply it to their own culture.  The truths of the Bible are above and beyond any culture and I want to make sure I convey it that way.

 

 

 

 

 

BACK IN HYDERABAD!

 

 

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(Saturday, Nov 14, 2009)  I honestly didn’t think I had much to contribute to the pastors here, that God had me coming mainly for my growth.  Its been a joy and pleasure to see that that isn’t the case.  Its like everything God has been doing in my life the last 63 years has found its culmination now,  like God was doing it all to make me a perfect fit for this.  Knowing the struggles of the pastorate, especially a small church, the magic I use to teach, spiritual warfare, my gift of teaching, my desire to mentor and train pastors – all has fit perfectly.  What God led me to teach was perfect, too.  I have taught almost 100 times – an average of 4 messages a day (not counting travel days).  Every message has been right for the occasion – and I definitely give GOD all the credit for that!  The pastors were deeply touched, as was I, for God clearly and definitely worked in our lives. 

 

The Bible overview gave them a good foundation in the Bible as well as the basic Christian doctrines. Learning how to study the Bible was excellent for them.  Learning about pasturing and their marriage responsibilities was also totally new.  The spiritual warfare sessions were very powerful and most helpful.  Every topic was perfectly chosen by God to provide what they needed.  Continually they said how their lives and ministries were totally transformed by these conferences, and I could really see it happening.

 

The evening services, children talks, church services, etc., all were special as well.  Numerous people accepted the Lord and many were encouraged.  I was totally stretched by the quantity of speaking as well as all the other ministry opportunities – and it all being in a foreign country.  Often I would have to develop a message while I was giving it to tailor it to the needs of the people who came but God always gave me the perfect passage and how to develop it.

 

Its been a thrilling time.  I can not say any one thing God is teaching me.  I know a month like this must change a person but I don’t yet see what those changes will be.  He has given me a much deeper love for India and these people.  Saying goodbye to each group is really hard. 

 

I thank you deeply for without your prayers and financial contributions this wouldn’t have been possible.  I know God will richly bless you as he blesses me.

 

If you want a day by day account here is what I have been writing to you each day, even though I couldn’t send it.

 

DAILY JOURNAL

 

(SATURDAY NIGHT, NOV. 7, 2009)  This was a marvelous day, simply wonderful!  We had breakfast with Luke Bose, a DTS alumnus, who I have been corresponding with.  What a great, scholarly, fine man he is.  He trains pastors while pasturing several churches himself.  He is a native Indian.

            From there we prayed for a new church one of the pastors who is coming is starting.  He is very crippled but is making a small concrete block building (we’d call it a shed) and wanted us to dedicate it so we did.

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            This was the last day of our pastors conference.  We had 45 pastors and 15 wives.  It was packed beyond its limit and very hot (especially when the electricity went off and the fans stopped).  I have bonded very well with these men – one of my main goals in each conference.  We have been learning how to study the Bible using Mark 5 about Jesus delivering the demonized man in the graveyard.  So we go over deliverance and spiritual warfare quite thoroughly as well.  What a joy and a challenge to go over that with them.  Every one has encountered overt demonization and had amazing accounts and questions.  What a wonderful opportunity to help put some of the pieces together for them.  They certainly had had-to-hand combat experience!  Since they are rural pastors and come from backgrounds of Hinduism and Animism they and their families have been greatly affected by idol worship in their past, generational spirits, curses and living on ground dedicated to demonic forces.  We covered all of that and then we had a group deliverance prayer (I have done this in all the conferences).  I lead them through a prayer of renouncing openings and covering them with the blood.  This teaches them how to do it on their own as well.  Then I pray for them, removing anything still there and dedicating them to God.  What an amazing, POWERFUL time that is.  God’s power and presence is so very, very real and active.  Great things must be happening in the heavenlies!   That naturally leads to a spontaneous time of worship afterwards.  What a privilege and a blessing!  I’m just rolling in blessing after blessing every hour.  The people shower me with so much love.  I can’t wait to get to heaven so I can have long talks with each one of them!!!

            Tonight I spoke to a church start in one of the poorer sections of town (that is very relative here!).  About 30 people came, mostly women.  I spoke about how Jesus sought out the rejected, lonely woman at the well to offer her love and forgiveness and that He still does that to us today.  I used some magic tricks as well.  During the invitation about 1/3 of the people raised their hands.  Some had made professions before but several were committing themselves to the Lord for the first time.  That was VERY exciting!  I really depend n god as for what to say for I don’t have much time to prepare and can just jot down a general outline on a 3×5 piece of paper after God gives me the passage to use.  But it’s exciting to see how He develops the passage as I speak – much better than I could do on my own!

 

(SUNDAY NIGHT, NOV 8, 2009)  You would not believe where I am as I type – I barely believe it.  It’s like I’m living in a National Geographic’s picture spread!  I’m not in a thatched hut but they are all around me.  We even have electricity with one outlet I can use.  There is no running water but a bucket and a hole in the floor.  That is bathroom and shower all in one.  The local pastor who is sponsoring the pastors conference and weeklong Bible college is letting us use his house.  It’s 3 simple concrete block rooms: entry room (Moses sleeps there), cooking room and bedroom where I am situated.  The pastor and his wife, who are quite elderly, are fasting and sleep on the floor at the church each night so they can do more praying for the conference to come!  How can it not succeed with that prayer cover!

            Back to this morning.  I spoke to and then prayed for about 40 people.  I spoke from 1 Cor 12 about all being part of the Body and each one doing their part.  They have a small plot and are praying for money to build a church.  Now they meet in someone’s living room.

            After that we drove 2 hours toward the coast, all through small villages, rice paddies and sugar cane fields.  It is extremely hot and humid for we are only 3 miles from the Indian Ocean.  The scenery is glorious!  It rains every day, some times several times a day.  That keeps everything very lush and green but also very muddy.  We can walk to the church where the conference is from this house.  They even had a bathroom built for the pastors who are staying all day at the conference.  Several months ago I donated a bit of the money you have contributed for that.  It is a great improvement – all day with no toilet is tough, even in India!

            We went straight to the church when we got here – Koduru Bethel Fellowship.  The pastor was at another church he has started so I spoke on 1 Cor 12 again.  Twelve people were present.

            We were to go to a slum church tonight but the rain has made it impossible to get there so we went to another church instead.  I spoke on Jesus my friend and their friend and of course used my magic tricks.  It was the exact same time as you were worshipping and that made it extra significant.

            The problem we anticipate tomorrow is the one we have had at the last conference as well: too many pastors come, plus they bring their wives.  Word of mouth increases the number each day (that’s a good thing!).  However the cost for food and to help with their travel is far above what we budgeted.  I don’t know where the expenses will all turn out but pray God provides.

            Another difficulty seems to be resolving itself nicely.  My legs are quite swollen from the calves down – my ankles disappeared awhile ago.  I think its from standing barefoot on plain concrete all day every day.  Well the church we are using doesn’t have chairs so the pastors will sit on the floor.  That means that Moses (interpretor) and myself can sit on chairs and still be seen by them.  God takes care of all the details before I even ask Him!

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(MONDAY NIGHT, NOV 9, 2009)   I went for an hour walk this morning.  It’s very, very hot and humid and running is out of the question.  I took lots of great pictures and talked with a lot of children who are studying English in school.  No one knows Hindi here, just Telegu, and I know none of that. 

            The pastor’s conference went very, very well.  It was hot, but when the electricity was on the fans helped a lot.  Every seat was taken in the first hour and half the ones present are wives.  I’m very glad of that as it is most beneficial to them and great encouragement for them.  It helps them better understand and share their husband’s ministry.  I keep reminding the pastors that their wives are their number 1 sheep!  I can’t describe how much I enjoy mentoring and training pastors, especially those so hungry and open as these.  We can open up and share our hearts together and there was a LOT of that today.  It was educational, motivational, inspirational, encouraging and reaffirming all together.  I can tell I will really, really miss these people come Friday.  It’s very hard for me to make new friends like this, then even harder to say good bye.

            The bathroom you donations provided was a big success, too – especially among the women.

            Somehow they rounded up chairs for the people to sit own which made for a more comfortable day for them but meant I stood all day.  I couldn’t have stayed seated anyway – too much adrenaline and excitement to talk sitting down.  Good news – I did see my ankle bone tonight so things are moving in the right direction!

            The people and the scenery are indescribable.  It’s like living in a travel video!!!   It’s beautiful and amazing.  This whole week I am living totally like the Indians in the villages live except for drinking bottled water and I still use a spoon.  No running water is inconvenient but I’m doing things like they do – no other option!  It’s not as bad as I thought it would be (but I’m glad its only 1 week!).  Wish you were here!

            One thing I don’t like is their pattern of eating at 7:30 PM, then starting to gather for church.  Each evening we motorcycle down the dark country paths to a different church.  About 30 people gathered.  They always have a lot of enthusiastic singing.  Everyone has good voices.  One person plays a small drum/bongo and sometimes they have small finger cymbals or a tambourine.  Others clap flat pieces of wood together.  They get very, very loud.  It seems each service has a mike and loud speaker outside broadcasting to the community.  The quality is terrible!  They sing like they really are praising the Lord and they pray as if they really know the One they are talking to.  I feel totally comfortable being with them, so loved and accepted.  It is a privilege to speak to them and to pray for them individually afterwards.  Some bring coconut oil to be anointed as well.

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(TUESDAY NIGHT, NOV 10, 2009)  I got up early and went for a long walk as soon as it was light.  I met some of the children from yesterday.  They crowd around, all talking at once.  They want attention and for me to take their picture.  I meet many teenage boys going to school.  They like to talk a bit, to try out their English.  They call me ‘uncle’ as a term of respect.  The children are all friendly.  The women are curious.  The men are a bit more skeptical for they are protective of their community and a bit suspicious.  I can’t blame them.  An American walking around here is a real oddity, though.  I’m sure they have never seen a real one before.  I’ve not met another person who speaks English besides Moses and myself all week!  That doesn’t bother me at all, though.  I find I am bonding with these people at a much deeper level where words aren’t necessary anyway.

            After washing I did some wash.  I drew water from their well with a bucket on a rope and washed the clothes on a rock, then hung them to dry.  Its so humid it will probably take several days to dry, though. Shaving is tricky, though, for they don’t have any mirrors anywhere that I’ve seen.  The women don’t use them, either.  Children love to have their picture taken and then I show it to them.  They recognize each other but often not themselves. 

            For the last 2 years Moses has held monthly pastors conferences for pastors that have no training.  He used my notes from my last trip here.  Now I will leave my notes, visuals, etc., with him and he will now use these for his monthly training.  Its nice to know my words will continue to reach out after I am gone!  I can see one of the reasons God wanted an American to come instead of an Indian doing this is that they just teach by rote memory here, Bible college included.  Students just memorize facts and what to believe.  They say the reason these conferences are so very successful is that I go deeper and teach them how to study and think for themselves.  I give them the tools to find and apply the answers themselves.  Teaching them how to study the Bible for themselves is totally new.  Getting an overview of the Bible is something they never had.  We are going through 1 and 2 Timothy verse by verse and they are learning truths and principles to apply to a variety of situations.  Its very rewarding!

            I have a definite feeling that what we are doing here is sowing seeds.  It’s a new way of seeing their role as pastor for the men and a new way of seeing the Bible.  It will grow in them and they’ll pass it on to the next generation of pastors.  Moses and I will keep teaching it here and there.  But I think the sons of these pastors will really be the main benefactors.  Somehow I think a grandchild of mine will fit into that as well – only God knows. However I do feel God saying this is just the very beginning of something that will gradually grow and impact the church here in the future.

            So how is all this affecting me?  I don’t know.  I’ve NEVER been through anything that has taken be so totally apart and then put me back together in such a wonderful way.  I am beyond stretched.  I don’t even think in terms of a comfort zone.  I am doing things and living like I still don’t believe possible even through I’m living this life.  Count the days until I get home but also grieve every day less I get to be here.  I was very comfortable in India when I came, now I must say its gone way beyond that.  I love India.  I love the people deeply.  They have become a very special part of me.  I have no idea what God is teaching me or doing in me through this.  I guess I’m too close to it to see.  One month of this and a person can’t be the same.  I guess I’m as curious as you are to see what Gods doing here!

            Tonight we drove 1 hours in an auto-rickshaw to have a service in a very rural village.   Pastor Barnabas, where I am staying, is starting a church there.  As it turns out, Moses mother lives in that village and was at church.  About 35 were present.  After talking, while praying for each one and toughing their heads, one Hindu girls said she wanted to accept Jesus and would I pray for that for her.  That was a joy!

 

(WEDNESDAY, NOV. 11, 2009)  We had another very wonderful day.  They are really enjoying learning how to study the Bible and the Bible overview.  My dramatization of the life of Paul was something they really enjoyed.  We are now going through 2 Timothy verse by verse and that went very well, too.

            My long morning walks are such a joy – beautiful scenery everywhere.  Its hard to imagine all this under 6 to 10 foot of water when the tsunami came in 2006!

            After we were done some of the children I have been getting to know during my morning walks recognized me and came over from the public school alongside us.  It was recess time.  I did an impromptu testimony/story and used a magic trick which I was carrying around just in case I would need it.  They then wanted me to put my hands on their head and pray for them individually.  It took awhile to do all 75 but the privilege of praying for their salvation and life of service to God was a great privilege.  They are all Hindu and know nothing of Christianity so it was a great opportunity to make some real headway against the kingdom of darkness.

            After that we took a ride to the Indian Ocean.  It looks like nothing I have ever seen, nothing like the Jersey shore!  The water was very warm, at least in the 90s.  We went through some fishing villages nearby which were destroyed by the Tsunami.  It was very touching seeing those villages and the ocean itself.  It was quite an experience!

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            Tonight I spoke to 40 of the believers at the church we are using for the pastors conference.  Some I already knew – it was like talking to a group of friends!

 

(THURSDAY NIGHT, NOV. 12, 2009)  I didn’t think it could get any hotter but I was wrong – very wrong!  The humidity is awful.  When I was something out it takes at least 2 days to dry.  That takes some planning, especially with sweating so much.  The small lizards an crickets are finding refuge in my bedroom.  I just wish they’d eat more of the mosquitoes!  When the fans work it is somewhat bearable if you can sit and not move, but I stand to talk and often the electricity is off. The people here are sued to it but still like the fans during the day.  They wear sweaters in the early morning when it is in the mid 80s.  After all, it soon will be winter here.  Then it gets down to the 70s!

            I was awake early and went for a long walk, almost 2 hours.  I explore the roads and paths and am always seeing something new.  The children are great!  They always want to talk.  Some adults do as well.  Everyone is curious about the American for no one but Indians ever walks down these roads.  Some of the children now know we as the Jesus man because of yesterdays talk.

            This was out last full day.  After 2 full weeks of 4 sessions a day plus a church or two at night, I will miss all the teaching.  Spending 30 hours pouring out my heart to these people and having them pour out their to me in return I feel I know them quite well as individuals.  I know few names but all of their hearts.  I will really, really miss this and them!!!!  As glad as I will be to be home, I will l probably be as homesick for them as I was for home!

            This was as very powerful morning.  We went over spiritual warfare and again I led this group in a long prayer of deliverance.  Then I prayed for them.  This place is certainly ground level zero when it comes to spiritual warfare.  After that I spent 1 ½ hours teaching about the Holy Spirit.  They wanted to know what I believed about tongues so I went over that as well – the first time I have ever done that for my purpose isn’t to change their beliefs but to focus on growth.  With this being longer, them never having any training about tongues, and them wondering I went ahead.  Moses really wanted me to cover it as well.  It was well accepted.  I guess Ill know the results of that when I know the results of the rest – when I get to heaven!

            After our conference I was to do a program for Christian teens.  Instead about 100 children and teens from the local schools came so I put together a talk/show as I went along.  I told a story and used about a dozen magic tricks.  They are all Hindu except for 2 or 3 Catholics.  I was able to give a very clear, in depth presentation of the gospel.  Then Moses led them all in a prayer to accept Jesus.  I don’t know how many really meant it, but I think a lot did!   They stayed for individual prayer blessing from me as well. 

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            I actually talked to the teens twice, then went to the church of a pastor who is coming to the conference to do a service.  The fellowship was very warm and sweet.  The 12 lizards dashing around the walls of the small room were a bit distracting, but they were catching lots of insects!

 

 

(FRIDAY NIGHT, NOV. 13, 2009)  Friday the 13th and here I am on a train in India!  Its been a great day – nothing unlucky about it.  We had an excellent last day.  I cant express how much the teaching and interaction was appreciated by each one who came.  Almost every husband had a wife who also learned.  That was great for them (but doubled our cost for the conference!).  I will really miss them.  Even though we couldn’t talk we learned to communicate through our eyes and.  I found that communication is much deeper than just words anyway.  Several stayed to help me when the children would come after school and we worked very smoothly as a team, anticipating each others needs. 

            For people who have no public displays of affection or emotion, saying good bye was very different.  Some shed tears, others hugged me, some kissed my hands or knelt and toughed my feet, others gave gifts.  There were many recommitments.  They said this was a great blessing and privilege from God.  They said that the 5 days gave them 5 years of information, all concisely packaged and communicated.  I am truly blessed – my cup is overflowing all over the place!  What a privilege to be part of this!  How I look forward to heaven when I can sit down with each one and talk about what the Lord has done for each one of us!!!  Walking away from them was a very moving, sad experience. 

            Before leaving we gave 3 of the bikes you contributed towards to 3 of the local pastors who wee at the conference.  That was a blessing and joy.  Then we drove 2 hours through the most beautiful country imaginable to a town where we had an evening service and then got on the train.  I talked about the woman at the well and how Jesus went out of his way to love her despite her rejection.  Ten of the 30 people raised their hands for Jesus to come to them like He did to the woman.  Some may have been believers but I know others were making a first time commitment.  Afterwards I prayed for the people, including a young girl who had a s – Typhoid they said it was.   

           

 

(Sunday, Nov 15, 2009)  I wish I could tell you what God has been teaching me, but it hasn’t been any one thing this time.  It will take some time and perspective for individual lessons to become clear.  I appreciate your email responses and have sensed from the beginning that this whole trip is not just for me but for you as well.  Your response to HOLDING THE ROPE has been wonderful.  I know God has been using this to teach you as well.  I would like to ask you to send me a summary of what God has been doing n YOUR life or teaching YOU through my India trip this year!  Thanks!!!

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I have been taking pictures of EVERYTHING (about 4,000 I think).  I will show about 275 of the very best Wednesday evening, Nov 18, 7 to 8:30 PM at Main Street Baptist Church, 57 S Main St., Doylestown, PA.  I wont be showing any during Sunday School and only a very few Sunday morning, Nov.22.  Sunday is Thanksgiving and our focus will be on God, not me.  So if you want to see the pictures and hear about the trip please come Wednesday.  If you have a group that is interested in India and the work there and would like for me to talk to them and show the pictures let me know and we can arrange a time for me to do that. 

 

Also, I have put abut 100 pictures on the church web site, http://www.mainstreetbaptist.org.  Go to Photo Album on the left and then click on India 2009.  In India a picture is truly worth a thousand words!

 

I have always gotten a kick out of the names the Indians use for their schools.  Their schools are still patterned after what the British did centuries ago, complete with uniforms, education in English, and important-sounding names.  Here are some of the names I came across and jotted down in the last 24 hours:  Brilliant Grammar School, Genius Student School, Blossoming Buds K thru 8, Wonderful Learner School, Little Stars K thru 8, Marvelous Scholars School, New Brilliant High School and my favorite, Master Minds School (I wonder if they were aware of the play on words with that one).  It is humorous to read these names for they are anything but humble.  I guess its all in the advertising here as well!

 

Americans are greatly admired and respected here in India.  I see that everywhere I go.  Someone asked me if Indians were seen that same way in America.  The answer struck me hard.  No, we don’t look up to Indians.  In fact, I told them, Americans don’t look up to anyone.  We feel we are on the top of the pile and everyone should look up to us.  Except for admiring a British, Australian or sometimes southern accent, we aren’t impressed with anyone.  Hmmmm  Didn’t someone once say that the first shall be last and the last shall be first?

 

Thanks for praying.  My health and energy level has been fantastic for an old man in a strange culture.  I eat everything they eat just the way they eat it (but with a spoon!).  This is Gods grace in response to your prayers.  It isn’t time to stop yet!

 

 

 

LESSONS FROM GOD

 

(Monday, Nov 16, 2009)  What have I  learned.  I have learned that God is so much greater than I ever even imagined.  I have learned that His plans are greater and more l perfect than I ever thought possible.  I learned that His plan for me and love for me is far, far greater, deeper and more perfect than I ever expected.  His blessing of me and joy inside me is far greater than I thought possible.  How wonderful heaven must be!  When Jesus is all you have you find that Jesus is all you need.

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I go to the airport at 6:30 PM tonight your time.  I arrive in Philadelphia 10:35 PM tomorrow night.  Don’t let go of the rope now!!!!!!!  Getting over the edge and back on solid ground can be tricky so don’t let go!  Pray I find a dependable ride to the airport at 5 AM.  Pray for all to go smoothly with check-ins, security checks, customs, flights, meeting Nancy, drive home, etc. 

 

I have been taking pictures of EVERYTHING (about 4,000 I think).  I will show about 275 of the very best Wednesday evening, Nov 18, 7 to 8:30 PM at Main Street Baptist Church, 57 S Main St., Doylestown, PA.  I wont be showing any during Sunday School and only a very few Sunday morning, Nov.22.  Sunday is Thanksgiving and our focus will be on God, not me.  So if you want to see the pictures and hear about the trip please come Wednesday.  If you have a group that is interested in India and the work there and would like for me to talk to them and show the pictures let me know and we can arrange a time for me to do that. 

 

Also, I have put abut 100 pictures on the church web site, http://www.mainstreetbaptist.org.  Go to Photo Album on the left and then click on India 2009.  In India a picture is truly worth a thousand words!

 

 

 

 HOME TO THE USA!

 

(Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009)  I made it safely home last night – 30 hours from door (Hyderabad) to door (Doylestown).  Everything went smoothly.  The first Americans I talked to in 3 weeks were Baptist pastors my age (one went to the same summary I did) who were in India checking on work they sponsor.  I traveled to London with them.  Also the seat alongside me was open both flights – a clear reminder by God that He was traveling with me!

 

Here is the summary: I was gone 31 days (6 were spent traveling).  I traveled 3000 miles (NY to LA) by foot, bicycle, motorcycle, 3-wheel auto rickshaw, taxi, bus, train and plane.  I spoke 95 times which averaged a little over 4 times a day for non-travel days.  I did 250+ magic tricks and slept 9 different places.  I lost 6 pounds.  120 pastors and 50 wives in total attended the 4 conferences.  I spoke to 40 audiences in addition to the pastors conferences.   The trip was the most difficult thing I have ever done, especially the oppression the first 10 days.  But I have never been so totally blessed in my life.  Gods greatness and awesome plan in all things has never been more evident.  I am totally humbled by His power and provision!  (I will try to sort out my thoughts about this past month in the next few days and send that out later.) 

 

Please remember to send me what God has been teaching you from this.  It will be good for you to put it down in words and will help me also to see what He has been doing in you.  Thanks!

 

Thanks SO much for your prayers.  This wouldn’t have been possible without them.  God will richly bless you as well for your faithfulness.  Don’t stop praying now, though.  Continue to pray for me as I transition back into things here and get caught up.  Pray about Gods future use of me there.  The pastor I stayed with, Pastor Moses, will continue to travel holding pastors conferences using my notes. He did all the translating so he thoroughly knows the material.  Pray God would bless him as he does this.  Pray God would provide for his financial needs to do this as well.  I would like to help him financially if possible.  Although costing more than expected because of an increase in prices in India and the wives who attended, all costs have been covered.  But please pray we can help him continue the work there. 

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PLEASE pray for the pastors and believers there.  They so greatly desire our prayers and are faithful in praying for us.  Here are the names I have of the pastors and their wives that were at the pastors conferences the last 2 weeks.  There may have been others as well.  Let me know if you find any spelling errors…..

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

 

(Wednesday, November 25, 2009)  One of the things I’m most thankful for this Thanksgiving is for each one of you who have been reading, praying and sharing financially with me as I went to India.  God will richly bless you for this.  You will be rewarded now and in eternity for without your support, prayers and gifts none of it would have happened.  So thank you very, very much.

 

My sermon last Sunday, “The High Cost of Free Blessing,” was about what God has been teaching me through the whole India experience.  You can listen to it on the church web site, http://www.mainstreetbaptist.org/   Click where it says ‘Sermons Available for Download’ at the top of the page.  Or you can go directly to http://www.mainstreetbaptist.org/current/

 

My sermon series for Christmas will be about God coming to earth to show us love, power, hope and humility.  These are all things God showed me in India and I will share about that as well.  Those sermons will be posted each week after they are preached.

 

Thanks again for EVERYTHING!  Please keep praying for me and the pastors and Christians in India.  Pray God continues to provide the finances for us to support the orphans we take care of there and that we can provide money for follow-up to these pastors conferences as well as others there.  Moses can do them using my notes but financial assistance is needed.  Thanks again.

 

HAVE A HAPPY THANKSGIVING– we truly do have everything to be thankful for!

 

Jerry

 

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SUMMARY OF 2009

 

TOTAL STATS

Gone 31 days (total 3 months in India now); Travel 6 days; 25 days ministering

Spoke 95 times (average almost 4 a day not counting travel days)

42 different audiences

Did 250 magic tricks

Slept 9 different places

Traveled 3000 mi (NY to LA)

Lost 6 lbs

About 120 pastors and 50 wives trained in conferences/sessions

 

WHAT I LEARNED (so far)

What have I  learned.  I have learned that God is so much greater than I ever even imagined.  I have learned that His plans are greater and more l perfect than I ever thought possible.  I learned that His plan for me and love for me is far, far greater, deeper and more perfect than I ever expected.  His blessing of me and joy inside me is far greater than I thought possible.  How wonderful heaven must be!  When Jesus is all you have you find that Jesus is all you need.

 

BENEFITS FOR PASTORS

            Need American to cross-pollinate, bring in new ideas, show them others care

Content – Bible overview and main doctrines

            Spiritual warfare – face it but didn’t understand it all

            How to study Bible

            How to pastor, family, etc

Encouragement to continue (heart to heart)

Teach principles, not answers (India edu all about memorizing answers, even Bi Col)

New perspective of pasturing, family, church (what God expects)

Spiritual warfare teaching and deliverance prayer

Chris Mauger encouraged

Several saved, others rededicated

Example to people on email list, my family

Moses trained, will use my notes to carry on other pators conferences

 

ANALOGIES

 

Deeper level each trip, go back to level left last time and dig deeper

 

Adjusting to Indian culture like jumping into cold water – more used to it each time, hardly notice when do it a lot, but first time may never adjust, other times know in water but focus on what doing

 

Oppression at start – understand better what Jesus went through in gethsemane, sweat blood, me not near that but better appreciate how bad oppression can get

 

Communicate at deeper level than talking – eye to eye and heart to heart, without words must get closer, just KNOW other inside by looking eye to eye

            Miles, age, sex, skin color, language gone

            One blood-bought child of God connecting with brother/sister in the faith

 

Seeds planted, will grow through generations

 

HIGHLIGHTS FOR ME

Kneeling for Barnabas to pray for me

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Laying on hands to pray for them after service

Raise hands for salvation

Hug, kiss hands, touch feet, tears, gifts when leaving

Pastors encouraged, recommitted

SW prayer – great power!

Teach Jesus life, powerful worship after

Paul – one life, make it count

Bakht Singh holy convocation grounds

Stand in Indian Ocean

 

BLESSINGS FOR ME

God chose ME

God trained ME

God used ME

It IS good for an American to do it (cross pollination, different knowledge/perspective, others care)

Feel great satisfaction in outcome

Power times – salvation challenge, SW prayer, life of Jesus (Paul), hands on to pray

Great love for the people

Wonderful fellowship with strong men of God with pastors heart

            One killed in Hyderabad week before I came, so all serious (always are)

Totally dependent on God for everything

            Only God to really talk to, especially at night

Scripture deeper, more real and sweet, sleep with Bible

Health stayed fine all the time

Beautiful scenery, always interesting things to see

$ worked out perfectly

Many people to sit down and talk to in heaven

Email those on list, encouraged by their responses and how affected them                         

Laying hands on people to pray

Given words to speak when needed, during message, etc

See promises in Bible come true for me

            Deut 20:4 not fear, given in India January 2006

            Joshua 1:1-9 don’t fear, given where stand, God with me, given by Glory

            1 Kings 7:14 when pots empty God fills – will give me energy to minister

            Eph 6:19 words given when open mouth – God definitely did that! (team teaching)

                        He whisper words to me, I say them out loud, translator translates

 

GODS PREPARATION FOR ME OVER THE YEARS

Teaching gift, organize, communicate, CE and AV

Desire for missions, only thing better than pasturing

Desire to mentor pastors life-long

Introvert good at soft eye contact, heart to heart sharing

Husband-wife counseling, knowledge I had to apply

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Magic, phenomenally successful in spreading gospel

Learning Hindi, know India, Indians, Bakht Singh, etc

Physically in shape to ride motorcycle, etc

Spiritual warfare training for 20 years

Pasturing small church, understand, perseverance

Friends on email list to pray, give $

Comfortable with children, they very comfortable with me

            Opens many doors for sharing

Moses to work with in India, perfect complement to me (promoter) think exactly alike, total trust

 

WHY ME????

God loves me and wants to bless me!!! (felt that like never before)

Encouragement to help through hard times at MSBC, etc

Stretch me where I need it

Knows I will be faithful to call others to 100% commitment, discipleship

He has been preparing me for this since before born!

 

 

 

C t O Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org
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