Rev. Lesley Wade, pastor of Central Hunterdon Baptist Church in Flemmington, NJ, is along with us and a great help and encouragement. He contributes in many ways. He sends a blog to his supporters. I thought you’d benefit from a recent one he sent. What is written below is written by him.
Today was a most humbling experience. It’s Sunday and after going to church at Pastor Moses’ church, we headed out to meet and greet some of God’s children living in abject poverty. We visited three churches in the “Dalit” communities. Dalit means “broken, ground-down, downtrodden or oppressed.”
In my years as a federal prosecutor, before becoming a pastor, I saw some acutely egregious situations, but I have never seen anything so chronically horrific. The people live in oppressive circumstances. There seems to be no opportunity for them. They told me the government comes in from time to time and levels their homes. They are forced out for a time and then return to rebuild with what little they have left.
Still in these communities, there are faithful pastors who, together with their wives and children, minister to their communities. One pastor, his wife, daughter and son live in a 5 foot by 8 foot tent. Their bed is a piece of plastic laid on the ground. Still they love the Lord Jesus Christ. Their churches faithfully worship and follow Jesus Christ.
We were greeted with smiling faces and the words “praise the Lord!” Worship was just as it can be in the USA: singing and clapping , passionate prayers; and biblical teaching. What a wonderful time of authentic worship.
At each of the churches, I had the great privilege to speak. As I spoke to one church, they had no structure to cover our heads. So we sat in the sun. They honored us by giving us chairs in which to sit. Ants crawl out from under the tarp on which they sat. An 8 inch rat (not including the tail!) scampered through the nearby trash. I wish my terrier, Charlie, was here. He would have made short work of that nasty rat! None of this mattered…we were worshipping our Lord as brothers and sisters…dressed different, speaking different languages, from very different backgrounds…but still family. This day certainly put into perspective some of the “first world problems,” we face in our churches!
Yes, as I look at the photos below, my heart weeps. Nevertheless, I will look back on this day with joy as I met some of the folks with which I will share eternal paradise. We laughed together about the fact that one glorious day we would say (without the need for an interpreter), “I remember you. I met you when I visited India. It’s great to worship with you again!”
Enjoy the photos. You will see those in which the people are waving. They are sending you greetings and love from their churches to ours. Rev. Lesley Wade (January 29 2016 Hyderabad, India)
1 Corinthians 12:26-27 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
Pray for fellow believers throughout the world who don’t have what you have. We are all members of the same body, brothers and sisters in Jesus, and will spend eternity together in heaven. Pray for them now and thank God for them. They are not perfect. They struggle and sin as we do, pray for them to live faithfully for Jesus.