Day 3 - Perspective and finishing with the Women

Trip Start Jul 12, 2010
Trip End Jul 22, 2010

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Flag of India  , Maharashtra,
Saturday, July 17, 2010

One of the most amazing things about coming to India is seeing the stark contrast between the lives they lead, and the lives we lead in the USA.  In one way, the differences are so great that it is hard to believe we share anything in common.  Their streets are covered with litter, they drive in any direction they please, Hindu, Muslim, Jainism, Christianity existing together to form a very strange environment, and the poverty is so overwhelming that it convicts you of the way you spend your money.  But at the same time, there are so many areas where our problems are basically the same.  Most of the people over here are trying their best to raise their families, educate their children, worship God, and make the best life that they can for themselves and their families.  Many of the issues their churches are having are common to us: lack of tithing, grumbling congregations, ministry personnel who see working for the church as a job, not a place to serve, etc.  But deep down, there is a huge difference in basic lifestyle.  Let me illustrate with a quick example.

One of our partners over here is a young lawyer, and Pastor Chacko's son, James.  This man is well educated, articulate, recently became a father to a young daughter, and by all appearances lives a life fairly similar to anyone in the USA.  However, the other day while telling us a story about how sound a sleeper he was, he mentioned that one time the rats chewed off all his finger nails and toe nails during the night - and he did not wake up!  Now catch this: he was using this story to demonstrate how sound a sleeper he was, the part about the rats was just detail.  Rats eating your fingernails?  And most of us freak out when we see a cockroach.   If the well educated city dwellers put up with things like this, what do you think it is like for the poorer folks in the villages? 

Finishing Time with the Women
Today was our last day with the ladies (Jennifer and Carol), and we hated to see it come to an end!  I cannot express how blessed we have been to get to know these faithful women.  Mary Bironas was so right when she told us how much we would receive from them.  We pray that we would be half the encouragement to them as they have been to us

This morning we wanted each woman to share her story (testimony) with us.  We discussed the fact that having your story ready to tell when the opportunity arises can be used both as an encouragement to other believers, and can be used as a chance to share the gospel with non-believers.  Carol and I were blown away by the fact that they had no trouble standing up and sharing their story (we know how difficult this is to do after doing it on day 1!!).  We heard story after story of God's blessings during difficult times, God's miracles in turning a Hindu or Buddhist husband or wife to Christ, God's provision in times of need, and God's healing power during times of sickness.  It was an emotional time, and all were inspiring stories that we are looking forward to telling when we return!   We had also asked each of them to bring their favorite scripture to share today, but we ran out of time for this part:(.  However we pray that they will use these favorite scriptures to lift each other up as they continue their journey of ministry.  As the Indians would say, "Praise God, Hallelujah!"  
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mary Bironas on

So wonderful to see all my friends again. What a blessing that Danny could be with you all. What a committed young man, traveling all night to be there Saturday. I can see the joy radiate from all of you. I look forward to January and being able to be with everyone again... I can see that all have been blessed! God is indeed good

Pam and Bill Fletcher on

Would you believe with all Dad's computer smarts we just found you here? We are delighted to read all the good news. I (Mom) thought it was interesting that God got you two the seats together we prayed for before you left. He did not agree to the request that it would all go smoothly! Ouch! It sounds like God is really blessing your trip and we have prayed for you almost without stop. We are grateful we had time with you before your send off. Stay safe. You are so loved.

Rebecca McFarland on

So glad to here that things are going well. Will continue to pray. Can't wait to hear about more.

Christine on

I love the picture of Pastor Raju, his wife Anita and their baby girl. What a beautiful family! The picture of the guys horsing around is priceless. Love the shirt! I cannot wait to hear some of the women's testimonies. I bet they are beautiful!

Keeping you all in prayer........

Harvey on

What a joy to see all their smiling faces. Mary and I were sharing this morning at church how much we miss not being able to be there. I have already planted the seed with my new boss. I told her to think of two words - India & January!

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