Loaded up and traveled to Brother Paul’s house to prepare to head out to the Indian Countryside. A longer day than we had ever imagined awaited us.
Lost count at about 5 churches because of the terrain we drove between each. I never had any sense of bearing regarding where we were.
Small villages with small church gathering places and joyful, encouraging, generous Christians. Once again, we were overwhelmed. Most were primitive folks with primitive homes and gracious humility. Their humility left me almost speechless. We received shawls at most but in one village in particular they had created flower necklaces with Jasmine and other amazing flowers. They were simply beautiful and clearly showed their deep generosity and humility as they had purchased them for us and had waited patiently for us to arrive since we were running very late.
One group prayed and sang from noon until 5:00 PM awaiting our arrival. We placed the ceremonials bricks for a new church building there and prayed for God’s blessing on the new facility; i.e. thatched roof supported by bamboo logs, that would be built. They all but begged us to stay and pray a blessing.
We witnessed numerous baptisms and were begged at each location to pray for the people there. The ladies especially lined up and asked us to pray for healing for themselves and their children. It was humbling and also frustrating as there was simply no time to get to them all. Other congregations were waiting for us and we were running very far behind. I don’t think I could deal with all of the need and so little capacity to address it.
The minister team that joined us were as humble and amazing as each village we visited. I especially developed a bond with Denny who endured a 7 hour train ride in order to translate for us. He was such a wonderful young man who served us and the villagers selflessly throughout the day.
As we headed for the last stop well after dark (really dark), the rain began to fall. And then it began to come down in buckets. Here we were traveling through remote parts of India following a truck full of preachers headed to a meeting place that had no protection. We were tired. Overwhelmed. After finding out that the village to which we were going had no structure, Paul decided to call it a day. We headed back to the hotel in a pouring rain totally spent.
One village had waited so long that they finally decided to give up; however, after we finally arrived, the pastor ran through the village gathering believers. He filled the house where they were meeting and we encouraged them with words and song. They also were amazingly gracious. The pastor then rode with the ministers to the main road, ran across traffic to the local convenience store and bought us all cold water with a huge smile on his face. Once again, I was simply awestruck with the humility and graciousness. He had waited all day on us and then went out of his way to give us a bottle of cold water which he purchased.
I am humbled by these gracious people. They are amazing to me. I have been blessed by my faithful son with his solid words of encouragement at each stop and Laura was a total trooper speaking gracious words of encouragement to the ladies at each stop. Their eyes lit up each time Laura told them that she was speaking simply to them and then encouraged them in their unique role in the kingdom. It was beautiful every single time.