For the last 2 days, we have been traveling. God has poured His Spirit on these 2 days. All of the Hindu schools that we visited last year, begged us to come again and all of the new schools we visited, told us that they will be waiting for us next year. The local pastor that we are working with is thrilled!
The pastor is a very wise man. At each school, he always presents a gift to the school, usually a clock. One principal commented that he was amazed that they received a wonderful show and a gift. He will always think of the Christians with kindness.
At another school, we took sandals for a group of orphan boys. The school required the wearing of shoes, but they had no money to buy them. Each pair costs about 45 rupees or $1, but there was no-one to buy them. The Hindu principal stood in front of the entire village school and proclaimed that no-one else had offered to help meet this need, but their Christian visitors (Pastor Livingston and his friends) had been the ones to help. God used this very small kindness to soften his heart.
Every single principal was a Hindu, and every single one of them stood at the end of the show and profusely thanked us, throwing open the door for us to return. One principal promised to invite more people next year, including the local villagers.
We presented Jesus Christ, His story without compromise, and God did more than we could have asked or imagined! Do not miss the wonder of what we have seen God do! As a rule, Hindus object to anything that is Christian, but we received a great welcome.
In the North, radical Hindus in one area passed anti-conversion laws requiring you to notify the government one month before you prayed to receive Christ or go to prison. Since no-one can notify the government that they would be praying to receive Christ in the not-too-distant future, their prison sentence becomes automatic. Stories of Christians being attacked are not uncommon. Last year Joshua, my son, and I prayed with a mother whose son had just been burned alive in a nearby village church. We should not have received this very warm welcome. Praise God!
A Love Story
At one Hindu school, all of the teenage girls paid special attention to the entire program. During the story, I felt their eyes tell me of their hunger and pain. This culture places no value on girls; they have no worth.
I asked them to stay after the program. I knew that they wanted to talk to me. I said, "Girls, I want to tell you a love story." They started to giggle and smile. I wanted so much to give them a vision for marriage to a Christian man. I wanted them to understand how precious they are to the Father.
I told them about Mike and I and the life we shared. They listened so intently. All of them laughed when I told them how even when I was old, Mike made me feel beautiful. Many of the teenage guys had stayed to listen and really smiled when I said how handsome I thought Mike was when he was old.
I told about his death, his new life in heaven, and my certainty that I will see him again. When we finished, all of those girls crowded around me and thanked me. Many of the boys did the same.
We must give this generation a vision for love that lasts a lifetime, love rooted in a deep love for Jesus Christ! Please pray for these girls to discover their worth through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Windows, Doors, and Walls
When we did shows inside, every window was full of people. They crowded into the doorways and several children even crawled under the table that was holding our speaker. They used every inch of space; they were so desperate to see and hear.
Outside, the walls were lined with people and all of the neighbors’ homes were crowded with people. Most who listened were hearing the Gospel for the first time, or the second time if we had visited that school last year.
Imagine standing in front of thousands and thousands of children, teenagers, and adults each day and telling them about the one true God. When your culture offers you more than a million gods, the announcement of the "one true God" is big news. Their smiles and laughter fill our ears as we fall asleep. Our joy is your joy because you a praying!
I want to tell you all how faithful and wonderful Sam Shaw, Anna McIlwaine, Hanson Manova, and Jeremy Snow are. They have put their eyes on Jesus and put the need of the children to hear Jesus above their own comfort. In the last 2 days, we have done 8 puppet shows, requiring set up and the take down of all equipment in near 100۫ heat. Most of the shows were done outside, sometimes putting us in full sun so the children could have the little shade that was available. There is no air conditioning anywhere, so inside is not that much better, especially when you pack 360 children into a space that could comfortably seat one third of that number. Then add all of the teachers and visitors.
We rented a van for this part of the trip. While the driver went for coffee, Anna and I spent 15 minutes killing the bugs in the van. We killed 27 skinny, good sized brown roaches, but many eluded our best efforts. It was okay as were distracted by the fact that the driver had apparently parked on top of a sewer drain.
We were all so hot and dirty and happy! My hands are always black after I draw, but in most places, there was no sink to wash them. Children would go to a well and bring water. There was never soap or a towel. I was twice overwhelmed as ladies offered the saris they were wearing to dry my hands.
After hours of dust and wind blowing in their faces, the team would always climb down, smile and do the show. Everywhere there is smoke from cooking fires. Our horn sounds constantly, but it has the company of everyone else’s horn. The noise will give you a headache that nothing stops.
Most of us have had some kind of problem with our stomachs and the great adventure is finding a bathroom. Bring your own toilet paper, even at the hotel where we stayed.
The hotel shower works, but only if you are 9 feet tall as it hits the ceiling. So, use a bucket.
Not one single time has anyone of these dear friends done anything but smile and laugh over all of these difficulties. Praise God for their company across these 2 wonderful days of traveling and seeing the Father bless us! Praise God for their sacrifice in coming to India, but I must tell you the truth. All of us believe that no-one is having more fun than us!
I am thrilled to announce that tonight Josh and Teresa called from America to tell me to expect the arrival of a sweet little grandchild in the fall. Please begin to pray for Mom and baby to be strong and healthy. Ask the Lord to call this little one to Himself very young!
For Anna, Sam, Hanson, and Jeremy