"Give thanks to the God of gods, to the Lord of lords, for His steadfast love endures forever; to Him who alone does great wonders." Psalm 136:2-4.
WE ARE IN A TIME OF WONDERS!!
Each day we tell the children of the one true God and Hindu children and adults listen. More, they ask us to come again. Only God can do these things. Only the true Creator can do such wonders!
Asian Christian Academy has a very cross-cultural campus. The Burmese students are always looking for snakes. They love to eat them. The wild dogs have been such a problem that they have encouraged the students to kill them. There is a 100 rupee bounty on their heads.
The variety of English spoken here is also a source of entertainment. Between us, we have British, Irish, and American English. The campus has students from many different countries and all parts of India. For most, English is their second or third language. Oftentimes, the Irish English must be translated to American English and vice-versa.
I thought a motorcycle was designed to carry 1 or 2 people, but we’ve learned that it is actually a small family car. We have seen as many as 5 people riding on a small motorscooter, and an unbelievable number of large bags, sticks, buckets, and just about anything being carried on a single motorcycle.
Here, everyone calls us auntie and uncle. The children are very polite and so happy to see us.
The following is a description of the worship service that we attended this morning in a small village church. I wrote these words as we were sitting there in the service.
"Everyone arrives on foot; some come many kilometers to worship. They walk along dusty roads, past fires burning, and lots of garbage to be here in church worshiping the one true God. There is an occasional dead animal to step over and lots of bugs. No one complains.
More than personal comfort, they are interested in coming to worship God. Mats are rolled out on a tile floor, and men and women sit on opposite sides of the hall, Indian-style. This is a very simple building and I cannot help but think of our fancy churches at home. There are so many things we "require," but these people are willing to even face persecution in order to come to church."
"The music is lively. Everyone claps as they sing, but not together. There is no accompaniment except for 3 big silver drums. We sing ‘Worship the Lord, worship Him in spirit and truth.’ The pastor shares something we cannot understand and then everyone sings with more enthusiasm.
Then someone adds in a tambourine and an instrument made out of a gourd. It resembles a Mexican maraca and has beads wrapped around it that add an extra sound. We finish the second song and everyone shouts, "Hallelujah!!"
Again, the pastor speaks. This time we see that he is reading the Word of God to them. Now, the singing is the best as the Word fills people with joy."
"We open with prayer. The ladies cover their heads with their long scarves or a piece of their sari. Two seminary students help Pastor with the service.
All the students have ministry assignments so that they finish with years of practical experience. This is on top of their responsibilities in the fields, growing and harvesting the food for the campus and caring for the livestock. These young people are very busy! Evenings always find them gathering together for worship and prayer.
The prayer time is very precious. Everyone talks to God begging for His help. Many women are weeping. All (men, women, boys, and girls) are on their knees before the one true God."
"At the end of the service, a father stands with his small son and shares. He begs for prayer for his son, that he will grow in the grace and knowledge of the Father.
Then, an older woman, graying hair, dressed in a navy blue sari trimmed in gold coloured thread stands to speak. She speaks a long time and shares many needs. They all pour out their hearts.
A very tired, young man, looking much older than his years, speaks. He is followed by other ladies, all wearing their best saris. All are bright coloured, but many cost only a few hundred rupees (about $10). Still, to them, it is very expensive."
This afternoon, we had a wonderful opportunity to go to a village and do a show. There is a small church that meets in a believer’s home, but this was the first time they had done a village-wide outreach. More than 150 people heard how they could put their trust in Jesus Christ, most of them Hindus. Everything had gone very well until the crowd got a little excited. The end result was that I was knocked to the ground, and would appreciate your prayers as my right leg and elbow are very painful. Please pray that this will not be a problem as we have four more days of precious opportunities to tell Hindu children who Jesus Christ is and how they can know him.
For Sam, Anna, Jeremy, Steven and Hanson