A HAPPY LADY
Hanson, our translator, told us a story about a lady who came to a church where he worked. Every time they saw her, whether on the street or at church, she said she was happy. One day, they went to visit her home. She was terribly poor and her husband was a drunkard who hurt her. He was shocked! Was the lady lying? No, she had simply come to understand that her happiness was not dependent on her surroundings, but on her relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let me describe to you many of the houses in the villages. Most are very small with only one room and usually have a dirt floor. The roofs are thatch and full of bugs. All cooking is done over a fire outside and the bathroom is where you find a spot. The children are always hungry. Silvana looked into one house and was shocked to see that they basically had nothing inside. People suffer with diseases that the doctor would cure for you. Everyday is hard and there is no hope that life will ever improve.
Hinduism offers these dear people who suffer so much no hope in this life and little hope for the life that comes after death. This is a religion of self effort with a very fuzzy set of rules. You keep dying and coming back and maybe, though it is doubtful, you will eventually achieve perfection, nirvana, and break the endless circle of life’s pain.
The words of Jesus proclaim hope and peace that is not dependent on one’s surroundings. His instructions are clear and more He makes promises that enable us to live this life with joy. Against the confusion and hopelessness of Hinduism, His message stands as the brightest light in the darkest place.
Truly, in many ways, this country that I have come to love so dearly is one of the darkest places. Everywhere you go, there are hideous false gods; half man/half elephant, half monkey/half man and multi-armed men and women holding weapons in each hand. Snakes are worshipped here. The sexual organs of their male and female gods are worshipped. In an effort to embarrass the Christians here, Hindus began years ago building a temple across from the school to honor the male sexual organs of their head god. Everyone who sees it knows exactly what it is. Only the faithful payers of the believers have stopped its building progress. You must pray against this evil.
You truly feel the battle in this place. We all feel the weight of the darkness, especially in the villages, where we are often surrounded by temples and non-believers. Each day requires great prayer as we ask the Father to hold open the door and enable us to share Jesus’ love with these precious children.
Our schedule has been filled for Monday and Tuesday, but now Wednesday requires your attention. Please thank God for the doors He has already opened and ask Him to answer our prayers for Wednesday.
Please pray for everyone to have the strength they need to finish. You cannot stand in the dark and speak about Jesus without paying a price. Please pay for our dreams that they will not keep us from a restful sleep. It is hot here and there are lots of mosquitoes. Usually, they eat the young people, but this time, they are enjoying all of us. One night when I could not sleep, I counted 42. Counting mosquito bites will put you to sleep just like counting sheep. Hee Hee.
One day, in another city where we worked, we stopped to ask a school principal permission to share a program. They asked us to give 2 children a ride to the next school. When Punitha, a beautiful, dark eyed 12-year-old little girl sat down beside me, I was just about to take a nap. On her forehead, she wore a mark signifying she had received a blessing at the Hindu temple.
I confess that for the first few minutes I saw so hot and exhausted that I almost missed a precious opportunity. The Father was kind to me and got my attention. Hanson and I talked with her, explaining to her how she was a treasure. We told her all about Jesus and she promised that she would remember. She listened so intently that I believe she will put her trust in Jesus. I challenged her to grow up and tell other children about Jesus. I told her that she could be me in India. Please pray for Punitha to trust Jesus. We did have the opportunity to do a program at her school and she was thrilled! I was thrilled!
1) One little girl took flowers out of her own hair and gave them to Silvana to thank her.
2) The faces of all the children staring so intently at us are memories that will always stay with us.
3) At so many schools, the children turn to see Jesus, when I tell them that Zacheus could see Him coming down the road. They are swept up in the story and by God’s grace, really listen to the Gospel.
4) A little boy was celebrating his birthday and shared his birthday chocolates with us.
5) We visited a Christian evangelical monastery founded 80-90 years ago.
6) We drove an hour and a half up a mountain to meet with 400 orphan children on top of a giant, flat roof.
7) Our friends gifted us with the opportunity to enjoy a boat ride on a mountain lake.
8) We were blessed to be allowed to share Jesus at a large Catholic high school, where the principal was a Hindu. The Catholic schools never allow us to pray with the children, but Sam explained the Gospel very clearly to them.
9) In one city where we worked, over 8,000 children heard the Gospel in 3 days. Praise God!
OUR FAVORITE SOUND
You cannot come to India without noticing the things that are so different than the way they are at home. When we are in cities, it is never quiet. The horns sound all night long. Driving in India is something you cannot really describe. On a 2-lane road, you would find 2 buses, 2 cars, with assorted pedestrians and motor bikes and a large truck honking its horn determined that it will pass. Sometimes in the midst of all of this traffic, there are cows and herds of sheep or goats running loose. If a car’s horn is broken, the car cannot be driven. None of us want to hear the sound of a horn again!
However, there is a sound that we love to hear. At some of the programs, we are allowed to pray with the children, and always we are amazed at the response. Today we did a program for the Christian school here at ACA and heard so many children calling on Jesus to save them. When we finished, one of the teachers came up to us and really encouraged us. He said he was amazed at how well the children listened to us. Please pray that the children will listen this well at every show. Only God can hold their attention.
Love in Jesus,
Linda, for the team
Sam Shaw, Assistant director
Silvana Shaw, Will & Allison Jackson