Ravi was our driver on our trip to and from Tirupattur. In truth, he drove us to every show. Ravi is a Hindu who has a glow-in-the-dark, flashing-light elephant god sitting on the dash of the car. It was so funny to me that we were a Christian puppet team with a glow-in-the-dark elephant god.
During our time in Tirupattur, Ravi heard 12 different evangelistic presentations and I had several conversations with him. Other times, he listened to me share with individuals or small groups and I watched his eyes fill with tears as he heard my husband Mike’s story. He was a very kind young man who was quick to help us. As a driver, he is not required to help with loading and unloading equipment, but he was always quick to help. I also noticed that he began to watch out for me as the children would often rush towards us at the end of a program, so anxious to touch us, so eager to thank us.
During my last conversation with Ravi, I told him that the one true God who made heaven and earth chose him to be our driver so that he could hear about His Son Jesus Christ. Many times, we could see how God divinely put him with us so that he could find hope. Please pray for this young man. It is our heart’s desire that before we leave Hosur he would contact us to tell us that he has come to faith.
Livingston is an amazing man of God who we have worked with for several years here in India. He loves Jesus with all his heart and has opened the door for us to share with tens of thousands of children. Many times he has translated the Bible story and whenever possible he has welcomed us into his home for a meal. His wife is an excellent cook.
Livingston is a man of great courage. Constantly he faces situations that most pastors in the West do not have to deal with even once in their entire ministry. These kinds of situations are daily occurrences for Livingston. He was well named for pioneer explorer David Livingston because truly he explores new areas for the Gospel. Let me tell you a story.
Livingston went to see a little girl in a village. When he arrived and saw the child, he could see that she was much closer to death than to life. She stared vacantly into space and there appeared to be no life in her eyes. She was totally unresponsive. Everyone was asking him to pray for the child’s healing. At first he was afraid and he thought , “If I pray for this little girl and she dies, they will blame me and they will blame God”. Silently he called on the Father and God gave him peace so that he could pray. In front of a roomful of Hindus he called on the one true God, and asked for healing. Almost immediately the little girl sat up, spoke to her mother and was obviously healed! The family was so amazed at the power of the one true God that they all became Christians. For three years they have faithfully served in his church.
When he was telling us this story, we all felt that we were hearing a story from the Gospel. Truly Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever!
Please pray for Livingston as he lives and serves in a very difficult place where it is possible to live your entire life and never meet a Christian.
When we first arrived in Tirupattur, our dear friend Livingston gave me a letter. His words of encouragement brought tears of joy and brokenness to my eyes. With praise for God, he wrote about all the years of ministry together. Being reminded of God’s blessings is a gift! Such words give you strength!
He concluded his letter by saying, “always my prayers will be for you and your holy work”. It is a holy work to tell children about Jesus Christ, but in truth, as you partner with us in prayer, it is our holy work. I thank you for praying. Please continue to pray for the children of India. Millions of children are living and dying without ever hearing about God’s sweet plan for their lives. Who will tell them?
THE LAST THREE PUPPET SHOWS
Our last three shows in Tirupattur were as amazing as all the rest. On our last day, we shared at a Catholic school with over 1,000 children, teachers and nuns. The second show was in a Hindu public school at a village. Our last program required much prayer as it was an extremely large public school with over 1,200 students whose principal was very resistant to the Gospel.
In each place, we saw the children smile and laugh. All of them heard the wonderful story of Jesus and how He took our place on the cross. In only one place were we allowed to actually pray with the children. They responded with enthusiastic prayers. At the other two, we were blessed to explain the Gospel fully and explain how the children could pray.
The last Hindu public school was especially fun. The teachers seemed surprised at how well their thousand teenagers listened. Honestly, I was also surprised. The principal told us that we could say “god” as much as we wanted, but we had to not use the name of Jesus. Finally, he agreed on three times. It is interesting that a Hindu principal understands the power of the cross.
This restriction was not a problem. We called Him the Great Teacher and established very clearly that He is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. God always makes a way.
We arrived home for only two hours before boarding a night bus for Kerala, another State further South. Our hearts are full and our bodies are tired. We have joy!
FUNNY THINGS… DIFFERENT THINGS
1. Three live sheep riding on a motorbike passed us on the road. Yes, they had a driver.
2. A Catholic nun looked at Mike’s ring that I always wear on a gold chain around my neck. She asked me if I was married to Jesus.
3. Another lady saw the castle that I always wear with Mike’s ring. I wear it in remembrance of how he made me feel like a princess, even when I was old. She thought it looked like the Taj Mahal, a symbol of love here.
PRAYER AND PRAISE
We praise God for our time in Kerala and are planning a new work there next year. I will report to you on our time in Kerala in a later email, but we are leaving again at 6am in the morning. We are leaving for Namakkal, a four-hour drive for us. Please pray for our time there.
We spent today recovering from the last four days, doing a puppet show, and training ACA students in children’s ministry. We are very happy!
Please hold us in your prayers!
Sam and Silvana