The second evening of our 3-part Crusade began with a hair-raising drive to get there. For some reason the driver belted down the road until I had to (uncharacteristically) speak up and declare I had not come to India to die on the roads. The car was full, including two children, no seat belts, some of the worst roads I’ve ever seen…. When we arrived the driver was quite contrite and promised not to exceed 50 mph on the way home. Jim and I talked about Paul’s missionary journeys and the hardships he endured…. driving in India might have made it onto his list of noteworthy miracles to thank God for enabling him to survive.
As in the first evening the opening two hours were taken up with singing and it looked as if there would not be time to speak. Individuals from a local church led the praise and people responded well but it is very different to our ears. I must confess it’s frustrating when one cannot understand the language or relate to the worship music. Similar to Africa everything takes a long time and while much is appealing it can be testing on patience. The drummer was very cool… sitting cross-legged pounding out complicated rhythms (you can see him in the photo above on the left). There were significantly more people in attendance – both men and women – and after Jim spoke for ten minutes on the power of prayer I was told we could carry on until 10:30 – “Take your time please…”
I spoke about Jesus’ power and the way he loved those he came in touch with… the woman at the well, the story of the prodigal son, and the woman who was healed after 12 years of an affliction and shame. Jesus has no favorites and is not shocked by what we have done…. He is for us not against us. We ended with everyone standing for prayer; an opportunity to open hearts to Jesus and receive healing. This was a good time of ministry, people very hungry and open to respond. I sang the chorus for ‘Break Every Chain’ over them and the poor pianist had no idea how to adapt to this strange style. It was late so there was not much time to lay hands on individuals… one man with leg problems said he felt a lightness upon him and healing from his affliction. Prayed for about five women to be able to conceive and some eyes to be healed of partial blindness.
Jim prayed for a young girl who was losing sight in one eye and we’re believing for more healing to have taken place than we realize. That’s the one drawback from not being able to follow up or return. However Sanjeewa and his sons will definitely be doing so – so the story isn’t over yet.
Again it is difficult to know what is happening but we trust that God will continue to release healing and faith over this village. The hope is that after this crusade a home church will start to encourage those who want to grow and learn more. As I write we have learned that tonite’s meeting will be cancelled because of heavy rain. That’s too bad because I was looking forward to declaring more healing and invited people to bring anyone they know who was sick.
It was very funny to see the man who cooked our late evening meal wearing ear muffs. He said he was cold…. in our estimation the temperature was warm and comfortable but in these regions where summer is so hot it feels cold.
Every day here the power goes off for some hours so you’re never too sure when that will happen. Today it’s been off most of the day. We’ve also been tracking the Cyclone Helen, not quite sure how close it would come to us. The winds picked up this morning with quite strong gusts and some rain but it seems like the worst has passed. The concern is also that if too much rain falls it will flatten the rice and damage the harvest of what is essentially the staple food of the region.
The woman across the road from where we are staying invited us for breakfast saying that it would be a blessing for us to come to her home. So we went over and had a meal that was fortunately not too much – we’re constantly being offered more to eat and have to be firm about saying ‘no’ graciously. I would describe what we ate but I haven’t any idea except that it’s always tasty and includes curry. She came from a Hindu background and converted to Christianity about four years a go and is now an enthusiastic member of the church here. Her response and hospitality is typical of everyone we have met – who are very welcoming and willing to do anything to make our stay comfortable and a pleasant experience.
Tomorrow we were going to make a trip to the beach with the children but it’s uncertain now because of weather conditions. Another possibility is taking them to a theme park which would be a novelty and a lot of fun. Would be great to give them a fun day before we leave. They were receiving their new packing cases today and a towel…. The joy on their faces is exquisite and the pride in packing their few belongings has to be seen to be appreciated. I paced off the girls room – it is 6 paces by 5 and sleep 14 girls. Someone asked about education. The children attend the village school and make up most of the attendance. It is a free government school and the government provides a uniform and a midday meal. Apparently the standard of education in these schools is not very high. So the dream here is for a facility to house up to 40 orphans and a school complex where they could receive a better education. Oh to be wealthy. I’d write a cheque and make it happen right now. But God is richer so we’re asking him to release favor and provision beyond what can be imagined….