It’s impossible to spend time in such a different environment and culture and not be struck by differences. There is a cliché about the poor being rich and the rich being poor… and of course there is truth in the cliché.
I’ve already shared how the father of Raj and Rau lives in a 10’x10’ room with Esther his wife. They are right next to all the children and would find the concept of storage units in our culture bewildering as they own so little… and appear quite content. I never hear any complaints or sense envy or jealousy from the family. They smile and serve… are very concerned about our needs, and it has been courageous for them to consider us living with them.
They had a bad experience with a visiting evangelist about nine years ago who told them to wash their hands and conveyed a sense of disdain at the way they lived. Hence even for them to eat with us at the same table now is hard. I’m encouraging that curse to be broken this year as part of the Kingdom culture….but it’s not easy.
The family are passionate about their mission to encourage pastors, build the church in this area, and feed the lepers, widows and orphans. They have no savings or security, no insurance, and no guarantee of anything other than the faithfulness of a loving God who rescued them from despair.
They are very creative and resilient and I was humbled by how every week they pour their lives into two small churches with a passion and love that is astounding. No comparisons with larger churches… one large one who is partnering to host the crusade for instance; just friendships between pastors and a desire to work together and encourage one another.
There is no talk here of having holidays or taking a break… being burnt out, or finding life hard. Rather we are met with a living testimony of a family who appear to have learned how to be content in all circumstances and to believe with passion and hope for what they don’t yet see.
And I have learned how important it is when on these trips to be supported from home. How inspiring and encouraging it is to receive words of life that transcend merely acknowledging prayer. In other words how life is released when the substance of those prayers are communicated. It’s like the army in the field receiving information from those gathering intelligence… as it’s past on so it informs how the troops on the front line engage… or make changes.
Here are three pastors who came to the beach for fun.
I am learning more about being present one day at time; trusting God with the outcomes and as I read in a comment by Bill Johnson…. just seeking to simply be obedient with the next thing at hand.
Nothing we are faced with here is impossible… and our presence is to encourage these dear brothers and sisters who love us with such abandon and are so appreciative of receiving the little we can bring and share. The flow back from them is so much more in the currency of the Kingdom…. And underscores how much we need one another…..
Thank you for sharing the journey…. The sounds of heaven on earth are expressed through men and woman declaring in an audible manner victory, hope, power and healing. God is teaching us at JR that we do not travel alone and that we are vitally important and much stronger together as we share, converse, encourage, and do battle in the name of Jesus.
Now we’re about to meet with a group of people suffering from leprosy…. Another lesson for sure in humility and unconditional love.