Just coming back from a 24 hr internet breakdown at hosting server – so let’s catch up.
Before we left for the meetings on two evenings the children included us in their evening prayers. As you will see/hear…. it’s not passive one by one intercession. The more I witness worship here, in Africa, and the Middle East the more I believe this enthusiastic chaos is more akin to what it was like in the time of Jesus. It doesn’t mean what we do is wrong, but it is cause for us to ask why we can be like this in sports arenas and have a total ‘stuff up’ in church (written with a smile).
The final evening for the Crusade was the best attended with numbers reaching nearly one thousand.
It’s the beginning of harvest season so many people are working in the rice fields during the day, get home and prepare a meal and then come along to the meeting. Which means the schedule was for a start around 8 pm and for me to speak after 9 pm. But this was Friday night so the children sang a few solos and performed two dances which were vibrant and well delivered.
This little boy is four (Laddu) and had only arrived at the orphanage with his sister a few months before I visited last year. The change in a year has been wonderful and he is confident and playful and well integrated with the other children. But I wasn’t expecting to hear him sing in front of a crowded arena. He sang with innocent unafraid confidence and a strong voice – unfortunately I have no idea what the words of his song meant.
Later he was very moved by my talking….:-)
I spoke about God the Father not leaving us as orphans and how the Holy Spirit is the Comforter and the power of God is present on earth today – just as Jesus was present for his disciples. On the 2nd night, and this evening, I threw a bucket high into the air to demonstrate the relentless, totally predictable and reliable principle of gravity. It’s no respecter of our opinions and it’s a truth and principle that is non-negotiable. Similarly there are spiritual realities and truths that are not dependent upon popular opinion; or whether I agree or prefer not to believe.
Spot the bucket… The man in hot pink is Raj…. who takes my words and infuses them with passion as he translates….
In a culture of multiple gods and reincarnation I wanted to stress the claims of Jesus to be the one way to one God; and that his resurrection exposes reincarnation as being a curse with no evidence whatsoever. He throws down the gauntlet and declares himself to be the source of all truth…. A declaration that ultimately had him crucified 2,000 years ago and evokes similar hostility today… even among those professing to be his followers.Ken came forward and we conducted a short interview about how he came to know Jesus… and how he was comforted at the time of a great loss being a member of a Church family. Then how Jesus gave him a new life, job, and marriage…. and has been faithful….
I asked those who wanted to have a relationship with Jesus to come forward, together with those seeking a new empowering of his Spirit, and/or healing. At the invitation a crowd rushed to the stage and I prayed over them as it was impossible to do so one on one… we’d learned that the night before.
Evaluating what happened is difficult and I have no way of knowing. Rau said they had phone calls this morning saying about 200 Hindu believers were present last night and he was very encouraged. Remember in these villages many people know one another as their roots have been in those places for generations. We’ve done what we can.. as with the boy with the loaves and fish…. we’ve offered what we have for Jesus to use….and it’s been a great privilege and joy!