I have been trying to put together my final thoughts of our trip to Vijayawada and the surrounding area. I have so much going around in my head about it, but I did decide that I can’t really call it “final thoughts” because I think daily about my brothers and sisters in India, and my heart desires to return. I do, however, want to share some of my impressions from this marvelous journey we have started.
Mark 2:1-2 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.
I think going to India from the U.S., this is perhaps one of the things that amazed me. I have read this verse many times, but hadn’t really seen it in action, let alone experienced it personally, until India. There is a hunger there for God’s Word that breathes life into ones soul. We would be going to a planned meeting, and stop just to say hello to someone, and they would ask if we could come to their home to speak. So we would go to our scheduled place, and then stop by their home on the way back. And was it just the person we originally spoke to, or maybe them and their family? NO, it was a multitude. Often there was no room for any more…there were people standing in doorways, and listening through windows, dropping all that they had been doing, and coming to hear the message of Jesus. I could have spoken for hours and they would not have said stop, or looked at their watches, or indicated in anyway that I was “over” my allotted time. The ladies would travel for several hours to listen to God’s Word. The love in their eyes, the eagerness with which they listened and searched the scriptures, it’s difficult to put into words. I can say that if you ever have the opportunity, please take advantage of it. You will be blessed in ways that are beyond belief.
Before my trip, many asked if I was afraid…I am not sure if they meant because of the travel, going to a foreign country when there is turmoil in this world, or if I feared for my physical safety. I can honestly say, I was not afraid. God filled me with a peace about this trip, and His Spirit filled me with ready recollection. I went to a country I have never been, with people I have never met, and yet, I was united with my family. I met Brothers, Sisters, fellow servants…I have a bond with them that is beyond words. Christ unites us and brings us together. The love is fast and real. Our hearts are bound through our Savior. I long to see them again in person, but am confident that I will see them in the heaven if not on this earth. We had experienced having family all over the country from our travels in the US, but it is the same all over the world. Raja & Kumari, my brother & sister…we laughed together, we bonded immediately. We had an instant relationship. We had our own language between us(hint, “are you hungry” when asked by Raja is code for “should we get ice cream?”) lol. They opened their hearts and arms. They were always aware of any possible dangers, and were quick to keep us safe. I never felt in danger(except maybe when Tyler talked me into a shopping excursion on our own which involved crossing a 6 lane road, with 8-10 lines of traffic and horns! 🙂 –see the video posted previously). Sindhuja & Timothy are Raja & Kumari’s children. Brothers & sisters treat each other the same there as they do here. They picked on each other just like Bryce & Rebecca do. I just want you to be aware of how similar we all are. But there are differences, and I don’t like most of them.
Raja & Kumari are trying to make arrangements to travel to the U.S. My heart delights in this, but it also causes me pause. Each day that we were there, we spoke to at least 1 group, many times, 2-3 groups. It didn’t matter what day of the week it was, what time it was, if people were in the fields, they came out to hear, if they were preparing meals, they paused and came to hear. If they were aware the opportunity was even slightly possible that they would be able to hear more about God, they were there to hear. And you need to know, we were not the only ones. There were 2 other couples there during most of our stay, and they also went to similar numbers of meetings. It saddens me to admit that I don’t know if we could even gather a crowd for 2 -3 days to listen to Raja & Kumari share about God. And especially not on short notice. It seems in the U.S. we have to plan for months, and even then, the turnout is small. We were in India for nearly 2 full weeks, at 1-3 meetings per day, can you imagine that in the U.S.? That many people, that much interest, that much devotion to take the time to listen?
So, that is where I am right now. I feel blessed to have a personal glimpse of what Jesus and the disciples experienced with a multitude wherever they went, eager to hear. I encourage any who are trying to decide if they should go into all the world, do it. If you do not feel like traveling to other countries is your calling, support those who do feel it is theirs. If you have any questions or thoughts, please feel free to contact me. I will share what I can, advise where I can, and definitely pray! Pray that more can experience a multitude eager to hear.
Part of my heart is with the Brothers & Sisters in India, it always will be. I pray that I will be allowed to return again, Lord willing.
God Bless all!