India: Day Four
Today was a day of extremes. In the morning we attended a pastor’s meeting and in the evening it was evangelism. From encouraging the shepherds to winning the sheep.
Oh yes, on the way to the pastor’s meeting we stopped by where Jonathan was staying so we could encourage him and see how he was doing. In the course of our conversation, two of his friends sat in so Pastor Sammi and I shared the Gospel with them also. I gave away one of my Bibles to Jonathan (I brought two – I have more back home) and we bid him farewell, knowing that God has His hand on Jonathan’s life.
We gathered at the orphanage that Pastor Sammi started as one of his ministry outreaches to meet with and encourage local pastors (I guess local means traveling from as far away as 40 miles). Thirty-six pastors attended, and after they had an opportunity to introduce themselves and tell about their ministries and lives (some had congregations of only 15, the largest had 150, one was an evangelist who ministered in fishing villages) I encouraged them with a word.
I spoke on the importance of having a legacy, and how they needed to make sure they were reproducing themselves in others so their ministries would continue after they were gone. After a time of prayer and ministry, we ate lunch together. Several of the pastors told me that they have never heard the concept of a legacy (remember that this is a remote area that is only beginning to hear the Gospel so evangelism is the only goal of most pastors).
In the evening we traveled 8 miles by motorcycle (don’t tell my wife) over some good and some bad roads (there were three of us on the small motorcycle, plus equipment – PA system), then hiked a quarter-mile through a village. Next we crossed about a half-mile of rice paddies and came upon a farmer’s village where we set up for a street meeting (more like a dirt path meeting).
The PA system was set up and we worshipped, followed by me preaching the Gospel to about 75 people. I was told after words that only two families present (eight people) attended Pastor Sammi’s church. The rest were lost people. I gave an altar call and nearly everyone else said “yes” to Jesus. We prayed individually for people and again saw many healings!
One of the church families had us over for dinner after the meeting. Please understand what I am about to say next. These are dirt-poor farmers who opened up their home (rather their dirt yard) to us and gave us a simple meal of rice and dahl cooked over an outdoor fire pit (picture a hole in the ground). And they are treating me like a king, giving me the only chair in the house and the only spoon they owned to eat with. I was given two bananas while the other members of the team got only one.