Tuesday, February 13, 2007

India: Day One

After a 19½ hour journey, I stepped off the plane in Chennai, India at 12:30 am on Monday morning (there’s a 10½ hour time difference between here and home – sorry, you do the math). By the time I got into bed at the home where I was staying, it was 3:00 am. And I was wide awake! So much for my first experience with real jet-lag. (Just for geographical perspective, the small fishing/resort town where I am staying this week south of Chennai was one of the areas devastated by the 2004 Tsunami.)

A few hours later it was morning and I was ready to go. I am staying one mile from the beach so took my morning run along the Indian Ocean. As I ran parallel to the angry ocean with its crashing waves and rough surf I began to think about the story where the disciples were fighting a storm in a boat and Jesus came to them walking on the water. Peter saw Jesus and said, “Lord, if it’s really You, tell me to come out on the water also.” Jesus said, “Come.”

Call it my upside-down-sleep-deprived state, or maybe it was the heat as I did my five miles (it was 90º today), but as I meditated on those verses I actually looked out over the water a few of times half-expecting Jesus to be out there doing his water-walk. And then I posed myself the question, “What if Jesus asked me to come out on the water? Would I go?”

Well, I spent some time under some trees cooling down and pondering those thoughts, came back to my house and took a shower. Just about noon, I did my first “ministry act”… I laid hands on a man with leprosy and prayed for him to be healed. Pretty cool! And I am expecting a good report when I see him later this week.

That evening we had a meeting in a thatched-roof, open-sided pole building with mats on the sand floor. I preached the Gospel (through an interpreter) using the story in Matthew 14 where Peter walks on the water to the 51 people who attended (yes, I counted). There were five people who received Christ (the local pastor told me that they had never been to his meetings). More cool!

Then I laid hands on and prayed for the people. One man, a local fisherman who could hardly walk, stood up after we prayed and practically ran over to his family. Another man named Lazarus, who was in terrible back pain, got up after the prayer and carried the 50 lb. PA system speakers out to the storage building. Now that’s way cool!

By the way, I told the Lord, “Yes, I think I would come out on the water with Him.” I think He believed me because we did some pretty fancy water-walking together today.

3 comments:

phil said...

As I write this, there is a freezing rain/snow outside that appears to be extending into tomorrow (yuck!). Too bad I'm not there to run with you (I would have run you into the ground. . . a fifty-seven year old man no less!). Matt says: thank you. As you know, Matt sponsors a young Indian girl named Kurmari Vela (project: ADP Navprabhat), through World Vision whose address is also Chennai! Wouldn't it be great if she showed up for one of your meetings. Keep up the good work. We are praying for you!

Phil, Ina and Matt

Anonymous said...

john bell aka "rain in the face". Blessings. I left a message in your IMC email. Then remembered the comment option. Your news is exciting. I am excited. John.

doug sparks said...

Awesome, Brad. Run with the strength of the Lord in all that you do. I will be following your adventure. Is your wife there with you?