Thursday, May 22, 2008

India - May '08: Day 12

We left our humble hotel in the mountains this morning and began a short (1 ½ hour) ride higher up, this time to a church that Pastor Sadiq’s brother has started. His brother, Pastor Yaqoob, had begun the church only two years ago and already there were over 200 believers, all but 15 of there were Hindu converts. Imagine our excitement when we rounded the corner on the mountain road and across the ravine saw his church with people lined up for medical treatment and prayer.


We entered the building and seated on the floor were over 200 people already engaged in worship and prayer. Like the people we ministered to yesterday, these are very poor mountain farmers who own little more than the clothes they were wearing. I was asked to bring a short message and I chose to encourage them with the story in John 6 where the boy offered his lunch to feed the 5,000. God can use even the little that we have to offer. I also shared from the end of the chapter where Peter confessed that only Jesus had the words of eternal life and He was the holy One sent by the Father (you’ll see why the Lord prompted me to share that last thought in a moment).

Well the teams were again organized with the registration table, the Doctor’s examining area, the pharmacy and of course the prayer corner. We immediately got to work. All told, 198 patients were seen by the doctors, and with the help of Pastor Sadiq translating, I laid hands on and prayed for well over 200 people.

Wombs were opened, fevers were brought down, hearing was restored, pains were evaporated and even a demon was cast out. One of the men who I prayed for said that this was his first visit to the church (he heard that doctors were coming). I asked him if he remembers what I spoke about Jesus being the holy One sent by the Father. He said he did, and I proceeded to share the Gospel with him. Then he, I and Pastor Sadiq (translating) prayed and he asked Jesus to be his Lord and Savior. Another Hindu convert for the Kingdom!

We left the church and began a six hour journey through the mountains to Srinagar, where we will conduct our final medical camps. The trip was again exciting and adventuresome, as we whipped around sharp curves and through traffic, rarely a guardrail and only the Lord keeping us on the road and preventing us from falling thousands of feet into the valley below (I hope my Mom isn’t reading this part!).

Just as the sun was going down we entered a tunnel that went through a large mountain. We emerged three kilometers later and there beyond the next tier of mountains were the Himalayas! I never in my lifetime dreamed that I would ever see them with my own eyes. It was a small blessing for me from the Lord.

Every kilometer or so I noticed fully armed Indian soldiers in full battle gear (think US troops in Iraq) guarding in outposts along the road. Periodically there were six-man patrols visible also. Being on the border with Pakistan, Kashmir is a hot-spot for Islamic terrorist activity, and although it doesn’t get the press that other places in the world do, it is nonetheless a “hot-zone” (I hope my wife isn’t reading this part!). All the way into Srinagar we saw soldiers, forts, patrols and many check points. We were safe, and never once did I have any fear (even on the mountain roads) for His grace and peace guarded my heart and mind!

Tomorrow we have a rest day, and then on Friday and Saturday we conclude with our final ministry days. This is definitely an exciting life!

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