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Kashmir is the northernmost state of India that borders Pakistan, Afghanistan, and China. As we entered the state, Internet communication became 'iffy', and the farther north we traveled the 'iffyer' it got.
Recent terror attacks in the city of Srinigar where we spent our last three days of ministry made for a tense situation, as well as communication blackouts. But, the Lord was good, ministry was accomplished, and lives were impacted.
Here's a summary of the last seven days of our mission trip:
- Day 8: We conducted a second medical camp in Punjab, were able to minister to many people, and I even had an encounter with a demon possessed man that I was able to see the Lord release him as I cast it out.
- Day 9-10: Traveled to the Hundu shrine city of Katra in Jammu-Kashmir, where we began a two-day crusade. Pastor Daniel & I preached, and there were hundreds who attended the meetings. There is only one Christian church in the entire city of 38,000. Millions of Hindus travel there to visit the shrine. Also, we conducted a medical camp in the nearby mountains, ministering to many very poor farming families, and a second camp inside the city at a school.
- Day 11: We traveled about 1-1/2 hours to Dhama in the Udampur district where we conducted a highly organized camp and saw over 450 patients. We prayed for many, engaged the people, and shared Christ in conversations.
- Day 12: We left at 5:00 am for the 7 hour trip through the mountains to Srinigar. It was here we connected with Kersheed Kelu, a former Muslim who daily risks his life for the Gospel in this all-Muslim region. After we checked in to our houseboat hotel (a very popular lodging accommodation there) on the Dahl Lake, we proceeded to a very poor village of saffron farmers where our doctors cared for over 450 people. This village has only two believers, and it is a hard work for Pastor Kelu.
- Day 13: We traveled again to the saffron growing areas to conduct another medical camp in a village where Pastor Kelu is seeking to make connection. The camp went a long way in raising his reputation in that community.
- Day 14: While Pastor Daniel, Zach and I prepared to depart for the Srinigar airport, we said goodbye to the rest of the team who traveled by our hired vehicle back to Jammu (7 hours) where they boarded a train for a 37 hour return journey to Kazipet (where our ministry began). The three of us left for the airport to begin our long journey home (7 airports in two days).
A footnote: On Wednesday evening, I purchased a motorcycle for Pastor Kelu -shown in white shirt (with some help from Pastor Daniel). Kelu has no transportation and constantly borrows vehicles from friends to conduct his village ministry. This is an investment that Elaine and feel committed to, and we have no hesitation of entrusting precious personal funds into. To see Kelu light up, and again demonstrate his humility and graciousness humbled me.
Zach and I are ready to return home, but we will always be impacted by the days we spent in India as father & son, film-maker & missionary.
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