Tuesday, March 18, 2014

India #11 - Day 11

Another adventurous day for our team! Our plan was to catch a few hours of rest in a hotel (remember to think Motel 6) in Udhampur, and try to be on the road at midnight because of the long drive to Srinagar and the medical camps we were to conduct today.

Because of forecasted storms, we decided to sleep until 3:00 am and be on the road by 4:00 so we'd have more light on the mountain road. I'm glad we did!

It was pouring rain when we left the hotel, and it continued as a steady rain. The temperature was in the mid-40's, and even on a warm and sunny day the road is treacherous. The paving is full of holes, at times it is only wide enough for one vehicle, there are sheer drop-offs of 2,000 feet with no guardrail, there are blind switchbacks, and the road is 230 miles long.

Now add the rain and the fact that our vehicle had no defroster so the driver kept his window open to help keep the windshield un-fogged. Remember it was in the mid-40's and got colder as we went north and higher in elevation.

And then there were the rockslides. Three times we stopped while loaders cleared the debris. The last one had us and about 300 other vehicles stopped for 40 minutes. Exciting yet? Just wait...

When we reached the right altitude the rain turned into snow! Add that to the mix and you can see why I called it an adventure! Plus, it was beautiful seeing the mountains covered with snow. But the real beauty was the Lord's protection and empowerment of our hired driver.

There is a mile-and-a-half long tunnel about 60 miles from Srinagar that passes through a mountain. I joked that at least it won't be snowing in the tunnel. When we came out on the other side, God's favor shone in the sunshine! Yes, it was still below freezing (driver's window is still open), but the weather was much better.

We finally approached Srinagar after 12 hours on the road, and 6 miles from the city limits our fan belt broke... Adventure! We called our host pastor Kelu, a converted Muslim, and he came to get us in a four passenger car (there are six on our team, plus luggage). Hmmmm...

Pastor Daniel made the decision for myself, the two doctors, and nurse to accompany Kelu directly to the Medical Camp where the people had been waiting for hours for our arrival.

Kelu is strategically seeking to reach the predominantly Muslim population. One of his strategies is to provide free Medical Camps in the poor areas. Our goal: Serve the people, meet needs, and raise Kelu's esteem in the community. He then gently shares the love of Jesus, and little by little he is winning Muslims to Christ and planting churches.

I am so impressed by Kelu's commitment and sacrifice. Daily he puts his life on the line. He has been beaten, dumped out of his house, threatened, vandalized, and has suffered greatly. And yet he still loves the people and ministers with humility.

He is my hero. Thank you for following!

1 comment:

friv juegos said...

What can you do and what you have experienced, which is accompanied by the experience and good luck huh. The exciting experience for the trip.