India #12: Day 3 & 4

Remembering that India's time zone is 9½ ahead of the USA's Eastern Time, I figured I'd go ahead and update the events from the last two days in this post.

Sunday morning dawned bright and hot, but that what most of India wakes up to every day. I was still excited from the night before (see yesterday's post), and I was anticipating a great time of worship and the Word with the people of Ecclesia Church, where my host Daniel Kalyanapu is the pastor.

Loud and heartfelt praise greeted me as I entered the meeting room filled with passionate people declaring their love for Jesus. My heart literally leaped as I saw so many familiar faces of the people whom I have grown to love over the past six years. I have lost count of the number of times I have had the privilege of sharing with their wonderful people.

Once again I was "shawled & garlanded", an experience that I do not take lightly. The Indian way of expressing honor consisting of leaders gathering around the honoree, a shawl is draped over my shoulders, and a garland of fresh flowers is placed around my neck. Handshakes and words of blessing from the leaders follow. It is truly a memorable and fun experience.

I brought a word of encouragement to the people about Jesus' love for His people from John 21, translated by Pastor Daniel. And then I prayed for several hundred of the people, hungry for a touch from God. If is always an encouragement to me to see so many seeking more of the Lord.

On Sunday afternoon we traveled the three hours to Hyderabad for the wedding rehearsal of Victor Kalyanapu, the son of Pastor Daniel's brother Joy David. Over the past few years I have become good friends with Victor who lives in the USA, but came to India for his wedding. Joy David asked me to give the wedding message at Victor's wedding if my schedule would allow, so we coordinated dates and it worked out that I was here in India for the wedding.

I shared not only a word at the rehearsal, but also was honored to stand before the couple, their family, friends and guests at the wedding ceremony, and share God's Word with them. What a blessing it was for to me to participate in a wedding like this!

Tonight we travel back to Kazipet where Tuesday morning I will address the students of Immanuel's School of the Bible here. Then in the afternoon it's the beginning of my long journey back to United States. Thank you for following this Blog!


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