Let me tell you about this evening first. I had the privilege of being in one of the first meetings of a new church plant outside of
, in one of the remote areas. The people are celebrating the construction of their new building, a modest one-room concrete block structure with openings in the walls for the breeze to blow through. Wednesday they are having their official dedication (I have been asked to speak). Vellore
The people (a little over 50) worshipped with passion, led by the two pastors (Ramesh was on keyboard). The exuberance of these Christians is inspiring. They sing, they shout, they dance, they lift their hands and they clap. They know how to worship.
I spoke on the presence of God, and after another time of praise and calling for the glory of God, we prayed for people. Once again God was faithful and we saw healings and delivered prophetic words. I am looking forward to going back on Wednesday.
OK, now to what shook my soul. In the morning, I accompanied a local pastor (the pastor of the aforementioned church) to a very poor area that had a settlement for crippled people. We stopped and spoke with people who had all kinds of physical limitations – twisted limbs, turned feet – sharing the love of God and then asking if we could pray for them. Just about everyone is Hindu, and the concept of a savior who not only could save but also heal was very foreign.
A few hundred meters away from there is a leaper colony that we went to next. We would walk along, stopping to speak to people, and groups would form. The pastor would share the Gospel, and then I would lay hands on and pray for the leapers. My heart was so moved with compassion as I saw these outcasts, whom no one loved or wanted to be near.
After I had prayed for the first person, I heard the Lord say, “Hold him.” And so I wrapped my arms around the man and held him for a few minutes. I did this for all of the leapers that I prayed for. (The Indian culture isn’t big on hugging anyway, so this was doubly-different for them.) Add to this that they are leapers, and who knows how many years it has been since they were held?
As we were walking back to the car a leprous man came out to the road, hobbling on a stick he could hardly hold. He had heard that we were praying for people. He said, “Pray for me!” I did, and as I held him he put his head on my shoulder and began to cry.
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