Tuesday, April 26, 2016

India 2016: Epiblog

My 2016 mission trip to India is behind me... I must confess that this was the most difficult, yet most rewarding of the 14 trips to India that I have taken.

Why difficult? We traveled into seven different states and conducted 15 medical camps... all in the space of 12 days. In addition, we conducted several worship and revival services, and led a one-day bible conference for pastors and leaders. The total time of the mission trip from boarding the jet in the US to returning to US soil was 16 days, so it is easy to see that our travel and ministry schedule was intense.

Also, we dealt with weather extremes from 110+ degrees combined with drought to 40 degrees combined with rain and mud. Plus, we faced terrorism curfews and a bomb threat on the railroad.

Why rewarding? We were able to see many people come to Christ, we had the privilege of personally speaking into the lives of pastors who are daily laying their lives on the line for the sake of the Kingdom of God. And, God miraculously showed up on several occasions to demonstrate miracles to confirm His Word.

The stories are many, but allow me to share one...

While ministering to Muslims through a medical camp in a large city, I began to engage a young man who had accompanied his aging parents. While they were receiving medical care, I began a conversation with him about his faith and about mine. He was very interested in what I believed, but gave the stock answer, "All religions are the same. We just need to be sincere." I countered with the teachings of Jesus, saying that no one can come to the Father but through Him.

I also asked him if Mohamed came back from the dead after he died. I told him that Jesus did, and in fact Jesus was the only centerpiece of a religion who was raised from the dead. At this point I introduced my young friend to the local pastor we were working with, himself a former Muslim. The local pastor immediately took over where I left off and began to lead the young man to the Christ. I am believing that his parents and sister will also trust in Jesus!

Sunday evening I will have the privilege of sharing a report with my church of the highlights of the trip (how can one tell of the wonders of God in around 30 minutes?). I hope more that than anything else the people don't simply see the slides and hear the stories. Rather, I hope that they catch the heartbeat of God, and how He desires to reach the unreached people of the world.

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Wednesday, April 06, 2016

India 2016: It's Here!

Very early on Thursday morning (although it will seem more like Wednesday night) I will board a flight in Atlanta, connecting in DC (where I will be joined by my brother-in-law, Dr. Pat Kennedy), and we'll head to India!

Once again we will be conducting crusades, medical camps, and ministry in India, focusing on the unreached villages and peoples. We will hike miles from our vehicles through mountains to reach some of the villages. We will encounter some people who have never seen a white westerner.

Last year we found ourselves at the right place and right time because unprecedented flooding had ravaged our target region, and we were able to provide much needed care and ministry.

We expect "wide doors of effective service to open for us, but know that there will be many adversaries." (I Corinthians 16:9)

An impromptu medical camp among a band of gypsies camped along a river allowed us to minister to and provide care for scores of people who would not have had the opportunity to receive help had we not stopped.

We will partner with local pastors who daily put their life on the line for the Lord, serving alongside of them, encouraging them, and providing resources so their ministries may continue.

A former Muslim "Kelu", whom I have ministered alongside of on six different occasions and whom I call "friend" is having a powerful impact on his city and surrounding region, as he shares the Love of Jesus with the Muslim people!

The weeks leading up to this mission trip have been full of wonder and grace, as I have battled sickness, planed for ministry to continue at my local church in my absence, and sought the Word and Presence of God as I prepare to minister.

I never take for granted my trips to India. I understand that plans can (and usually do) change in a moment. I have witnessed first-hand the dangers of terrorism in the volatile region of Kashmir. I have seen the destructive forces of nature and the effect they can have on villages and even entire regions.

Across the valley from where we conducted one medical camp last year, an entire mountain village of 46 families was wiped away with all life lost because of mudslides and rockslides.

So I go in grace, asking the Lord's protection, favor, and power to cover me. May I be sensitive to the people who are put into my path. May I carry an anointing that only comes from the Power of God. May I walk in His Presence everywhere I go.

If you like this post, you can re-post it, ‘share’ it on your Facebook status, ‘Tweet’ it, or forward it to your friends. Follow me on Twitter @bigcloudmusic if you find me interesting. Subscribe to this Blog if you’d like at the top right of the page.

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