If you have been watching any of our posts on Facebook or Instagram, you will notice something very obvious about me in any of the pictures I appear in.
I don’t exactly blend in with the people here.
Babu says often that Freddie could pass as Indian – when I ask about me, he laughs… really hard. I stand a full head taller than the women here and most of the men as well. I am gray haired and very – very – white skinned. There is no hiding me. I haven’t seen another white skinned person in almost a month.
Continue reading ““American Missionary””
On Thursday of this past week, over two weeks into our month-long visit, we visited five churches and one of the Bible training centers. These particular churches were in villages, outside of major towns. They serve the poorest of the poor. This is the focus of Grace Christian Ministry.
The training centers are a means for the surrounding people and those studying to be Pastors to receive biblical training.
So let me give you the setting: Its after sundown and there is only a lightbulb to light the front yard. There is a table set up with chairs of “honor” for us to sit in front of the gathering, and then seating for those who are attending. There is an order to how people are seated, with pastors up front followed by all others behind them. All are eagerly anticipating the teaching of the Word.
Continue reading “Open Air Gospel”
Yesterday (Thursday) was another full day. Four more church visits and some time spent at one of the bible training centers. I have no idea how many kilometers we traveled – but it sure seemed like a lot. But here, travel takes a long time because of the bad roads, curvy, twisting streets and traffic.
When we got home last night I was wrecked. I was physically and emotionally drained. I awoke this morning and began thinking through all of the places we have been and all of the people we have met – and all of the things we have seen. It made me weep with the heaviness of it all. I know I have mentioned this before – but the need in this nation is indescribable. The more we travel and the more we see – the more it hits home.
Continue reading “Wrecked”
Today qualified as a “Whistle Stop Tour” of four churches here in Kerala. We were able to see their buildings (most often a home or rented building), meet the Pastor and his family, and a small number of each congregation. Due to the time of day, many of the believers of the churches were working. It is such a humbling experience to visit these churches. It really changes your perspective and your heart.
Continue reading “The Church Among the Rubber Trees”
Romans 12 has been on my heart for a couple of months now, specifically verse 1. I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. I had the chance to share a message on this particular verse while we have been in India.
Do you come to Church to get something from God? Please do not misunderstand me. Church is a place of refuge, replenishment for our souls, a place of worshiping our Father in heaven. But are you just taking? Are you giving back, or serving in some capacity? I want you to think deeply about what I am asking. Do you come to God always trying to get something? And has it been a fruitful experience or are you frustrated with empty results?
Continue reading “A Living Sacrifice”
We are nearing the close of our 11th day here in India. Both Freddie and I had intentions of posting a lot more than we have, but we are kept pretty busy most days and when we are able to get time to write – we usually end up spending it reading or having conversations with Babu and learning as much as we can about his ministry and how things work here.
To say this has been a learning experience would be putting it mildly. Not only have we been blessed to learn more about GCM as a whole, we have learned about culture, language, and have gotten to know Babu and his family more. It doesn’t seem like we have been here for almost two weeks, yet it also seems like we have been here longer.
Continue reading “Update from India”
I had the opportunity to share the Word of God this week with my brothers and sisters here in India. I chose adoption as my first topic. One of the reasons I desired to preach on adoption is because adoption is something personal in my life. My mother was a young teenager when she became pregnant. It was the 1960’s, in the midst of racial divisions and tensions. As broken hearted as she was to do so, it was decided I would be put up for adoption when I was born. I was two years old before actually being adopted. Although being adopted gave me a chance to be part of a family; the family I was adopted into was not loving and I felt as though I was not valued as part of the family.
Continue reading “Godly Adoption”
Yesterday evening, after what seemed to be a long day, came to an end in worship. True worship in a sense is what we should be doing every moment of our day. Tonight it started with song, then the reading of scripture, and ended in prayer.
The songs were simple, no fancy instruments, just voices and clapping of hands. The voices were lifted in harmony, eyes closed lifting praise to a holy, righteous, true and living God. I did not understand the words but their faces reflected a love for our Father in heaven. Looking at them drove me to examine my own worship when I am singing. Am I doing it just out of ritual? Do I truly know the words if the PowerPoint goes down…?
Continue reading “Worship”
I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. – Psalm 69:30
It has been a few days since setting foot on U.S. soil again after being gone to India for more than a week. My mind and body seem to be adjusting back to normal sleeping patterns. I say this at 2 a.m. while writing this blog post, so maybe I’m not doing as well as I had thought. In anycase, I feel good and came back encouraged.
That said, it seems I have developed some sort of twitch while away. At any point in time, my hand will start patting my leg. Or, in some cases, my hands feel the need to clap in familiar rhythm. The singing and songs of our time in India has left its musical footprint on my mind and it sounds a lot like this:
Continue reading “Simply Sing His Praises”
I had been asked to present a sermon to the graduating class of Grace Christian Bible College on Saturday. The theme I was given was “Feed My Sheep”. Jesus told Peter to do this not once but three times. Sounds pretty important, and that’s putting it lightly. I look at it as a speech that is meant to inspire troops for battle. Yes, as Christians this is not our home. The world is a battle field. What better way to rally these troops on the importance of feeding your sheep then through the God inspired word.
Continue reading “Feed My Sheep”