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.
The hospitality we have been shown is indescribable. Mercy, Babu’s wife, works what seems like non-stop to prepare amazingly delicious meals. She has been slowly working us into a completely Indian menu. She has been concerned about making things too spicy, but is getting more confident that we can handle at least a little bit more. We are cared for with love beyond expectation by all of our brothers and sisters here.
India cannot be put into words. Pictures and videos definitely help to explain things to people, but until you actually experience it – it doesn’t do it total justice. We have visited several of the 31 churches here in Kerala, bible training centers and prayer meetings. Driving to all of these places is always an adventure between traffic, people walking, dogs, cows and there was even a goat taking a break in our traffic lane today. Our driver Lubies is an expert on the road and has made it enjoyable.
I am inspired and deeply encouraged by the level of mature faith I see in so many of the believers here. It is common to hear them praise Jesus as they carry on with tasks or to break into songs of worship on a car ride. Their love and faith in Christ is a beautiful thing to witness. Probably one of my favorite things about worship services or meetings or prayer gatherings is the singing. No PowerPoint dependency here. No hymnals. Just voices lifted in praise with songs that everyone has committed to heart and memory. We don’t understand the words, but we understand the adoration and the worship clearly. It is beautiful. Clapping of hands and occasionally a drum, but the rest is voice.
There isn’t enough time tonight or words to describe it all. Just know that your brothers and sisters in India love Christ and are committed with all of their being to his work. There is so much need here as GCM works with some of the poorest of the poor and many of their believers live at a level of poverty that we in the U.S. cannot fully comprehend. But it doesn’t stifle their love for God – it only enhances it because they trust fully in his grace.
I love it here. Truly. I love it. When I came in February of this year I told myself I would come once to experience it so I could work better for the ministry. But a few days into that trip and I knew I would be back. Now, halfway through this month long trip I feel like this is my second home. A home that I have SO much more to learn about, but a home just the same.
I look forward to the day when we will all be in heaven praising the Almighty Lord together.