I have just four more days left here in India and this is the first time that I could sit down to write a little about what I have seen and been a part of here so far. I left Thailand on the 10th and will be arriving back at our home in Thailand on the 22nd.
I had never seen myself going to India, but decided to pray about the possibility of going after I was invited by my friend Freddy. Freddy and I recently traveled to the country of Laos to visit the underground church there and were able to be a part of some great ministry even though it took a spiritual battle before we could even cross the border.
Freddy has traveled to 15 countries this year alone preaching the Gospel, with more scheduled for next year. Out of all of the ministry he has been a part on three continents, India by far had the most impact on him spiritually and was by far the best ministry he had the privilege of being a part of.
So when I heard his testimonies and recalled the great things God did on our trip to the underground church in Laos, I paid closer attention when he asked me to come and be a part of the ministry for some upcoming outreaches. As I prayed and received counsel about going, all lights seemed to be green, so I headed out now knowing exactly what God had in store for me, but being willing to learn, share, and grow in whatever situation I found myself in.
After a 6 hour bus ride to Bangkok, I picked up my visa and boarded the plane for the city of Hyderbad in the State of Andhra Pradesh. After arriving in Hyderbad around midnight, I slept in a scary little dimly lit hotel about 30km outside of the airport for my 14 hour layover only to wake up the news that the government had caved to separatist groups who were fighting for their own state for the past 40 years.
Some locals didn’t like this decision and took to the streets in protest, some violent, which are still snarling traffic and shutting down schools and businesses as I write. I thought to myself, “What a nice time to visit”!
After making it back to the airport before the road blocks were fully set up, I flew to the city of Visakhapatnam where we would be preparing for a large city wide outreach that the ministry had been putting on for the last few years.
The ministry here, Love in Action Fellowship, is an indigenous run ministry of well over 200+ churches spread throughout India. The work is now three generations deep and is self supporting. Though they are based in the city of Nuzvid, 6 hours away, they were holding a large evangelistic music festival to reach the city of “Visak” where they also have some local churches.
I would soon see the immense dedication and sacrifice it would take to see this type of ministry happen here in India. Behind the deceiving gloss of the ministry’s web site, there was a real level of gritty sacrifice that propels the vision forward.
The examples I would see with my own eyes would leave an indelible mark on my mind and stretch my understanding of what it means to live your whole life for the Gospel of Jesus Christ…
Stay tuned for Part II