Sunday, August 28, 2005
A Time to Share our Faith and...Refresh ourselves!
Report Submitted by Joe Hurston - President - Air Mobile - Mumbai, India August 28, 2005 11:49pm (India Time)
Dr. Stephen is a wise doctor. Our plans had been to head right up to the mountains to an isolated village on Saturday morning (Plan A). Then, on the way down, stop in Thune (Dr. Stephen's town) and share at a home Church meeting. That was the plan until Dr. Stephen suggested we take Saturday morning to rest and reschedule the mountain village for Monday (Plan B). We opted for Plan B. It was a "God-Plan". The full effects of jet-lag and a grueling schedule would have taken a toll on our team. So...Saturday morning, we chilled out. Cindy and Barbara went shopping (they rode in an "Auto-Rickshaw" before me - I'm jealous). I stayed back and actually rested.
Our faithful driver, Willy showed up right on time and we were off to Thune for our evening Home Church service. Enroute, we encountered road-blocking bulls in the street and an elephant. India is an amazing place!
Willy has been such a friend and guide. He's also very patient with road-blocking bulls! You can also see from the photo with the bull why I described our van, as mini-mini van. Of course, Barbara jumped out, literally grabbed the "bull by the horns" and shushed him out of the way (we have it on video-it's a kick!).
Dr. Stephen had directed us to Willy. This is just another example of how our Lord has led on this entire journey. When we arrived in India, we did not know a single person. Within minutes of checking into our hotel, we made contact with Dr. Stephen. Now, on day 6, we stand absolutely amazed at how, once we stepped out by faith, our Lord has been with us each step of the way (and there hasn't been a dull moment)!
Sharing in the home church meeting was phenomenal! First of all, it was such a blessing to be asked to speak. I shared on stepping out of the boat and that it's not easy, and can be quite scary. Yet, our Lord puts Grace under our feet to keep us afloat. Delivering the message really built my faith. That often is how it is; we go to be a blessing and end up getting blessed! After sharing, our hosts laid out a feast of succulent Indian food. There must have been 30+ people in that small apartment, yet the sweetness and love and faith was overwhelming.
Then Dr. Stephen asked me if I would share at the Church service in the morning. Whew, what a shock. I really, really had not expected to be asked to speak. Of course, the Word tells us to be instant in season and out of season. In other words, always be ready to share. Well, again, that's easier said than done. I told the good doctor that I would pray about it. I felt exhaustion creeping up on me. We went back to their beautiful home and went to bed early. Then at 2:30am, my precious Lord awakened me and gave me a fresh message on His Amazing Grace.
The Church meets at the hospital. The singing and ministry was so sweet. We had Communion then I delivered the message on Amazing Grace given to me in the early hours of the morning. I'm still blown away by the love and sweetness of this divine encounter with Dr. Stephen, his family and church. Truly, our Lord knows how to deploy His troops!!
It was back to the Dr. Stephen's home where Claire had prepared a feast. Oh, Indian food is so good!! It didn't take Cindy and Barbara long to be at it with Ben (Steve & Claire's lively 9 year old). They had a blast playing a very cool Indian game like pool, but you "flick" the disc with your finger. After multiple games and fun fellowship, we bid them farewell. Will likely hook up with them just before our departure. We had an uneventful trip home. Cindy has urged me to get to bed, but I had to finish the "blog" to you. We'll be up early and on the road for the mountain village.
Oh....Just saw the news about Katrina! I am from that part of Louisiana. We are PRAYING for the people in Katrina's path! Prayer is powerful. Though we are over 10,000 miles away, we are standing with you all during this time. God Bless you and keep you during this hour of great trial!!
Until the next report!
Joe, Cindy and Barbara
PS - One last shot of an auto-rickshaw having an elephant encounter!