A Time of Praise

Let’s just take a moment and celebrate all the amazing, mind-blowing ways that we’ve been blessed on this trip…

  • Overall good health
  • Over 1000 people heard the good news
  • Bill was able to buy new shoes so his feet weren’t as sore
  • Nothing big occurred back home while we were away that served as a distraction
  • People in the villages were extremely receptive to us and what we had to say
  • Only positive attention was received from local government and police
  • Martha recovered quickly from a stomach bug
  • Safe travels everywhere
  • Had opportunity to encourage local believers
  • Clear communication through translators
  • Team unity and encouragement

And there is so much more. Thank you for your prayers!

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An Indian Dance Party

On our way to the villages today, we ran into an Indian government initiative called Green Yard. There were many policemen, government officials, and locals preparing to plant a bunch of trees. The program was a country-wide initiative to help people overcome discouragement from the lack of rain that has been occurring here lately.

We ended up having the privilege of participating with the locals in planting some trees. This whole event helped create a good rapport with the government officials. We got our pictures taken and showed up in the local paper the next day, which was pretty cool.

We each went our separate ways to different villages to continue talking with people. The day went smoothly for everyone with most people giving above an 8.3 out of 10 when rating their day. An event that contributed to our day’s high rating was an exciting cultural experience.

We went to a nearby house church at the end of the day. The women on our team were given traditional Indian dresses to wear and the men modeled the Kalal tree-climbing equipment and attire. A large crowd gathered, some of whom were people we had spoken with earlier in the week. Suddenly, music filled our ears and we were thrown into an Indian dance party. Just before passing out from exhaustion, we ended the dance party by lifting up one of the ministry workers. We loaded up back in the vans content from experiencing authentic Indian dancing with new friends just in time to avoid a much-needed torrential down pour, which was an answer to prayer for the local people.

 

The Art of Story Telling

Can I tell you a story about a chicken thief? Before the trip we practiced telling some stories with a redemptive theme to use while sharing the love of our Father. At the time we didn’t understand how effective story telling would really be. After our first day in the village we found that telling stories can hold the attention of the people longer than just simply talking. So today many of us used a story about a chicken thief that concludes with a Chief sacrificing himself for someone he loves. The people really seemed to enjoy hearing the story and better understood the message of the Father.

Here’s a little glimpse into the day of each of our team members…

Pam had the opportunity to not only evangelize but also encourage fellow brothers and sisters she met in the village.

George engaged with a decent sized group in a village and was excited to see how focused the people were on the words he was saying and the way that they understood it.

After Carole spoke with a woman, the woman began crying from joy and excitement. Later that joy overflowed again when her husband also responded.

Jonathan got to share the story of the prodigal son and helped teach some kids the game ninja and the fist bump.

Ru learned some cultural dances and witnessed four young boys respond by confessing with their mouths.

Bill was invited into the house of the village elder and had the honor of sharing with him.

Martha was dressed in India clothes and danced with the women which helped her connect with the locals even more.

Dave witnessed with the witch doctor and planted some seeds. He also discussed some deeper issues with some believers in the village.

We all had more confidence going into the day and are beginning to understand more about Indian culture and better ways of connecting with the people.

Please pray that our energy is sustained and we are able to sleep well. Pray that our relationship with our translators would be strengthened. Pray that the Lord would create divine appointments each and every day. Pray that the people would understand the joy and hope of the message that transcends their physical situations.

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P.S. We also saw a Kalal person climb a tree to collect the palm wine. This was exciting because we had been hearing about them for so long.

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First Day in the Field

Corn on the cob for breakfast is actually a delicacy in India—one that we got to enjoy today. After eating, we got paired with our translator for the week and participated in India style prayer. This meant everyone prays all at once out loud which was really exciting to listen to. Then it was go time.

Each person got dropped off in nearby villages with their translator and became human magnets. Turns out being a foreigner makes you stick out like a sore thumb. Some members of the team were swarmed as soon as they entered the village. Others were invited onto porches where we discussed American and India culture. For some this meant trying on a Saree or even taking an Indian nap after lunchtime. All the single team members were fervently interrogated about why they were not yet married and exactly when they would “be arranged” with a spouse aka hitched.

We learned about their religion and discussed our relationship with our Father. The people we met were all excited to hear about our beliefs and there were varying responses to our Message. Many of the locals made decisions to begin a relationship with Him.

After debriefing with the team in the evening we are all excited and a little more confident to go to new villages tomorrow.

Thank you for your continued prayers; we can already see the fruit of them here.

Prayer requests:

  • That we would communicate clearly through our translators
  • That we would be reminded that this is His work for His purpose and not our own
  • Continued good health and safety

Setting Up Camp

Today we had a fantastic breakfast at our hotel followed by a good “devo” with the whole team. We spent most of the day traveling to the city where we will be spending most of our time.

The team piled into two buses and traveled about three and a half hours to the city. We got the full driving experience today including how it is every man for himself on the road, lack of a correct side of the road to drive on, cows having the right of way, and a nice little t-bone accident. The accident wasn’t bad at all and our bus driver negotiated for about a minute before getting back in the bus and continuing the trip. Our guide informed us how most car accidents involve some talking, possibly some exchanged money, and of course no need to notify All-State. It was beautiful to see the countryside during the drive and get to know our teammates a little better.

We checked-in at our hotel and we’re thankful that our rooms have air-conditioning and indoor plumbing. Tomorrow we will go into the near by villages to begin working. Our leader told us about the status of the work they are doing here and we are all excited to be a part of it.

Please pray that we stay safe in the villages and for good health. Pray that we are able to communicate clearly through our translators and that the Father gives us the words to speak.IMG_2655

P.S. Jason Bourne (aka Dave) wanted us to share this photo illustrating how he annihilated Jonathan and Ru in a game of bowling on the plane.

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We Made It!

After what feels like 2 straight days of travel, we are excited to say that we have made it to our hotel in Hyderabad, India! We arrived around 11:00pm (about 2pm EST) a little tired, but we are safe and together.

The flights all went smoothly. Emirates was actually pretty comfortable and our seats were all relatively close on the plane. We arrived in Dubai and had a 5 hour layover so we went on “Wild Bill’s Dubai Tour” led by Bill himself after having done some research back in the states. We saw the largest building in the world and checked out the mall and saw a lot of the city through the metro windows on the way in.

By the time we got back to the airport we were all pretty exhausted and Jonathan and Carole humored themselves by watching everyone else on the team nod off while waiting at our flight gate. After that, we found ourselves in India and made our way to the hotel where we are now. We’re definitely all going to sleep great tonight.

Dave (who has taken on the alias “Jason Bourne” for the remainder of the trip) and Martha have been great about bathing our entire trip in prayer every step of the way. It’s great to see different strengths of team members come out even this early on. A few specific prayer requests for the next few days would be:

  • Safe car travels tomorrow to where we will be staying the rest of the week.
  • Rest and energy for everyone and that jet lag wouldn’t be an issue
  • Bill’s shoes were hurting him a bit today so he got some new ones. Prayers that his feet would not be in pain as we will be walking a lot this week.
  • The hearts of the people we will be talking to in just a few days to be open to hearing, believing, and falling in love with the message

Thank you for all of your support! We couldn’t do it without our home team!