Monday, December 27, 2010

“O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.”

We've only been home from India for two weeks now but I miss it already. If you've never been on a mission's trip before let me encourage you to just try it at least once. It will be a life changing experience - for you and for the lives that you touch.
We went to India this year to revisit the orphanage we (our church) built a couple of years ago, to spend time with the orphans and minister to the pastors we support there, to see the leprosy patients and aids patients we care for and to spend time with our dear friends the Katta's who work tirelessly to manage all these "ministries" we (our church) pour into. There were four of us who went this time. My Husband and myself, a friend of ours who recently moved away from our area (but promised to make time to go to India with us) and a young man from our church - my friend's sixteen year old son. We spent two weeks ministering to the people of India and encouraging the pastors and leaders. We saw many incredible things and were so blessed to witness many answered prayers. For such a poor people their faith is HUGE - and God honors that :)
"What's India like?" people ask. Well, from the moment I step off the plane there's a buzzing inside me - like electricity looking for a way of escape. The familiar smell of the air and the sights and sounds of this busy place are a welcomed experience ....  a long awaited homecoming of sorts. The people are gentle and curious and desperate all at the same time. The villages are crowded and dirty. Many live in filth..... and there's a smell ..... that indescribable aroma that permeates every inch. There's a lack of personal space and the uneasiness of feeling every eye on you wherever you go - this is India.

Not for you? Too unnerving you say? It's what's at the end of that never ending eighteen hour flight, the terrifying twelve hour car ride, the bumpy trekk down a goat path ..... when you arrive all sweaty and stinky and too tired to speak - and then look into the smiling faces of the sweet babies, little children, the old widows and the broken lepers who stare deep into your spirit with hope in their eyes .... that's what makes it all worth while. That's what keeps you going back.
During this trip we visited many of the churches we support through the Katta family's ministry and each of us had the opportunity to speak at each of the churches. We prayed for hundres and hundreds of people ... in was hot and stuffy and the flies .....  (not "complaining" about the heat - you all had snow while we were away), we fed many of the local congregations, distributed much needed medicines to leprosy patients, distributed clothes to the orphans and widows, travelled to remote jungle villages to feed, clothe, and minister to tribal people, and purchased a new vehicle for our orphanage - the "Praise Fellowship Church children's Home." This was not a vacation, we worked hard. Some nights we couldn't even stay awake and fell asleep in the car on the way back to the hotel. You know we've put in a full day when a sixteen year old falls asleep at 7:30 pm???
We saw the power of God move in people's lives - we witnessed miracles and daily received lists of praise reports from the congregations we visited .... excitedly telling us of all the answered prayers.(Praise Reports 1, Praise Reports 2, Praise Reports 3, Praise Reports 4)

Although we were involved in a minor car accident and were a little uncertain about whether or not we would be able to board our flight on time due to terrorist activity in the north, we were safe and protected and since we've come home ... we're missing the people so badly that we can't wait to go back to India :)

People have asked me "What impacted you most?" I have a hard time answering that question because there are so many things that have touched me in ways I can't describe. One thing that stands out though is the expectant faith the people we ministered to have ..... it reminds me of a few scriptures in the book of Matthew (Matthew 9:22, 9:29, and 15:28) Matthew 9:29

* But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.

*Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.”

*Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

What an encouragement this trip has been! I so look forward to returning to India - but even more than that, I look forward to seeing others step out and experience a missions trip .....

 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15)

I wanted to say "Thank you and God bless you" to everyone who contributed in this missions trip - all your prayers, finances, and hard work have made an impact on so many lives..... may He reward you abundantly!

Have a blessed week!

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