India – Part 3

India – Part 3

It’s incredible how 20 short days can drastically change a person’s heart when he or she is forced to rely on Christ’s strength. Saying this trip has been hard would be quite the understatement, but throughout our time here the Lord has been nothing but faithful. The days are not easy, but the Lord has continued to keep us safe and healthy, and He has consistently used our weaknesses for His glory and His purposes. The city we are in is densely populated. Within the markets, streets, and parks, there are literally people everywhere. The streets are congested with auto rickshaws, cars, trucks, people, motorcycles, scooters (aka “scooties”), and tons of livestock. It can be quite exhilarating to ride in the auto rickshaws, especially when they swerve back and forth across the streets in order to avoid hitting people or animals (mostly cows). I can honestly say that India is the most colorful country I have ever been to. The trucks are decorated with bright colors, the people are wearing beautifully colored clothes, and even the buildings themselves seem to display a vast array of colors.

 

Most days here in India look relatively similar. Each morning, 2-3 members from our team go to volunteer at a special needs school. At the school we sing songs with hand motions (such as the classic/favorite “Father Abraham”), teach parables, participate in class exercises, and help the students with their daily learning activities. The rest of the team uses the extra time in the mornings to rest up and dig deep into the Word. The culture in India consists of slow mornings and bustling afternoons. A lot of people don’t get going until around 2:00 in the afternoon. For the rest of the day our team divides into groups of 2 or 3 with local translators, and we venture into the city sharing the Good News with anyone willing to listen (which happens to be pretty much everyone we stop and talk to). Luckily for us, the people here are very open to talking about religion, which makes it super easy for us to share what we believe. The more discouraging aspect of this is that religion here is often based on where you are from or what your family believes. Over and over again the people we meet tell us all gods are the same. They don’t understand why they can’t simply just add Jesus to the list of gods they believe in. It’s heartbreaking to see how lost these people are. They desperately need Jesus.

 

The spiritual warfare here is so evident it’s almost tangible. This place is full of darkness. But in spite of the darkness consuming this city and this country, God is at work. The Lord has definitely been showing our team His power over everything. He has given us strength when we are weak from sickness and fatigue. He has given us wisdom when teaching others about His grace. He has shown us how to love both people that are similar to us and people across the world from us. The Lord is GOOD. It’s hard to believe that our time in this city is drawing to a close so quickly. We have seen the Lord work while we are here, and we trust that He will continue to work with the seeds we have planted. Even if we ourselves are not able to see anyone come to faith during our month here, we trust that God’s timing and purposes are perfect and that He will save these people in His timing even after we leave. He is faithful to fulfill His promises, and for that we are eternally grateful.

 

Annabel Bannister