Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Den and the Din

It is loud in India!

Although Machilipatnam is not a big city by any standard, even late into the night the noise of the outside traffic can be heard - various levels of horns, blaring a variety of honks and beeps and blasts.

The constant drone of the air conditioner (praise God) drowns out some decibels but it is still there. It did not silence the sound of the thunder that echoed through the city at 4:00 am.

In many ways when we return to the confines of our hotel room in between programs and then at the end of the day - I feel as though I have entered a "den" of false safety. Here there are no lions, but mosquitoes, roaches, and something (as yet to be determined) that loves the taste of my blood lurk in wait for our return.

BUT, we praise God for ALL things - the toilets we no longer manually have to flush, the air conditioning cools our overheated bodies down and dries our sweat drenched clothes equally as well (no dangerous fan incidents).

We praise God for the HUGE (I am talking bigger than a toddler) monkey that scared us to death as we left our room yesterday because it brought the blessed joy of laughter (two chicks with hands full trying hard to get the door shut while screaming and trying not to drop our inflatable "world").

We praise God we brought lots of granola bars and nuts and M&Ms for treats so the curry doesn't overwhelm our delicate digestion. We praise God for the electricity that works 90% of the time - and of course there is the satellite we can't see allowing "notes" from the field to go forth and multiply into prayers that are availing much.

We have finished the third full day of programs and have seen close to 1000 village children and adults! The "den" also reminds me of the verse in Daniel: "But the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits." (Daniel 11:32)

Each day V records the name of the village, population, Pastor's name as well as anything else Pastor J shares (number of believers, miracle healings, etc). This afternoon, he said "this is the "Rag Pickers" village." We didn't quite understand the name or even come close to guessing the meaning, and asked for an explanation. "Rag Pickers", he said, "they are the people that dig through the trash dumps and find small items to sell that have been thrown away. Plastic or glass items, you understand "rags".

Unfortunately, we did.

The village was only a short distance from the city center and we arrived sooner than we thought. We were broken in spirit considering their circumstance but when we got out of the car the children ran to us smiling and laughing shaking our hands, saying "hello" and renewing our strength with their joy. They smiled more, laughed harder and listened with greater focus than anywhere we have been.

But whatever their lack, their hunger and thirst for the Word will be blessed!

"(they) defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. IS THAT NOT WHAT IT MEANS TO KNOW ME? declares the Lord?" Jeremiah 22:16

It IS going well, we know our Lord, we are proud to do "exploits" for the Kingdom is at hand, we can see it in the smiles of the people He sent us to proclaim the Good News to in India.

"...preach good tidings to the meek;...bind up the broken hearted, proclaim liberty to the captives...comfort all that mourn...give them beauty for ashes..." Isaiah 61:1-3

Tomorrow, we have a program at the Prayer Hall with V giving a message to the women, then on to another village in the afternoon. Keep the fervency of your prayers going forth to bring down strongholds and open the flood gates of His Spirit on this nation.

Listening and knowing He is smiling at our service