Saturday, October 31, 2009

79 Baptisms

At one location there were 79 people who were baptized! They did three at a time.
Notice the color of the water in the upper photos when the baptisms began and the color of the water in the next photo when they were nearing the end...
The children watching from above.
Praise the Lord!

Friday, October 30, 2009

E.'s Reality

This picture is highly amusing to me and realistic. Once you get past looking at the cutie in the orange shirt giving bad eyes to the camera, shift your gaze over to the right of the photo where you will find G. crying and me - checking her diaper for poopoo. Yes, this is real life people. Thanks E.

But we still love each other.

This one should have gone in the previous post but was somehow deleted...

Pictures By E.

E. (my almost 9 year old) loves to take pictures, here is some of her work from our latest "tour."

I loves that she takes pictures of whatever and whoever she wants. I'm embarrased to take pictures of people I don't know, but E., E. just snaps away - and look at these great pictures!

10 Days

We returned last night from a ten day tour of three states. I was trying to think of an adjective to use in front of "ten day tour" but finally gave up.


I couldn't really settle on one that could describe the experience in a nutshell. It was all those things and much more. We were four families (9 children) all together and a few other stragglers who set out last Tuesday to visit various areas of ministry in the North Indian states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Our families (and especially our children) are very close so it was great to travel and minister together. We stopped along the way and visited with believers from our church, pastors who work under our ministry and old friends that we haven't see in ten years.

O. is still in Rajasthan with the menfolk working out some property issues. He should be back tomorrow. I'll be writing more along with pictures later. But we're back...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pastor Stephen's House Church

This is Pastor Stephen and some of the members in his house church. He's the skinny one smiling in the background.
There was no electricity so this photo was taken in the dark, a flash works wonders!

The Pictures Of The AP Tour

Sunset over the rice fields.
O. with Pastor Madhu and Madhu's brother in Hyderbad. (and P.)
RICE! I saw how rice grows for the first time in my life. I have always wondered...
A dead snake. It was a live snake but they smashed its head. In two places that I visisted, after leaving the house, they discovered a snake. One of the houses was a house I slept in and the snake was under the bed! - in the other room... But still!
Poor mosquito bitten P. (see other post for details)
The red parts are bites.
Pastor Madhu's sweet wife, Vijaya with P.
Pastor Madhu's believers on the land where the church building will be built.

Testimony From Pastor Madhu's Church

During the program at Pastor Madhu's church a woman gave her personal testimony, she was baptized later that day.* When Pastor Madhu planted this church over a year ago this woman was his enemy. She was outspoken against the work of the Lord and often confronted Pastor Madhu in public. In one such meeting Pastor Madhu was led by the Lord to say that she would soon be attending his church.

That week Pastor Madhu prayed and fasted for 3 days for this woman. On Sunday she came weeping to his church. She fell at his feet and cried. As he had been praying that morning the Lord revealed to him that the woman had HIV. As she wept he said I know your problem, you have HIV. The woman was amazed, it was true. Madhu was led by the Lord to tell the woman to fast and pray for seven days. The following Sunday the woman came and her face was shining. She had prayed and fasted and returned to the doctor. She was re-tested and there was no evidence of HIV.

She started to attend church regularly. She accepted the Lord as her savior. Around Easter time she wanted to be baptized. Pastor Madhu asked her to wait and grow in the Lord first. Last Wednesday I had the privilege of baptizing her in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Mosquitoes, Pastors And Village Ministry

Last Monday O. and I flew into the beautiful Hyderbad airport in South India. We were met by one of our Pastors working in that state and his brother. As we were driving to the hotel Madhu pulls out surgical masks and gives them to both Onkar and myself. "Swine Flu" he said. He was totally serious.

Thus began a highly amusing week in my life. O. stayed in Hyderbad for a conference and I traveled 6 hours south to Vijaywada to visit the places were two of our pastors are working. I stayed at Pastor Madhu's house the first night and was pleased to meet his new wife. They fed me shrimp and P. ad I went to bed since we were very tired. In the evening the electricity went out twice but came back on. At 11:30 at night it went out again and didn't come back.

I laid in bed with P. for a long while, she, at least, was asleep. I was hot and the mosquitoes had started their attack. I fanned P. and eventually, Madhu's mother came in and fanned me. Still, the mosquitoes bit. As I scratched I prayed. I said, "Lord, why did the electricity have to go out. You know how uncomfortable I am. Can't you turn it back on?"

I guess the Lord had lessons to teach me. I have been praying for a year about starting to travel around and visit and encourage our village pastors, and here at last, the door which had previously been shut to me, was now open. And what happens, I get eaten alive by mosquitoes - and not just me - my 7 month old too.

By 2:30AM the electricity came back on and we slept. P. was sick with a bad cough and runny nose and now she was covered from head to heel (literally) in red swollen bites.* Lord, afflict me, but not my baby please. The bites never seemed to bother p. And Madhu's mother did fan us for two straight hours, God bless her.

By Wednesday I was tired but it was the big day. In the morning I was teaching Madhu's small congregation about Baptism and then one sister with an amazing testimony** was baptized. We also held the groundbreaking for a church hall for that congregation.

In the evening I visited our other pastor, Stephen, in another village. At present he has a small house church and works with his father who is also a pastor. The electricity went out - again - that night and I shared from the work of God by the light of my cellphone. The meeting later that night got cancelled when there was still No Electricity and P. was really unwell. She proved this by vomiting all over me in front of everyone.

P. recovered and on Thursday we visited and prayed and ate. Man was I fed. I had three breakfasts in one day, two lunches and one dinner - not to mentioned the drinks. I was blessed.

By Friday we were heading back to Hyderbad. We missed our train. For the first it in my life I missed a train -BUT - we caught a bus. It had a bed and it was air conditioned and it was cheap, so it actually was waaay better than the train would have been, except that it took forever to reach our destination. Oh well, I slept and read and prayed.

*see photo I will eventually post

**I'll post this testimony separately

Monday, October 19, 2009

Back From AP

We got back home around 2:30AM on Sunday morning. Our flight was early, which was nice, it actually took off 2o minutes early. There were only 11 of us on the flight so I guess once we were all there they decided to go...? It was Diwali, so I suppose not many people were flying.

Today is the Hindu New Year, so lots of celebrating going on. Our family spent almost all of today visiting our Hindu friends and neighbors and strengthening our relationships with them. We ate lots of sweets.

There is so much to tell and pictures to post about our South India tour and I hope to get to it. But between the visiting and the washing of clothes I'm a little swamped. Have I mentioned that we will be leaving on Wednesday for visiting our pastors in 3 locations over the span of 6 days. We'll be taking the whole family, hence the massive washing effort.

It's vacation time.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Starting My Tour

Whenever we go anywhere for visiting our pastors or speaking engagements or whatever, they always refer to it as a "tour," which I find amusing. But that is what I am doing starting Monday. O. has a conference for several days in Hyderbad, Andhra Pradesh and I'm going with him. Not for the conference, but to visit our pastors who work south of there near Vijaywada. It will mean two long days on the train getting there and back, but I think P. and I are up to it.

I'll be visiting two pastors while I'm there and seeing their work. Encouraging them and speaking. Please pray.

This is especially exciting for me because it is part of what I've been wanting to do for a long time. I'd like to get out and travel to our pastor's places at least 3-4 times a year. I've been praying about it for a while and I'm excited to get started on this new aspect of ministry.

I Always Have An Excuse

As it was in the US, I have been without a home computer since I got back to India. Various problems existed that have hopefully now been fixed. However, I've had to come to O.'s office to work on the Internet and anytime you can't do it at home, well, it lessens the amount of things you get done. Hopefully, I'll be back on tract now. However, I'm leaving Monday for 6 days...

It's been a tough 3 months for blogging. Sorry.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Super Hot

Since we've arrived back in India it has been Really Hot and Really Humid. Like Super Hot. Unseasonably Hot. So hot, that the only thing anybody even talks about any more is how-hot-it-is.

We didn't have much of a rainy season here in our little corner of India this year and this is distressing on many levels. Just the stinkin' hot-ness is distressing, but more than even that- no rain means vegetable, grains and fruit prices go up. Way up. Inflation is in full force here in India. And let's not forget- when it's unseasonable hot, people get sick.

For me personally, my skin has decided to peal off my body in protest of the hot weather. No, not like a sunburn, I'm not at all burned, it's just been so hot for so long, my skin pealed off my elbows. See photo:

Yes, it hurts. Yes, it burns. Yes, I bump this sensitive area over and over again every day - hence why the skin pealed off of there and not, say, my nose.
Good News! It rained today. Maybe the humidity will break.