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