Monday, January 31, 2011

I left my heart in India.

I knew I'd like it, but I had no idea how much.

Within minutes of stepping off the plane, I was in love.
We were greeted with flowers by the pastor we were ministering with, given hugs by all of his family, and I saw an entire parking lot full of sweet old motorcycles.

The next 6 days were spent at Jahnavi's Heart Orphanage, Grandma's House home for widows, preaching at neighboring villages, praying for lots of people and trying my hardest to learn words in Telagu. (the hardest language of all time)

The people were warm, beautiful, and generous.
Everywhere we went, we were given Limca, a lemonade type of cola, or coconuts to drink, or greeted with flower petals being tossed on us.

We went to a house church in Kakinada, where 15 women meet in a room the size of a closet.
Their husbands are Hindu and won't allow them to be Christians, so every Tuesday they come to this home in secret, where they worship God and are taught from the Bible.
I sat next to a woman who was left by her husband when he found out she was following Jesus.

The children at the orphanage were so amazing.
Pastor Joseph and his wife, Sony, run the orphanage, and the children call them mom & dad.
They sleep on a thin blanket on a concrete floor, with no pillows. There are about 10-15 children per room. All of their belongings are put in a small box on the floor, and each child gets one shelf.

The pastors whom we spent time with are 100% wrapped up in the Gospel.
All day, everyday, is spent ministering in villages, preaching sermons, and providing for the needs of people.
They have nothing.
No insurance, no retirement funds, no couches, no pizza parties, no vacation days.
However, they have treasure stored up that will last forever.
Jesus put it like this,
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
-Matt 6:19-21Their riches are real and lasting.

The kids and I became best friends.
They sang songs for me, taught me a game, corrected my telagu, and gave me lots and lots of kisses.

I think that words can't explain the impact this trip had on my life.
It has changed the way I see the Gospel.
After arriving home, I have been at a loss of how to spend my days.
I want my life to be of as much use to God as the lives of the Christians I met in India.

Hey India, I'm asking God to let me see you soon.

p.s. if you want to sponsor an orphan, widow, or just make a donation to Pastor Joseph's ministry, go to Only Believe Ministries. 100% of the money goes to India.