india! at last

5 months and 6 days after arriving in mumbai, i write standing up at a recharge center in the Bengaluru (or whatever this city’s name is when you read this – think BLR) airport. 5 months and 6 days. Wow. Has the total life time spent in this country really been close to a year now? (1998, 2006, 2009) While focusing mostly on the last two weeks of my entire stay here, i want to reflect a bit on my total time in India on this journey.

India is really a country where the impossible, and totally illogical, is a daily occurence. How can it be that you see cows and dogs and pigs and humans all scrounging thru the trash bins (together sometimes!) and when mentioning how this is not seen in most of the world you get a blank stare like “that’s impossible”? How can you really call a populace civilized when they explode HUGE fireworks right in the middle of the street? What kind of education is it that produces many people that cannot explain a simple event with any sort of understandability? Or a culture where the rickshaw driver would rather yell and scream at you for 15 minutes (thus losing revenue) than accepting the fare he originally agreed to?

Please note that these are large generalizations. Saying that Americans are fat, or Japanese are clean is also a generalization. But these types of things are so common, as to almost identify a culture. Being someone who likes to ask questions, who likes to know the whys and hows of things, it was humbling to be told by so many people how to walk and talk and carry my bag etc etc. Yes, i believe this was God’s plan – to push down any pride i had remaining from my 48 years of life-experience. I can even be told now that i mustn’t clean the kitchen or toilet or floor etc., and keep on smiling and doing it anyway (only servants or women are supposed to get dirty inside the house it seems).

The purpose to come to India – to find young people willing to do animation to make the Great Controversy into a movie was stillborn. It is possible that a couple of people i met might help in the future, but as for setting up a little training school and doing the work – nothing got accomplished. But still i’m sure God DID lead me here. I had a wonderful, precious time homeschooling 2 children for the majority of the time. They taught me some more patience, and hopefully i got good experience that will be put into practice elsewhere as i hope to start or help in little schools and homeschools. If someone ever starts a “school of the prophets”, that would be a dream come true. And who knows, perhaps that is God’s will for me in the future. I had many wonderful talks, especially with the father at the house where i stayed most of the time, and i was fortunate to meet several people who are strong with Jesus.

And the last 2 weeks of my stay were like “icing on the cake”, and i mean that in a good way (mostly). It started out with a bus ride from Pune to Bangalore that was supposed to be 17 hours, but wound up being 23. The bedbug or whatever it was bites kept me itching almost uncontrollably for 2 days, and then normal painfully for about a week. Yes, the trains are much better, even with their stream of beggars, but i was just glad to get a ticket on any means of transport to reach my destination. I tried to call the pastor friend who said he would pick me up, but the call placed on the phone of a nice man i met on the bus wouldn’t go thru, so i asked a rickshaw driver at the ending point if he could call. He called somebody, then cut the phone, turned to me, and said “50 rupees i take you there”. I said “can you please call again and let me speak”? He agreed, and after satisfying him with a 10-rupee note for the call, he walked off, and i walked (dragged) the 40kg of books and calendars with me to the travel office down the road where the pastor met me. He was very gracious, and said something about being in the area since 4am when he had taken someone to the train station. It was after noon now, so i knew he had a lot of patience waiting for me. He took me to his church which is being renovated, and it was just good being with him again after a 6-week or so absence from our first meeting in Bombay.

After a bath and applying gobs of soothing jelly medicine that he so kindly purchased for me, i took a nap. He and his wife gave me their own cot-bed, and slept on the floor themselves on a little rice throw-mat. I felt bad putting them out like that, but protesting didn’t help things, so just accepted their hospitality cheerfully. That is one of the great things about India, there are so many bad things here i guess, that people who are in your group are looked after quite well, and worried over and watched over carefully. In all the 15 years i lived in the Japan with its 20+ landings at its airports, i never once was greeted by anyone. And i’ve never been taken all the way to the airport yet by anyone either, altho last time i was taken to a train station near the airport. But here, two pastors who have never met me before greeted me at the Mumbai airport in July, and, well, just tonite, i had three people go along with me to the Bangalore airport, just to make sure everything went well for me. That’s some hospitality! Of course, without that hospitality, it would be difficult to get here by public transport, as it is not connected well (hard to understand bus system and extremely overcrowded), and taxi drivers often charge what long-time foreigners here refer to as “skin tax” which is about a 5times surcharge.

People are lining up for my flight to Bangkok, so i better put this away for now. Thank you, some nice, dedicated people in this maelstrom that is called India, for making my stay profitable to my spiritual welfare, and i hope to yours as well 🙂

I’ll try to finish this now, a week later, typing in northern Thailand:
The pastor in Bangalore took me to many of his church members’ homes and businesses to talk and pray with them. He tries to meet with all his members in their homes once a week. This close contact is key, i believe, to keeping people healthy and strong in their church experience. I had many precious interviews, trying to lift the people up to look more closely to Jesus for everything.

Friday evening we went to the hospital/union offices/school complex on Spencer Road for a Christmas Music Fest. The first half was quite nice, but it got a bit rowdy, so i spent most of the last half standing outside. One thing i was surprised at, is that many people wait to move about in the church until the prayer. Then, when we are praying to the King of the Universe, many people change seats or walk around or adjust the sound system or take pictures etc. Someone has educated them this way, and now they must be re-educated the correct way.

On Sabbath i was given the opportunity to speak at the church where around 30 people were gathered. My talk was mostly just a Bible study on “God’s Will”. I was taken from there by motorbike to the church where we were the nite before. We took a shortcut thru a hospital grounds, and the “no horn” signs seemed to be mocking themselves. The crows enjoyed all the waste food from the potluck, adding their raucous cries to the over-energetic music that was prepared by most of the various churches and young peoples’ groups. Again, i spent over half the time outside on the street, making sure i didn’t fall in-between the cracks down to the sewer below.

Most Indians seem to be so used to music that is rhythm-based, that they have a difficult time with a melody-based music. Christians should be in the world, but not OF the world. We are supposed to be the salt of the earth, but if we are indistinguishable from the world around us, then how can it be said that we are “seasoning the earth”? Really, the sounds coming from many churches sound like Hindu temple noises, except maybe louder!

In the evening we went to a member’s home where they had a group of around 50 people eating and mourning a dead husband. I was asked to talk, and talked about Lazarus, and the hope of the resurrection in Jesus. I didn’t want any of the food, as it was mostly spicy and chicken, but may have offended the host. While sitting on the 2nd story balcony, i noticed that the electrical wires hanging from the poles, which were only about a 3-foot stretch out to reach, had no insulating cover on them. I’ve had many shocks in India, but it always seems that there is one more. Just glad i didn’t get the physical shock from this one! The people i was with tell me that probably this way was cheaper, so that’s why it was done like that, but admitted that sometimes “accidents” happen.

While i was there, the little dirt road off the main road got dumped on by a load of big rocks. Of course it caused lots of problems for everyone going that way, but that’s the way things are done. And interestingly, things do, somehow DO get done in India. It is amazing to see the changes since i first came in 1998 when there were hardly any vehicles on the few paved roads that were in existence. Now there are lots of paved roads, and motorcycles so common as be hardly worth mentioning as an “asset”, with a car as the “dream”, becoming realized by more and more people, especially young people who work in the numerous call centers and IT houses. After a few days, and a rain that turned the dirt road to a mud road, someone put the rocks where they were supposed to go, and on the day i left, i was told that the road would be paved soon. Progress is sweet 🙂

Sunday was spent profitably, going around to many church member’s houses. Each person has a little different story, experience, and i hope i was able to encourage them all to have a closer walk with Jesus. The church here is in a low state, largely because of some church leaders who themselves are breaking the Sabbath etc., so the members need to be reminded to look to Jesus, our perfect example. While pointing out the errors of our leaders, and calling them to repentance (thus receiving the seal of God in our foreheads), we must be pressing forward to our goal – life with Jesus forever in heaven.

What must we do to go to heaven? – 1. Believe in Jesus as the Son of God 2. Do as he says.

The students at the SDA school there on Monday morning heard the above, along with a message to be faithful to receive their reward in heaven one day. Then i packed up, and the pastor went with me to the SCIU headquarters. We met the president, who said he wanted 50 calendars, and then told me something that made me very happy. When i showed him the 1858 Great Controversy book i had printed, he said he had many, and that they were all spread out now. I could hardly believe him, but when learning of the circumstances, i remembered that a faithful missionary working at the division offices ordered 1,000 of these English books three years earlier, and i guess he sent a large portion of them here. Within 1 hour of hearing this news, i found another person who had received one of these books, making me doubly glad 🙂

The treasurer is the “Big Boss” in Indian society, i guess because money is king, and when i entered his office to receive payment for the calendars he said some rude things showing his superiority over his boss and over me too, but finally said he would pay for 30 calendars. I was told many horror stories during my stay in India of how the treasurers at our SDA institutions cheat and steal, with more people fighting over this job than over the president’s position.

Then one of the nicest gifts from God arrived. We had heard there was a SDA lady nearby who may be interested in translating. After wandering around the streets awhile, we finally found her right next to a big mosque! She is a retired Kannada language teacher, and translated some of the Sabbath School lessons, and had been praying to God to use her more in his service, at home, because it is difficult for her to travel. And here i am willing and able to travel, and looking for someone to stay at home and translate! God’s ways are so mysterious. A tear or two of joy was shed as i listened to her rejoice at how God was leading in her life. Then the pastor who took me shocked me by offering to help with translation costs! How can he possibly do that? Pastors here are paid very small amounts i know, and this pastor is very active in moving about to take care of his flock and spread the gospel, it just amazed me. And this language is not even his native tongue!

We took a bus to the main bus station, then had to catch another bus to the new station on the other side of town that serves cities in Tamil Nadu, the state just a few kilometers away (Bangalore is in Karnataka). Bangalore is so congested, that it takes longer to go from one side to another, than to travel 100km or more out in the countryside. Thanking the pastor for getting me to the right bus for Salem, i sat down to my banana, p-nut butter, and chapati meal with a heart lighter than a feather. The amazing growth of buildings and even a multi-km elevated expressway being built is so different from the sleepy, two-lane road i first took 11 years previously. Perhaps it is my flesh speaking, but a little bit i thot how it would have been if i had invested all the money i could’ve then in land on the sides of the road – ha! I would be a many multi-millionaire now. It may be hard for people in rich countries to believe, but land in India is very expensive. But of course, i probably would have bot land that the government would’ve condemned for nothing, or gotten killed for the land or or or, so yes, i’m glad i’m just doing my little bit working for my Master instead. The mansion he is making for me cannot be bot with any amount of money. And yet, if i had all that money to use for God’s work…………..

The journey is very nice, and the young man who joins in the seat next to me kindly guides me to the bus to Erode when we arrive at the Salem terminal, catching the bus just as it was pulling out – nice! I sit next to a young man i had seen on the previous bus, and show him many of the pics from my travels and try to talk about Jesus a bit with him. When leaving, he asks me to remember him in prayer, a Muslim. May the Holy Spirit work on your heart young man, and bring you to your Creator – Jesus Christ – the Son of God.

The stench of urine is horrific at the Erode bus terminal, but i add my touch to it too, then look around for the person who is supposed to meet me. After walking around and calling and waiting, a young man approaches me. This became the start of what is an excellent friendship i made with the dean of boys at Anbin Uttru (Springs of Love). We got off around 20minutes later just before a big church at Ellispet bus stop, and took the school’s auto-rickshaw the 2km or so by newly-paved road, and then where the road makes a hard right, kept going straight on a dirt road only about 100m to the entrance of the school where i was given a large room to share with a young man from Germany who had just come that day to stay several months and teach massage. This ended the 7+hour trip from Bangalore, and a really wonderful, highly delightful day. Thank you God for making some days so, so good, that i can be sustained even now while typing this 🙂

The next few days were spent taking the morning devotional talks for the staff, teaching the older kids, and the few seminary students. With all of them i taught the 1858 Great Controversy book. It was so gratifying to see many of the minds seem to come to life under the subject, and even all of the adults either being in agreement, or quiet. That is a rare thing. At nite i would give a 5-minute or so talk to all the kids, where i exhorted them to do everything like they were planning to go to heaven, and treating others like they would want to be treated. I didn’t wake up in time for my Sabbath-morning appointment, but God worked it out so that i was able to tell the “Baby Elephant” story in the church itself.

The meals were graciously provided by a staff member, and i thank her for not getting upset when i asked for no more spices, and didn’t even flinch when i washed a leaf of cabbage and ate it just like that. She did give an excuse when i tried to gently reprove her for showing her upper torso from below her belly button up to just beneath her breasts, but didn’t fire back when i said that Christians should have a “Christian” culture. Lovingly, kindly, we should try to help each other see where they are failing to meet the standard. I hope others treat me the same way.

The 20-something young man at this house where we ate every day really reminded me of a good friend i had made in Mumbai. Both of them are quite intelligent, well-versed in Bible, SOP, and internet, are friendly, and are DOING something to spread the gospel. They are both tall too 🙂 His younger brother grew noticably just in the few days while i was there, giving proof that beans and chapatis and rice and veggies can make bones grow. Most Indians don’t get enough nutrition. The poor don’t know much how to eat right, and the rich are like those in rich countries – eating junk food, so there are more diabetics here than in any other country in the world.

I learned something new from the leader of this place. He said that he has tried to get chili powder out of the school kitchen for many years, but with little success. He has learned now from some scientific studies, that spices affect the frontal lobe of the brain, making it less able to function properly. Knowing that this is the only place where God can speak to us, and seeing how the normally spicy food tends to produce irritable, rash people, and knowing how the SOP talks against it, he has always tried to keep it out of his 3 or 4 schools/orphanages he runs. But he has had little success here in the south, where i guess the chili problem is deepest-rooted. He said he would tell the cooks to get rid of all the chili powder, but when he would come to visit, there would always be chili powder in the food. When questioned, they would say (what i heard many times too in India) “There aren’t any chilis in it, just one for taste”. Of course it is contradictory in itself, but such is the nature of many things you hear in India. Anyway, he cut open all the chili powder bags, and poured them down the sinks saying, “If i see any more in the kitchen again, i will dock your pay for one month”. He said he has had no more problems with it. I told him that the one time i ate in the kitchen there was still a little problem with it tho – ha!

Indian courtships are tortured, with the boy and girl supposed to not be seen in each other’s company etc etc. The cell phone era has solved many of those “meeting” problems tho 🙂 My good friend here wants to get married, and here i publicly wish him well, and all the blessings of God if it is his will.

Sunday i leave on a bus to Erode, then change to a bus to Dharmapuri. Unfortunately, i get the seat just behind the driver, and the loudness of the horn was very painful, even after stuffing tissue in my ears. I call and wait awhile at Dharmapuri for my friend, then we get on a bus together to his place way out in the sticks, and reach the Sampath Napar bus stop in the evening after going thru some pretty remote villages, and in his large church i give a little talk and then enjoy one of the quietest nites i’ve ever experienced in India. This place, Jeeva Jyothi, is where i came in 1998, and helped finance (with my brother) a little school bus that they are still using today. They have medical-missionary training sessions, and several conferences etc. during the year, being one of the oldest self-supporting institutions supporting the SDA church started by an Indian in all of India i was told.

They have 25 acres, surrounded by rocky hills. Sadly, they have almost no permanent workers (if interested to help there, let me know!), so the land is lying mostly fallow, and the little bit of money they did spend on planting rice was mostly wasted as the elephants came in and had their say.

Yes, wild elephants. Growing up where elephants are only something you see on TV or in a zoo, elephants are nice, big, slow, vegetarians. Hey, i’m a vegetarian too, so we are all friends, right? Wrong! Just around 100m away from this place a lady was recently cutting grass in her field when she was suddenly attacked by an elephant which threw her against a tree and killed her. One young man was driving a tractor late at nite, and suddenly was surrounded by a herd of wild elephants, which picked him up, tractor and all, and hurled him to the ground killing him. Oh! That’s close! What if they come here? What would i do? Not planning to stay here long, i don’t feel immediate danger, but lay awake at nite wondering just what i would do if confronted with a bunch of huge beasts. They can travel quite fast, so i probably cannot outrun them. They can reach way up in the trees, and even uproot or tear down trees, so climbing is not an option. After praying, the only other thing i can think of would be to climb the rocky hillsides, hoping their big feet would not allow them to climb so well (but then they have looooong trunks!) After spending one day resting up and pulling weeds from the garden in the cool, rainy weather, i go by motorbike the following morning to their school, and on the way we pass a huge elephant doo doo in the road. Food for thot……

The school is quite nice, and i don’t know how they manage, but somehow they do. I would really like to help them with the 200+ kids they have, but don’t know what to do. They are having trouble even meeting the teacher’s payroll. Lord, please bless that little school, and may the little, precious souls there be able to continue to receive education that will fit them for the eternal home you are preparing for them in heaven. If i can help them somehow Lord, please show me. And if anyone reading this has a heart to help, please send your Holy Spirit to work on their hearts Lord. Thank you Jesus that i could receive a Christian education, and may i do my best to help others receive that too.

After exhorting the students to do their best with an eye to the glories of heaven with Jesus, i catch a bus at Denkanikottai to go to the SUD headquarters about a 35-minute ride away. After getting down at the “ITI” stop, i backtrack about 3 minutes on foot to the gate, which looks quite familiar, being my third time to see it. I find my friend, the youth director, in his office, and speak awhile, then go to his place where his wife, who keeps in good email contact, has prepared lunch. After that i take the first warm shower in several days, and read a bit. They ask me if i wish to go to some meeting in the evening. I say sure, and ask what it is about. They tell me it is the SAYJ meeting in Bangalore, the same meetings that i’m already registered for, and was planning to go to the next day! Wow. Thank you again Lord. We pick up Randy Skeete at his hotel, and our Jehu-like driver gets us somewhere near the site, but we can’t find it. I’m so glad i went with this group, because the address given in the email, which i checked on the internet is not the correct place, and i would have been searching for a long time if i’d come by myself. After circling and going here and there and all over, finally we arrive, just after the song service, and about 5 minutes before the sermon is scheduled to begin. Wow again Lord. Your angels are really busy it seems – thank you! The sermon is powerful, and it is great to see quite a few familiar faces from Mumbai, Pune, and Erode etc. After registering and waiting quite awhile, the pastor whose Sabbath School class i usually attend shows me to a private room – wow. I was thinking big, noisy dorm. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I drift off into sleep quickly.

The next few days pass by quickly, with morning meetings held by 5 different people. I always attend Bill Dull’s “Beginning Soul Winning”, and the presence of the Holy Spirit is felt. There are several organizers and leaders, mostly from America, and even the “Indian” ones coming from America for the event. So things go fairly well, with a few glitches, and with a seemingly lack of trust in divine power, but the main speaker’s message is excellent, and the morning sessions are Spirit-filled.

The only really bad thing for me at the meetings, is that we forced the cafeteria workers to labor for us on the Sabbath. How can we in good conscience listen to all these powerful messages about being faithful to God in the little things and Sabbath etc., then force others to break the Sabbath? It is a sin for which i asked three leaders to repent of, and fortunately one of them did – the young Indian man. May God bless him abundantly. The lady in charge of the cafeteria’s name is Ruby, which of course brought my heart close, as that is the name of my deceased mother. I gave her a SDA calendar before leaving, hoping and praying that she will forgive us (i directly asked her to forgive us too). The response of one of the leaders “well, write this up on the response sheet so we can plan better next time” was expectedly weak, but the response of a man whom i admire greatly as Christian hero of faith “It can’t really be helped at meeting like this” took me aback. Please Lord, may there not be a disconnect between our receptors and activators. We read and hear the words, but if not put into practice, what use are they? Actually, i see a lot of this in my travels, a hunger to know the truth for the truth’s sake, but the heart has not been changed by it. I repent Lord, and don’t want to do that ever again. Actually, i was told that the cafeteria workers were told not to prepare food on the Sabbath, but it seems no one told them not to work for us on the Sabbath – ouch!

Thursday evening and Saturday evening the Living Springs people (who were VERY helpful), and i put our books out for sale. Sister Horner also joined us with her health book, so we had Last Day Events, Bible Handbook, Education, 1858 Great Controversy, Wonders of Water, and the SDA calendar. We sold for 50 rupees each, and quite a few went out, but there were no big orders. I think my friends from Mumbai got more than anyone 🙂

One afternoon i joined the practical training class that Sandra Horner was doing, and it was quite interesting to actually see the health principles put into practice. One time when i came out of my room, a boxer dog didn’t recognize me, and came charging. My heart jumped with fear, and i didn’t move, and it quickly wheeled away – whew! adrenaline enough to last for a month – ha! The biomass project at the campus was interesting, and i had interesting talks with two of the students (Sunday-keeping Christians), one of them telling me that his uncle got killed in the anti-Christian murders that happened in Orissa last year, and he invited me to come. I will, if the Lord leads me that direction. One thing i think we should do in these meetings, is try to put more into practice what we hear. These meeting grounds are where we should first put into practice the “soul-winning” and “spreading the gospel”. Also, it would be good if people tried to eat with different people at each meal, as it would open up doors and connections that may last all the way to heaven. If we always eat with just our own, familiar group, then what good was it to even come? I did appreciate one comment from a Mumbai friend that he was having a hard time adjusting to the food, so could feel for me travelling everywhere getting adjusted to the food – yes! trying to put yourself in other’s shoes is difficult, but when the connection is made, it is really comforting. Most people who’ve not travelled much think of it as a rich, exciting life, not realizing some of the “other” things that are entailed.

Sunday morning we left the campgrounds and arrived at the SDA school on Spencer Road. It appears that there has been almost no preparation. Different people set up booths and everything, and then nothing….. The time ticks past 11 o’clock, and still not a soul. What did we come for? I’ve been asked to be a part of the Literature Evangelist “training”, as several teams go door-to-door, and happily supply the Great Controversy book. Finally we depart around 11:30, my partner being a 20+year old student. We go out the gate, and promptly find a guard man to have a prayer with. Most people are not interested in the books, but take the little flyer telling them about the free health check-ups going on until 5pm at the nearby school.

After more than an hour, with still not a single sale, we knock on yet another door in a 3-story apt building. Many apt buildings have guards to keep out people just like us, but this building doesn’t. The man opens the door while putting his belt on his pants, and looks to be in “hurry up” mode. We show the health flyer, and he about shuts the door in our face after taking it, but then opens it again when he sees the book we’re carrying. He opens his wallet, pulls out a 50 rupee note, and our first sale is accomplished! We either try to pray with each person, or at least pray for them after leaving. The prayer for this man was a prayer of rejoicing, and an intense longing that the Holy Spirit will help him to understand it, so that he will be among the remnant when Jesus comes. Thank you Jesus for lifting our spirits! A different man, an elderly guard, shows an interest, but cannot read English, so we promise to bring him a Tamil copy in the afternoon. What a spiritual high the Lord had in store for us!

After going back to the health expo grounds for lunch, and finding out that 2 other teams had sold 3 copies each, and one team had sold all 10 copies (!), three of us went out again in the afternoon. One man who had “Praise the Lord, Alleluia” all over his door bot a book, and after our flyers were all finished (it was about 5pm anyway), we went with the Tamil Great Controversy to the elderly guard man’s post. He had a Bible on the shelf behind him, so knew he probably liked to read, and he did, but could only bring up 11 rupee in coins from his pocket. Then he said that he could walk home that nite, and tried to put his bus fare in our hands. My heart was melting quickly at this point, and with a tear or two we gave him the book (with the promise that he would read it), and prayed with him. Lord, please send your angels to be with that book, may it get read, and may your Holy Spirit work on that man’s heart, and his family’s hearts, to want to live fully for you.

I heard 2 more exciting stories from the sales of these books today – One young Muslim girl wanted to buy one, but said her family wouldn’t let her have it. Then she said that she would keep it at her Christian friend’s home, and read it there. Please Lord, be with this girl, and her friend also. One other testimony was of one Sunday-keeper looking at the cover of the book, and asking why us Adventists always talk about the Sabbath. When convinced of the answer that it is because the 10 Commandments are still 10, she went ahead and bot the book.

After another inspiring message by Randy Skeete, and selling some more calendars and books, and a meal of rice and curd (yoghurt), (because all the other food had spice in it) we went back to the pastor’s home. Because of the rain the rickshaw fares were over 3 times! Finally we found one driver who agreed to a decent price, but soon we noticed that his meter was set fast. Much jawing did no good, but when we took down his driver ID number he relented. What a hassle. The little house sure looks good, even if filled to capacity with 7 people.

Monday is the day to leave India, but i’m still going to be blessed by God with another great experience today. We go to meet a church member in the slum area and after having a good, long talk, go to a Sister’s house. She is in distress, and we have a nice, long talk, encouraging her to stay strong in Jesus, and not compromise with the world. Lord, please watch over your little sheep everywhere.

The buses are all full around 7pm when we the 4 of us walk out to go to the airport. We bargain with a rickshaw driver, only to get a change of price when we reach our destination. Two of our group go with the driver to the traffic police, and the traffic police officer, after hearing the case, tells the driver he better be gone quickly or he will receive a fine. To waste 15 minutes of his time which could have been used productively, and the stress and energy involved, for what? We walk about 1km to a big bus stand where we find a real car taxi, and are told 150 rupees for the 25km to the new airport. I can hardly believe it, as the little rickshaw drivers charge that much for around 12km, but it is true, and after having rocket-like experiences again, we arrive safely. Thank you pastor and friends for taking me safely, and thank you angels for watching over us so carefully and tenderly.

Lord, please may my time in India not have been in vain. You gave me many good experiences, experiences which i hope to use for your glory later in life. Please Lord, may i realize more and more the value of just one soul. And let me be more active in spreadng your words. Seeing how people WILL buy your words to support your servants was very encouraging. To see little minds grasp spiritual truths, and start teaching them to their parents was beautiful to behold too Lord. Lord, my plans and your plans don’t match many times. May you mold me more and more into your image, so that my plans merge perfectly into yours. Thank you for this experience, and please remember me in your kingdom.

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