Sunday, February 8, 2009

Curry, Prayer ... and Believers on Fire

Friday February 6th, 2009
V-team is unanimous in saying we wouldn't have traded february 6th of 2009 for anything. Able to do internet in the morning, we tried to cram as much as we could in a short time. This is where the enemy attacks us. We were frustrated, trying to get the flash drive to work, trying to communicate, stressed and pushy. We recognized that as a team this is where the enemy tries to get us a lot, so after finishing we got collected and prayed. We were still a bit off-center due to miscommunication with our flight and times leaving India, but we needed to meet Francis to leave for the prayer meeting. A bit disorganized, we made many trips back to our house across the compound to get water, snacks, and appropriate clothing. There was a general weariness in the air. We all felt a bit tired and not totally prepared for the few-hour long journey ahead of us. You really have to be filled up when you go to a prayer meeting because of all the people who ask you to pray for them.

At 2:00 p.m. India time (about 3:30) we left for another village yet again. Andrew was feeling odd symptoms for which we couldn't pinpoint a specific problem, which was usual because we randomly wake up sick with random symptoms then they go away anywhere from an hour to a few days later. My personal decision would have been for andrew to stay -- but we all moved forward to the adventure that we knew God had in store for us.

We stepped in the car and asked God to come. As one of our friends Kevin (from the recent team here) would say, "God, we need you to show up and show off." We headed through the villages that seemed to get more and more rural as we drove hours to a new one we had yet to visit.
We stopped halfway through to visit Francis' daughter and her friends who lived in the same hostel as her. We prayed for a few of them when we first arrived in Repalle at the youth conference, so it was great to unexpectedly meet up with them again. We were invited to go get pizza with them (we were surprised too). We sat down and were so excited to have some pizza- chicken pizza in fact! We weren't told it was chicken curry pizza (although we should have assumed it being India and all), and were very surprised at the first bite. Andrew looked over quickly with a smirk saying, "This is going to be a long meal for you..." It was highly enjoyable but still spicy even for Christian and Andrew, but it was abuse for me. It was especially difficult since it was a personal pan pizza and there was no way of just grabbing one small slice. With the Indian hospitality i couldn't deny or even eat some, so I woofed it down. I plan on loosing 67 pounds on my all-curry diet. We stepped back into the car to finish our journey, and we felt sick again. The company and laughter was nice, but for some reason our stomachs' were exceptionally torn up and we just wanted to sleep.

The bathroom in India is massive, about the size of India really. The rule for going to the bathroom is just making sure you won't get hit by a car (but anywhere outside is pretty much free game). So after we joined in with the Indian culture by doing our business by the side of the road, we arrived at our destination.

Shortly we were informed more on how the church system works with IREF. Francis told us that a village would have a bunch of nominal christians and an evangelist would visit the village, and build a church with those people. That they would get built up and the evangelist would work together with the few people and eventually build a church. Well, here it was a bit different. We found that this village had no nominal christians, and this is because of persecution. You really have to love Jesus and give Him your life to stick with it in this part of the world. So we met the few believers that were on fire, who were really living for God.
After sharing with the church, we attempted to move out slowly by praying for the members one by one. Please continue to pray for physical healing for these people- and that they would be comforted and strengthened in every good thing they do and say. Strangely enough though we received the needed strength for every moment. God provided everything we needed, EVERYTHING. We were alive and well, with the Spirit's power moving through us. We were treated with hospitality and care from "Vani." She is blessed with the gift of hospitality. Afterward we were able to hear her story which was incredible. Vani's husband, Preshant, is Muslim and highly ranked in the air force. She is a strong follower of Christ, as well as her children. Vani's request is that you pray for her and her family. That her husband would have a change of heart, and come to know Jesus. He treats her harshly and she is asking God for a miracle. Please pray for her sons that they would grow strong and close to the Lord- and they would persevere the persecution and trials.
We got in the car, very content and in awe of what God did yet again. We asked Him to give us a safe journey (because it is a dangerous drive) and not only did He do that, but we were able to enjoy it. Of course when we got back in the car we were sacked out, but despite our exhaustion God was bigger that that and provided for us. He took control of our night and again, as empty vessels we saw God at work.

That was Evan...Now this is Christian
Funny Story. So last night, we were at a small village prayer meeting. After playing some songs, I spoke. After I spoke, it was Evan's turn. He was teaching on how we can't worship the things and gifts God has given us, how we can't make those idols and turn our focus from God. He was referncing scripture and asks the translator to read Hosea 1:8. After reading, the crowd was very confused. As a listener, I too, read the scripture. I quickly realized why they seemed so caught off guard. Evan had given them the wrong scripture to read and it did not apply at all. He meant to have them read Hosea 2:8, not 1:8. 1:8 is about a man getting his wife pregnant again and her having a baby. 2:8 was completely different. Check them out for yourselves. It was funny. I thought it was hilarious and Evan and I were the only ones that laughed. All the attendees seemed to be embarrassed. Oh, the differences in culture. Haha.

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