So we have just finished our third day in India. Pretty much everything has gone smoothly since arriving in India. Although, we did have to fly a day early out of Mumbai due to landslides that ruined some roads and flight departure times. This was all good. We took our day of rest in Pune instead of Mumbai.
I wanted to cover a couple things in this blog so here they are:
I like food and I was really excited to come to India and taste many foods that I have never had before. They put spices in everything just like expected. Have you ever had spicy watermelon? My favorite food thus far has been buttered chicken and fried rice with these special sauces. The other day we went to an Indian KFC that was seriously twice as good as American KFC. Some of the food we have had has been spicy but I don’t think anything has been too crazy yet.
The atmosphere in India is so detailed. My eyes are fluttering, trying to intake everything as we drive or walk down the street. Our hotel is posh while right out of our window you can see young children playing with trash bags for fun. The weather has actually been pretty delightful in my opinion. It hasn’t been deathly hot but rather a manageable temperature and humidity. The atmosphere at the pastors conference was one to remember. There were men and women standing and singing quite loudly. I sat down with the guys at the front in some chairs. I almost felt myself getting light-headed because so many thoughts were flying through my head. During one of the teachings there was a LOUD screech that came from the sound system. An Indian man, probably named Layne, got up and fixed that problem.
There are some things that we have experienced that can be quite intimidating. One of these things is driving. Usually when I drive at home I tend to be a control freak and overreact when cut off in traffic. This goes out the window in India. The traffic here is nuts. Its one thing to see a video, but it is a whole other thing to experience it. Many of us guys have been using “the imaginary brake” when traveling.
Another thing that is quite intimidating is the looks. We took a stroll through Pune the other day. I read in the book “Commissioned” that you can smile and nod at people to get them to smile back. Let’s just say, this mostly works. Some men have given me “death stares”, not breaking eye contact until I pass them in the street. It is odd for sure but, I guess that’s how it is. The last thing that tends to be pretty intimidating is the teachings. The looks you get while teaching are very hard to read and can throw you off. Lets just say, I will never be intimidated by some punk in Neoxenos who gives me a dirty look during a teaching LOL. This being said, the Lord has been really working through these teachings and has really done a good job of encouraging the men & women here. Many of the pastors have come up to us and said they can’t wait to teach our material to their church. It is an encouragement to us that we are an encouragement to them.
There has been a level of emotion I have experienced while in India that I do not experience at home. When I am reading my books, I have found myself getting teary eyed when the book makes mention of a verse or the gospel. When traveling one evening, I found my heart in my throat as I saw a women laying in some trash and mud. Her infant baby lay in the trash with its head resting on her calf muscle. This level of poverty is arresting. When we first arrived at the pastors conference, we were seated in the front, facing all of the pastors. They had eyes closed and singing to God with heart-felt passion. As I took a few pictures I was overcome by emotion. It is very hard to explain but I started to cry. There was such a level of intimacy and sincerity when they were singing even in Marati (Local language). I have never experienced anything like that when watching people sing. Lastly, Tom taught today on the concept of faith and trusting the Lord with difficult situations. He spoke about the situation with his family that he experienced years ago. The men and women were clearly identifying with what Tom said. At the end of his teaching they were able to comment. One pastor stood up and offered to pray for Tom and his family. The entire room raised their hands and pointed them towards Tom and affirmed the pastors prayers with “yes Lord”. Tom began to weep and so did I. It was easily the most emotional scene of the whole trip thus far.
Everyone except Greg went out to explore Pune the other day. We went into a supermarket and looked at all the products. I took some good pictures of shop vendors and people laying cricket. 2 days ago we went to the mall with Benny, Minova, His wife Rebecca, and his one daughter Michelle (9yr). Michelle is literally hilarious. She always beats you at competitions she makes up. She gave me great advice on what dress to buy Erin. I showed her my cats at home and she went “AWWWWWW”. Anyways, driving has also been fun. It’s pretty funny to see the stuff drivers will pull in order to get ahead.
THANK GOD FOR THESE THINGS
- Safety so far
- Our guides Benny & Minova
- Teachings at the pastors conference went well.
- I have not seen a spider yet.
PRAY FOR THESE THINGS:
- Tom’s stomach. He is not doing well after the conference today.
- Health for all of us. (Some of us have had some stomach issues)
- Safe travel from Pune to Vizag tomorrow.
- Protection from the evil one. He seems to like to accuse or feed you lies about your teaching quite often.
- Continued unity with our team.
We love and miss everybody,