Monthly Archives

February 2013

The View From India

By | india, missions, Personal Life, travel | One Comment

Since 2007, I’ve had such a passion for India. I’ve always been on the outside looking in though, seeing its oppression, cruel injustice and spiritual hunger from my comfortable life in America. I’ve always wanted to do SOMETHING to fix it – to be a voice for the voiceless in India, to let the world know about the struggles Christians here face.

Now that I’m actually in the place I’ve only prayed, read and written about, I’m getting a surprising view as I turn and look back at the country I left behind. Don’t get me wrong; the Indian believers are NOT bashing the U.S. or anything like that. I’m saying all of this from personal observations and reflections.

In many ways, the Church here is so much stronger than in America. Here, it feels like the New Testament has come to lifeā€¦I can’t really say the same for the U.S.

In India, prayer and fasting are such a priority. They seek God before any and every major decision. When’s the last time I did that? When is prayer and fasting ever a priority of ours? It’s wise to seek counsel from godly friends and parents, but is that really a priority over seeking the face of God? He’s already got the plan of our lives written. Why do we hesitate to ask Him which direction we should take?

Another thing I’ve observed is the importance of repentance. A very wise man said today, “When in doubt, repent.” I can’t remember the last time anyone (including myself) made repentance a priority or a possible source of the problems we face. I’m not well-versed in Scripture or claim to have a vast knowledge of God, but did you ever consider that maybe we face certain challenges because there’s a sin we haven’t turned from?

These are just a couple of things that have stood out to me so far, and I’m sure there will be plenty more! Stay tuned for updates.

Read more about how God is working in India by clicking here.

Paradigm Shift

By | india, missions, MNN, travel | No Comments

I totally got rocked today. The slums I’ve only read about & seen in Slumdog Millionaire became real, in all their disparaging glory. It was a total sensory overload – I’ve never seen anything like what I saw today, and the smell was something you’ll never experience unless you’re in a developing nation. Which I think would be a valuable experience for ALL Western believers, because unless you open your heart and allow Jesus to change your thinking, I’m convinced you’ll miss a chance to further the Kingdom of God.

While I’m still trying to recover from the total overhaul that was this afternoon, I’ll try to paint at least a small picture of what I experienced in the slums of Mumbai.

I was at a Gospel for Asia-supported Bridge of Hope center in Families exist in a structure that’s roughly the size of my bathroom. There’s stagnant water, trash, and the smell of it EVERYWHERE, complete with flies. Pigs roam freely, looking as home in the refuse as the people do. Kids under 4 are usually bare from the waist down, while some roam amid broken glass and similar hazards completely without shoes or clothes.

But what hung heavier over this place than the smell was the spiritual darkness.

I saw a demon-possessed woman rock back and forth and thrash around on the floor as believers battled for her freedom through prayer. She was a rag doll, victim to the demon raging war inside of her. The woman’s hands often hung limply, despite a body that moved as if a puppet on a string.

I also saw believers so full of JOY despite their circumstances it put my own faith to shame. The kids smile from ear-to-ear and delight in shaking hands and being photographed. Christ-followers in this country pray and fast with fervor, as I think the Lord intended. It often seems like it’s a last resort in the West, when believers can’t do something by their own ability or wisdom. But here it’s a first step – Christians here don’t do ANYTHING without first fasting and praying over the decision before them.

I’m definitely taking THAT lesson to heart. Thank you Jesus.

After seeing what I’ve seen so far on this trip, it really shouldn’t surprise me that India is growing by leaps and bounds while America’s on the quick downward slide. The Body of Christ here lives as Christ told us to and honors HIM as their ultimate authority – not themselves. It’s a wake-up call I wish everyone could experience, because maybe it would change the way we act as Christ-followers. Maybe we would start living like the Church the Lord calls us to be. And maybe our nation would follow.

How would your life change if you took your eyes off of yourself? It’s a question I’ll be battling for the rest of this trip. Maybe my spiritual life would start to look like that of the believers here, and would start producing fruit like what I’ve seen abounding in India.

Maybe then I’ll be worthy to stand alongside them as part of the true Body of Christ.

To learn more about how Gospel for Asia works in India, click here.

See pictures of my slum visit on the MNN Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/missionnetworknews

From the Midwest to Mumbai

By | india, MNN, special reports, travel | One Comment

Anyone who knows me well knows the fire God put in my heart for India, and especially the Dalits. They’re the social lepers of India, a people once labeled “untouchable”. We’ve written hundreds of stories about the Dalits at MNN, and every time we get a news alert from our partners, I’m eager to see how God is working among them.

Over the next two weeks, I don’t have to wait for a story to come in to hear how God is working. I get to see it first-hand.

I’ll be traveling from Delhi in northern India all the way to the southern state of Tamil Nadu. I’m expecting to see how God is working among orphans, widows, Dalits & indigenous missionaries. Each day, I’ll be sharing what I experience with our followers on MNN, Facebook, & Twitter.

As I sit at the airport waiting for my delayed flight, I can’t help but wonder – how will God change me? I’m eager to see how God is changing lives in India, but how will I change as a result? How will this trip affect our marriage? Jeff & I have only been married for 8 months, and this is the longest time we’ll be apart – it’s been a struggle already, and I haven’t even left yet! How will God comfort us during this time of separation?

These questions & so many more are pop-corning around my mind like grasshoppers in a jar. Hopefully I’ll have some answers/insights for you in the coming days!