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Paradigm Shift

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

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