What a day today was. We arrived in Delhi last night at about 11:00 and were at the train station at 7:15 this morning. The train arrived in Kahla (sp?) at just before noon. We got in our car just before 1:00 and arrived in S. after three plus hours of driving on steep, curvy roads with lots of traffic and a driver who passed everything he could whether cars were coming or not. Ron said that the roads reminded him of WV hills on steroids. Charlie was crowded in to front seat. The other three- Carolyn, Jo, and A. were crunched in the second row seat. Ron and Liz sat in the back facing each other. Almost all our luggage was strapped to the top. The good news? We had air conditioning and stopped for lunch at McDonalds.
What the train and car ride took out of us, the sights here in S. have helped restore. This city is to India like Aspen, CO is to the USA. The climate is great. The city is clean. There are no beggars. It is a relatively prosperous place. And did I mention the natural as well as man-made beauty? We are on top of mountains and the city is spread all around on top and on sides of mountains. Mostly old and stately with beautiful public buildings are in the center of things. It is full of tourists, like H., but not pilgrims on religious pilgrimage. Many wealthy Indians have summer homes here. Other well to do Indians come for part of the summer or all of it.
We met late afternoon with a local company man named L. who gave us a quick rundown on the local scene concerning culture, history, and the company work. It all was very inspiring. Many things for good and God are going on in this state. There is an established Baptist church here and a church majestic building left over from the British days right in the center of things. However, don’t think this is a hub of Christian activity. Hinduism still reigns. The main company work is in the villages. There are 19,000 of them in the state and the goal is to have a local branch in every one of them. We are all impressed with L. who is very busy helping start these branches by providing training and some oversight of the new starts. We may be able to provide assistance in this process. More about that in MP.
The city of S. looks like a Swiss village in the town center area. It is filled with colonial era buildings, mostly used for local, state, and national government. There are quaint streets filled with shops and stores of all kinds. There are coffee shops and restaurants as well. We ate tonight at a restaurant that has Italian, Mexican, and Indian cuisine. It wasn’t exactly like we are used to, but it was good. Some of us even found a Baskin- Robbins ice cream shop. There is also a Dominos and a Subway.
At our team meeting tonight we shared our impressions about today and the whole trip so far. We all sense God is moving us to be more evangelistic at home a overseas. We are convinced that our church must do a better job of focusing on the gospel and evangelism than ever before. Tomorrow we plan to meet again with L. and make contacts with him, We are all eager to do so.