These last two days have been interesting. We are loving being in S. It is in Himachal Pradesh State which is in NW India and is very mountainous- the foot hills of the Himalayas. However two of our teammates are experiencing sickness- stomach aches, vomiting, and fever in one. They are Liz and Charlie. We were supposed to leave S. tomorrow to go west and north to D., which is an 8-9 hour drive over mountainous roads. But we are now seeking to stay one more night in our hotel and go to D. on Saturday. We plan there to meet with a national pastor Liz knows to hear how his work is going and possibly how we could partner with him in ministry.
The workers for our company we have met here are fantastic. Just ask a simple question and they give a very passionate response to describe what is happening. It is very exciting. I am making plans to have them visit us in SC and introduce them to our family. They work in some very exciting areas that we hope to cooperate in. I can’t tell details in this format. So, later at home, we can share details and pray over plans for future interaction.
Yesterday, 5/25, we made a hospital visit to see the mother of the Baptist pastor in Shimla, Pastor Ajay. The hospital was built by the British ages ago. His mother welcomed our visit. We talked with her and several family members, then prayed with her and left with the pastor to discuss his ministry. He is a fourth generation Christian. His great-grandfather was the first Christian in Chamba province of HP. This great grand was son of a Brahman Hindu priest. At age 16, the great grand heard a Scottish missionary preach a gospel message and was converted. He told his family and was cast out. Pastor’s father was pastor of the Baptist church before him. Pastor Ajay is a remarkable man. He travels in the state extensively to support the work of churches and pastors. He has a strong heart for evangelism and church planting. He believes the Lord will come soon, and that Christians have little time left to win the world. We were all moved and impressed with him in our discussions.
The young couple who live here (with 4 month old son) are jewels for our Father. They are a passionate as anyone I know for the Father’s work. They came first as short termers, not thinking this was their place. But in a short time Father changed their heart. This is their place, and they love it. The company sees their value. Father is using them greatly. They are conversant in Hindi which is the majority language here. Though most people speak English a little, Hindi is their heart language.
Late yesterday afternoon, Liz went to a doctor. He prescribed four meds. Liz began immediately. This afternoon she is much better though weak. We went to visit the young couple L. and L. and little W. as well as another worker, L. S., for supper and an evening of fellowship. It was great. We talked and laughed, played games, and ate Mexican food and chocolate chip cookies (home-baked). However, Charlie became ill there and has been most of today. This afternoon late he began to feel better.
It is confirmed that we will stay here another day and leave Saturday. We had another session with L. today which was also encouraging. A plan of action is shaping as our team continues discussing what we are hearing and seeing. We are forming a vision we will report to the Missions Council. We believe anything we do here must conform to the work being done and not be just a project we feel good about. Also, we have concluded that we must have partners to work with on the ground who are nationals or company people. We see so many needs that we have to really pray hard to discern what God is leading us to do. But He is leading and speaking. We will have more to say about this later.
In the afternoon, Jo, Carolyn, and A. went with L. S. to visit an orphanage. L. S. who works for the company, volunteers at the orphanage. It was a heart rending scene for them. They bought some bananas for the kids and Jo and Carolyn brought some things from home to leave there for them. As this is being written, we are with the workers again for fellowship and dinner. They seem to be blessed greatly by our fellowship and interest in their work. Hopefully, tomorrow we will all be well and can get ready for the long drive on Saturday.
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