India Diary, Day 11
As we got into the Delhi airport, having just flown from Dharamshala, we had remembrances of arriving in India almost two weeks ago. For a moment it seemed as though the past two weeks was a dream. Then as we gathered our baggage and headed for a taxi things came back into focus. Earlier today we spent time in McLeod visiting the temple where the Dali Lama lives. We didn’t see him, but saw many monks and visitors. The inner sanctum of the temple was quite interesting. As we entered, a monk was emptying small bowls of water sitting close together along a ledge in front of the central idol of the temple. It was almost as though they were for the idol to drink from. Inside the enclosure for that idol and the others were packages of cookies and crackers such as Oreos. These iterms were carefully stacked on the sides of the statues as if to offer food if the idol god hungry. Apparently the idols were not hungry of were fasting since none of the cookies were opened.
As we were leaving the central area, an Indian man, a visitor himself, started a conversation with Ron about where he was from and what he thought of India. Ron turned the conversation to religion. The man was a university professor who was quite knowledgeable about religion. They had quite a discussion. The professor stated what we have heard from several Indians, the he believed all religions were good. Ron carefully explained that in Christianity the biggest difference is that we have a living Lord and that the resurrection of Jesus makes the difference. He had to agree that this was different and that no other religions had a resurrected Lord. Ron stated that everything in Christianity stood or fell on the resurrection. If it was not true then Christianity was false,and if it is true, then all people need Christianity. The professor agreed, but did not turn to Christ. Maybe another day for him.
We looked around and shopped in McLeod. A beggar woman with a small baby approached A. and Liz tried to help her. She wanted milk for the baby so they went with her to a store and bought some milk. About an hour and a half later the same woman approached Ron and asked for rice. Again she didn’t want money, just rice. Ron had seen the girls buying her milk and didn’t get her rice. Charlie later saw this woman and several other beggar women being paid by a man who was their “master” or “pimp”. It seems they were working for him to get things which he either sold retail or returned to stores for refund. These poor women then were paid a portion of the money!
At 2:00 we went back to the hotel to get our bags and get a car to the airport. As we rode down the hill, Ron talked to the driver about religion. He too was Hindu, but listened to the story about Jesus and the resurrection. He said he knew the story since he attended a Catholic school. Again, though he agreed that the resurrection was the central essential of the gospel but didn’t trust Christ. Hinduism is so much a part of the entire culture that it takes much time and witness to lead someone to Christ.
Our trip to the airport took about 45 minutes and was uneventful. We were there early and boarded easily. The flight to Delhi was about 1 ½ hours and smooth. We got our baggage and got taxis to the hotel across town. This was the best hotel we were in all week. A. booked it so we could be close to attractions for our shopping and last day in Delhi. The rooms were small but had good AC and hot showers!
Today, Tuesday, we will see the Lotus Temple, a famous B’hai site. We will shop and see Delhi. At 8:00 this evening we will leave for the airport for our flight scheduled to leave at 1:30 am Wednesday. We arrive in Paris, France, and 6:30 local time. Then at 1:30 pm we leave Paris for Atlanta and then Charleston for a scheduled 8:30 pm arrival.
This has been a very successful trip. We came for vision of what God wanted us to do in India. We believe God has shown us what we should do. We will report to the church and to the Missions Council and recommend we form partnerships with three sites to do pastoral training and other ministry to assist the work already going on. God is good. All the time.