We have safely arrived in Delhi! Our first two days have been filled with sleep deprivation, airline food, and awesome opportunities to share Jesus.
On our first flight to New York, I had the privilege of sitting next to a lady named M from GA. I was hoping to take the time on the plane to study and to prepare my heart for India, but God had other plans. From the moment I sat down to the moment I walked off the plane we were in deep discussion. Over the course of our conversation she shared that she was on her way to New York because she has Huntington’s disease (a brain disease) and is seeking treatment. She also shared about her son who has recently been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. He has been battling drug and alcohol addiction as well, and her family has been struggling to help him. It was a great time because I was able to encourage her, and to give her some wisdom that I’ve learned over the years from counseling classes I’ve taken in seminary, but more importantly from God’s Word. So many people try to fix these problems from the outside, but it is a heart problem, and that needs to be addressed first. Growing up with a step-father that was a drug addict has taught me many things about dealing with a family member stuck in the chains of addiction and sin.
As she shared about her family, it was clear that her faith was in Jesus, but that her family did not share the same belief. She shared that she grew up in church and attends an episcopal church, but not as often as she’d like. Towards the end of our flight, she shared with me that she teaches her children tolerance and that she takes very seriously the passage, “Judge not, lest ye be judged”. As she was sharing, I realized that she believed that all religions lead to salvation. I was able to share with her that Jesus teaches that He is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him. I also shared with her that our God would be a terribly cruel father if He made His Son die on the cross when there was other ways to heaven. It was clear to me that she had never thought of this, and she was awakened to the lie that the world is teaching about tolerance. I know that God appointed this meeting so that I could counsel, encourage, pray for, and help this woman as she continues on her journey with Jesus. The mission trip didn’t begin when we landed here in Delhi, but began the moment Jesus entered our hearts.
(Liz sharing… Another cool moment we had was after we landed in the JFK airport. After arriving, we found our gate and sat down to wait for the flight to Dubai. There was a sweet 30 year-old Indian woman, Shikha, there with her husband and son. We asked her if she would take a picture of our team. This opened the door for us to get to know her. We found out that they had been living in Columbia, SC for about a year and a half but were headed back to Delhi, where they are from. As we talked, Shikha began telling us things she knew of Jesus. She told us that her neighbors had often told her stories about Jesus and had used henna to illustrate those stories. I immediately wanted to know where her neighbors went to church in Columbia– thinking perhaps I would know someone from their church. She told me she wasn’t sure but shared their names. I was floored. Her neighbors are friends of mine whom I’d just had coffee with a little over a week ago!
In those next few moments as we excitedly talked about how amazing it was that we were meeting in an airport in New York, I recognized two things. 1) Our God is so, so faithful to answer the prayers of his people. Many of us have prayed for divine appointments and, no doubt, here was one! 2) God is relentlessly pursuing Shikha and her family! We were able to share some more stories of Jesus as she excitedly listened. We exchanged contact info so we can follow up with her over email. Pray for Shikha, her husband, and son. Pray the Lord would provide believers for them in Delhi that would be faithful to share more! Pray that we would encounter more divine appointments and people of peace ready to hear and receive the gospel with joy!)
Josh again… Since arriving here, we were able to have great conversation with our taxi driver that is Hindu, and to share the exclusiveness of Jesus as Lord and Savior. I’m not fully sure he understood everything we shared, but we shared, and that’s what God calls us to do!
Please pray for us as our sleep schedules have been radically transformed, and many of us were only able to get 3 hours of sleep last night after only getting short naps on the plane the night before. Also, pray that we will continue to be open to the Holy Spirit prompting us to share the good news of the gospel, and that we will be bold and clear. Pray for wisdom for us in doing this! We are thankful for your prayers and are glad to have you partnering with us on this mission to reach the lost with the good news of the gospel.