Hi Church Family,
We’re sorry we’ve been unable to post much. Our days have been long (but sweet!) and we’ve had little internet access over the past couple days. Below some of our team members have included some of the stories along our journey!
I met the most endearing Christian woman believer here this week, her name is Alice. She was born into a Christian family in northwestern India and is a dedicated believer and student in the Timothy Initiative. Please pray for her. Alice’s husband is in the Indian Army and is currently stationed on the India/Pakistan border in Kashmir.
This is a very dangerous posting, as there is great tension currently between Pakistan and India, to the extent that lives are lost almost daily. She trusts the Lord to keep him safe during his tour of duty. She only see’s him for approximately 2 months each year.
The similarities in our lives surprised me. My husband Matt is an AFRES C-17 pilot and commercial cargo pilot, both Alice and I have to manage our complete households whilst our husbands are away while still remaining submissive wives in the biblical context. It was such a joy to meet her and see how quickly we connected at a woman to woman level.
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”
(Alice is in the front row in red!)
I love how the Lord uses these trips to show us ourselves. Many of the students going through CPTI are quite young and are first generation believers in a culture that is very tough to teach the gospel. Yet they are so passionate and uninhibited in their zeal for the Kingdom. They want nothing more than to grow and learn and mature in the faith. They also feel the urgency in spreading the gospel and they are not waiting around to begin doing it! It caused me to reflect. I read my bible, I seek out opportunities to minister to those around me, and I am aware of certain gifts I have been given to use for His glory… but am I doing these to the best of my ability? Am I content with where I am, or am I continually seeking to be more mature in these areas? Am I making the most I can of these areas? 2 Timothy 1:6-7 says, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” All believers have a call to ministry (in some form or other) and we all have divinely given gifts to help us along the way. Though these gifts are given to us by the Holy Spirit, it is up to us to fan them into flame; to practice them and grow in them, thus making ourselves more effective for the Kingdom as we mature in our gifts. But spreading our wings in our gifts can be a very intimidating thing! Nobody wants to fail; especially when it comes to ministry. After Paul reminds Timothy to grow in his gifts, he also reminds him that he does not need to be fearful. In 1 John, Paul reminds us that perfect love casts out all fear. Our gifts are given to us from God and in that perfect love we can let go of all fear and jump into this crazy world with abandon for the Kingdom. Now, as we prepare to return to the U.S., this is what I am searching in myself: what gifts have I been given, what am I doing to fan them into flame, and am I acting with zeal and urgency in spreading the gospel?
Our time in India has been sweet… the people, the places and the work are more than words can say. The last few days have been very busy, we finished up training and are now debriefing in Delhi before heading home tonight. With a few minutes of down time today it was nice to reflect on all that we have experienced in this wonderful country.
Working alongside the brothers and sisters here is such a privilege. I wanted to share just one story but there are too many great moments running through my mind. I think the greatest encouragement was seeing the humility of the students involved in the training. Many of them are first generation believers and are in need of guidance, care and intentional discipleship. However, they don’t allow their lack of information stop them from living lives that imitate Christ. Their hospitality and dedication were inspirational and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for this part of the world.
I would encourage everyone to pray about how they could be used to serve on one of our teams in the future. These believers are dedicated to the cause, these churches are growing and these cities are ripe for the harvest…what a privilege it is to be one of the workers who is sent into the harvest.