19 August 2005 ~ 2 Comments

The Island

Have you ever told someone about Jesus and have them reply with the age old question, "What about the island in the middle of nowhere where they have never heard of Jesus?"  I was at one of those last night.  And I will visit another tonight and 2 more after that.  Yesterday, after dedicating another water well, we drove about an hour to the coast on the Bay of Bengal.  We then waded out into knee deep water with calf deep mud (at least it was kinda like mud) to get to an old motorized boat.  Most of us sat on the roof of the boat for the 45 minute boat ride.  Hoff, Sloan and I took a few minutes before leaving shore to take a little dip.  It felt great in the HOT and HUMID weather here.

After the ride we arrived on an Island with 1200 people living there.  This Island was severely affected by the Tsunami.  Many of them have truly had to start life over.  Being there was like stepping into a time machine.  Fences made of sticks.  Everyone living in grass and bamboo huts.  Very little electricity was available on the Island.  All over there were roaming water buffalo, goats, and chicken.  These people fish for a living, but their village cannot eat the fish because they must sell it inorder to survive.  We were fed an amazing meal there of shrimp and fish that were caught that afternoon.  We were then able to give a medical camp to the people, providing medicine and shots for many sick people of the island.  As they were there we were able to pray over them individually, laying hands on them, praying for healing, and blessing them in the name of Jesus Christ.

After that we held a crusade on the Island where we shared the Gospel with them for the first time ever.  Over 200 Indians accepted Christ for the first time, and that was most of the people there.  There weresome Indian pastors with us there to meet with them. These pastors are moving there to plant a church on the island and walk with these people on the long journey ahead.  We then finished the night by feeding the people of the village.  Suresh told us that it was probably the best meal they had ever had for many of them.

This is just one experience of several from just yesterday alone.  The amount of work to be done here is overwhelming at times.  There are still thousands of villages in Southern India with no good drinking water.  But for the time being, we can make a difference a little at a time.  Luke 15 makes it so clear how much God loves and pursues every individual person.  The people here are so hungry, not only physically, but spiritually for the Good News of Jesus.

Thank you so much for all of you who are praying for me.  It was so great to read your comments and to know that you are thinking of me.  I was able to have a short conversation with Rachel this morning and it was so great to hear her voice.  Please pray for her as I’m over here.  Please continue to pray for myself and the team.  Tonight I have the opportunity to call people to respond to Christ at the crusade.  Pray for the health of our team as we keep up a heavy schedule in foreign conditions.  I can feel that this has already been a life changing experience.  It is so different from anything I have ever experienced on any other missions trip or in any other country.  I look forward to sharing more as the time comes.

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