“Come and See”

For awhile I kept asking the Lord to take me deeper into His heart. This 2-week missions trip to Andhra Pradesh, India was His response: “Come and see.”

If you asked me how the trip was, I probably told you “It was an amazing trip. There’s so much to process still..” when in fact I meant to say that my heart has been overwhelmed with joy, with grief, with hope, with a desire and conviction to give my life fully to God and His works… and that my heart remains broken having heard the stories of the orphaned children whose names are no longer unknown to me… and that months and years and decades from now I’d still be processing all of this, alongside all the other journeys of who knows where God would take me… and that the needs are great and workers few, but each worker makes an eternity of a difference… and that God has been humbling me by the mighty works that He has ALREADY been doing in India, and by the dedication of His workers there… and that for the first time I experienced what Jesus meant when he said “My food is to do the Father’s will”… and that there’s been so much of His wonders to see and hear but my heart and mind can’t contain them all, so what I can bring back to you is only everything that my small hands can gather.

Please, come and see.

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Go. And Find Life.

Go. And Find Life.

As I go, I want to extend this invitation and blessing to you afresh from Isaiah 55. I pray that through His word, the Lord will speak a personal word into your life today, and take you on a journey into His divine heart.

1 “Is anyone thirsty?
    Come and drink—
    even if you have no money!
Come, take your choice of wine or milk—
    it’s all free!
Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength?
    Why pay for food that does you no good?
Listen to me, and you will eat what is good.
    You will enjoy the finest food.

“Come to me with your ears wide open.
    Listen, and you will find life.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you.
    I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.
See how I used him to display my power among the peoples.
    I made him a leader among the nations.
You also will command nations you do not know,
    and peoples unknown to you will come running to obey,
because I, the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, have made you glorious.”

Seek the Lord while you can find him.
    Call on him now while he is near.
Let the wicked change their ways
    and banish the very thought of doing wrong.
Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them.
    Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
    “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so my ways are higher than your ways
    and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

10 “The rain and snow come down from the heavens
    and stay on the ground to water the earth.
They cause the grain to grow,
    producing seed for the farmer
    and bread for the hungry.
11 It is the same with my word.
    I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
    and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
12 You will live in joy and peace.
    The mountains and hills will burst into song,
    and the trees of the field will clap their hands!
13 Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow.
    Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up.
These events will bring great honor to the Lord’s name;
    they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.”

May the Lord fill you with His goodness and richness as you submit to His superior ways. May He bless you with the nations as your inheritance. May you have your eyes open as He causes your life to display and declare His everlasting sign of power and love.

God bless you all!

__________________________

Picture from markseifried.tumblr.com

On Your Mark… Get Set…

On Your Mark... Get Set...

One more day! Started packing already. Just some laundry tomorrow and a few last minute things to do, and I’ll be good to go. I’ve updated my Prayer Bowl and Answered Prayers – please check em out and keep me and the team in your prayers!

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace” (Isaiah 55:10-12a) 

“I Have a Dream”

Even though India’s caste system was abolished legally in the 1960’s, it’s still very much ingrained in their culture. Caste is fixed by birth. It dictates what occupations and social interactions you’ll have and not have for the rest of your life.

The Dalits belong to the lowest of the lowest of the hierarchy. The word ‘Dalit’ comes from Hindi – it means ‘broken’ or ‘crushed.’ This group of people has suffered extreme oppression for centuries, mainly due to illiteracy amongst the majority. So they don’t have the knowledge or power to even question this injustice.

But God is planting hope amidst their community. Hear the dreams of these Dalit children – so precious.

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India’s Caste System

Taste of (Little) India

Earlier this week, my friend Lynn and I ventured out to Little India in TO to try out some southern Indian cuisine at Udupi Palace – we had lots of yummies in our tummies that night, with extras to take home. 🙂

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South Indian Thali. There’s a bowl of rice in the middle with a piece of Chapati (soft flatbread) and Papad (a crispier flatbread). Surrounding it (clockwise) are yogurt (to balance out the heat), some sort of coconut veggie pickle mixture, dessert made of beans (but we just used it as a dip), some cheesy stew, pumpkin stew, rasam (spicy thing), dal (chickpea mixture), sambhar (liquidy stew made of tamarind and peas), and a tiny dish of oil with something in it. Loved the variety!

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Here’s Lynn – right in front of her is a Vegetable Uthapam (an Indian style pancake with veggies in it). And then there’s the Masala Dosa (a giant crepe with spiced potatoes and onions inside). Btw, notice that every dish comes with Coconut Chutney (cold and creamy dip) and Sambhar (described above).

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Top: Menu – prices are very reasonable (sorry, pic’s not very focused here)
Left: Inside the ginormous mama Masala Dosa
Right: Appetizers – Medhu Vada (fried lentil donut) and Idli (steamed rice and lentil bread); We also ordered a Mango Lassi each which was deeelicious!

Every Tongue Will Confess You Are God

In Hyderabad, India, the dialect that they speak is Telugu. Someone on our team found a Telugu version of “Amazing Grace – My Chains Are Gone” – can’t wait to learn that!

We’re also planning to teach this song called “Yeshu Tera Naam” (Jesus Your Name) which we learned at Urbana 2012. The lyrics are simple but so powerful. The interesting thing is that this song is in Hindi, and the people in Hyderabad probably don’t speak fluent Hindi (they may understand a little though). So picture this – a group of foreign Westerners trying to teach a Hindi song to a group of Telugu children, with our heavy anglo accent of course. Lol…

Yes there are definitely language barriers we’ll have to deal with there. But the message of the cross is universal. May this universal language come through loud and clear no matter what sounds we utter! True worship transcends language and culture.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.. He became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:1,14a)

Yeshu Tera Naam (Jesus Your Name)

Verse 1
Jis Naam me hai mukti
Jesus’ name is liberation

Jis Naam me hai Shakti
Jesus’ name is power

Jis Naam me hai Shanti
Jesus’ name is peace

Deta voh Naam Changai (2x)
That name Is to be worshipped

Jis Naam me hai zindagi
In this name is life

Yeshu hai vo Naam
Jesus is that name

Jis Naam me hai bandagi
Pray to Jesus’ Name

Yeshu hai vo Naam
Jesus is that name

Verse 2
Bimari se, garibi se
 Shrapon se he chudatha
He delivers from Sickness, Poverty, Curses

Vo naam he jo andhon ko
Raushni bhi he deta (2x)
The Name That Gives Sight To The Blind
Jesus Is That Name

Jis Naam me hai zindagi
Yeshu hai vo Naam
Jis Naam me hai bandagi
Yeshu hai vo Naam

Chorus
Yeshu tera Naam sabse ooncha hai (4x)
Jesus your name is greater than any other name

Spiritual Gifts of the Aggregate Body – Team India 2013

Lord, thank You for giving us an abundance of spiritual gifts through each other. Please cause us to use them well to build up and edify your Church.

We pray for You to anoint our eyes to see (1) how we could use these gifts to serve each other on this team being your Body, and (2) how we could use them to serve the orphans and people in India where You are willfully and purposefully sending us. Let us also be open and ready for You to administer new gifts unto us, for You told us that the Spirit breathes where He pleases. We commit our gifts into Your sovereign hands.

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Some initial thoughts:

  • Gifts look pretty spread out; we’ve got 14 out of 18 gifts covered, which is good. Teams that are focused on only certain areas are probably not the most effective. Using the Body of Chirst analogy, you can’t have just the feet and head going out to the battlefield [RRRAAAAAA…. Stomp, Stomp, Stomp, Stomp… wait what do we do now.]
  • The strength of the team as a whole seems to be in apostleship, mercy, and serving
  • The gifts of evangelism, knowledge, and leadership seem to be missing from this team… well, not that they’re missing, just that they’re not among the top 3 gifts for people – we excel in other things more. It might be because this is a short-term missions team where most are rookies like me. If we were looking at a medium-term or long-term team, we probably would see these particular gifts emerging more.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Cor 4:7)

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