As I write this, we are traveling back toward home, our hearts full of memories. My first visit to India has proven to be a delightful mix of meeting Christian brothers and sisters and seeing the land of India through first-time tourist eyes. It is a land full of color, beauty, Hinduism, and cattle. We drive fast, listening to a cacophony of horns while dodging the occasional cow. I find my heart is swelled with gratefulness to God for this opportunity. Meeting brothers and sisters in Christ in other parts of the world is such a blessing. Yes, hopefully we encouraged them, but the believers here in India have encouraged me. Their sincere hearts for God, and their willingness to use that energy for God has blessed my heart. God has used this week to encourage me.
During this week, we had the privilege of listening to Brother Raymond share lessons from the life of Joseph. We learned that God was preparing Joseph to be a life-giver. Joseph kept his heart pure before God, and God could use him. I was able to share from the book of Hebrews. The Holy Spirit was faithful and revealed to us words of life from the Bible. The brothers and sisters here were so accommodating, caring for us and expressing their appreciation for our efforts in sharing the word of God with them.
I was impressed with the hunger and thirst for the word of God, and their desire to have pure hearts before God. During a brief testimony time, a young man shared how he was the only Christian in his family, and how God had shown him that he needed to ask forgiveness from his father and mother for some of his wrong actions in the past. Another commented that he always wondered why ladies didn’t cover their heads, since it’s in the Bible. Another shared how he wants to have a pure heart for God like Joseph. A young lady shared with me later how Hebrews has always been one of those books that she was afraid to study, and she was so excited this week to learn about Melchizedek, since it never made sense to her before. There were tears and brokenness before God, and we found encouragement as we discussed the truths of God’s word. Repentance happened as God’s Holy spirit pointed out areas of our lives that needed to be changed.
I leave with a sadness, aware that I will likely never see many of these dear brothers and sisters again. I am aware that their Christian testimony is much needed in India, and they will likely endure testing—possibly severe. Brother Raymond shared how Joseph’s perspective on life, and even his ability to forgive, was rooted in his understanding of the sovereignty of God. I pray that God, in his sovereignty, will continue the good work that he is doing in each of our hearts. Praise the Lord and may the name of Jesus be exalted!
Editor’s Note: Phil has served as a deacon at Millmont Mennonite Church and was a school teacher at the Shady Grove Christian school for about 10 years. In March of 2017, their family moved from Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania (USA) to Chiang Mai, Thailand to help with the English Teaching ministry called INVEST. MTM and INVEST are ministries of IGO.
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