Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Chronicles Of A Missionary (India Part 3)

Pastor and Mrs. G.R. Purushotham, Jadcherla, India
It was my first visit to India. I was a newbie to the bone. I had been corresponding with another pastor that had just returned from India. I wanted to get as much information as I could. And as I said in Part One - I had prepared myself as much as possible. But nothing prepares you like the experience itself!

The journey consisted of 4 legs (beginning in Savannah, GA) and 3 connections in Atlanta, Frankfurt, and Mumbai. The flight ended in Hyderabad, India. Yes, it was grueling, and I felt like a Zombie when I arrived in Hyderabad about 7:30 in the morning. I might add it was about 9 pm (the night before) back home.

My final layover was in Mumbai (Bombay). We arrived in Mumbai just after midnight. My next flight was at 6:30 am. In Mumbai you arrived at the international airport, collected your bags, went through Customs and Immigration, and transferred by bus to the domestic airport - on the opposite side of the runway. By the time I accomplished all of this it was approximately 2:00 am. I had to wait, with bags, in the domestic airport until about 5:30 am for my final leg of flying.

What happened during this period of time made me wonder if I had heard God in coming to India! I met a pharmacist originally from India, who lived and worked in the States. He was returning to India to visit relatives. He was impressed that I had traveled all the way to India to share the Gospel. I really enjoyed the conversation until he asked me if I was taking Malaria pills. "What Malaria pills?" I asked. Obviously I was not as prepared for the trip as I should have been. No one had told me about having to take Malaria pills before, during, and for a while after the trip. It was the pharmacist's response to my not taking Malaria pills that made me question my coming to India! "You mean you haven't taken Malaria pills? Don't you know that Malaria has  reached epidemic proportions in India?" Obviously I didn't know that fact.

I could feel fear creeping into my total being (starting with my bones). The airport was air conditioned, but I began to break out into a sweat thinking about what could happen to me! Would I get Malaria? Would I come home sick with a fever? Would I die? I would learn later that Malaria had not reached epidemic proportions where I was headed. But for the moment I didn't know that.

I began to walk through the airport praying in the Spirit. Of course I was praying in English too. It's hard to explain how the fear had temporarily gripped me, but I'm sure you can relate. Fear can make you question your God-led motives. Fear can nullify your faith. If we are not careful, we can let fear paralyze us. As I prayed, faith began to rise in me. The fear began to subside. I would be lying to say I never thought about it again during the trip. But I have to say I knew that (regardless of what I'd heard the enemy whisper to me) God had sent me. I was on a mission for and with God. He was for me! If God is for me...then who can be against me! (Rom. 8:31)

Admittedly, I applied quite a bit of mosquito repellent during the trip. But that's just common sense. I did what I could and trusted God for the big stuff! It worked!

As it turned out God changed my life on this trip. I saw His mighty hand move on spiritually hungry folks during the next couple of weeks. I am eager to share many of those experiences in the days ahead.

We must remember, anytime we take steps that require us to stretch our faith, the enemy will do his very best to destroy our faith. It is through and by faith that we accomplish great exploits for God. For me, going to India was a major stretch of my faith. I made the choice in the airport in Mumbai (about 4:00 am) to destroy the enemy's ploy by turning my attention from the problem to our mighty God. He showed up! (Much more to come.)

The Chronicles Of A Missionary:

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