Ministry in India
In the natural, India is a country in transition. It is developing fast and there is an almost shocking mix of beautiful new apartments and stores alongside large areas of poverty and filth. The amount of people, cars, trucks, rickshaws, cows, and just about anything else you can imagine on the roads makes for a truly chaotic scene. But in the spirit, there is a light shining that is radiating the life of God and it is growing brighter with each day. Our team felt that believing India has a special calling in these last days and there is a special Kingdom relationship being established in the spirit between India and Israel. We ministered in 22 meetings during our 12 days in those two cities, in addition to countless informal ministry times. We often started in the early hours of the morning and finished late at night. All of the churches we attended are experiencing rapid growth, and have at least three meetings on Sundays. We also ministered multiple times at several special holiday meetings. On Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve and on each Sunday, our first meeting was at 6:00 am and to our amazement, those meetings were packed to overflowing with hungry believers!
Although these precious people generally sit on the floor for hours, they listen intently and worship fervently. They carry within themselves a level of humility and service that we don't often see in the West. The darkness of overwhelming poverty and massive amounts of Hindu demonic worship that surrounds them truly makes the presence of God a refuge of life for them. New Year's Eve is a big celebration in India and most churches have all night meetings. We flew in from Bangalore to Chennai on Friday afternoon and Pastor TD met us at the airport.
On the way to his church we stopped at three places to pray for several families and a business. They consider it a great blessing to receive prayer from Israel. We later arrived at the church to find over 3000 people packed into the basement, main meeting hall, and on the roof. Franklin, TD's son, was leading the huge crowd in powerful worship that was spilling onto the streets of this predominantly Hindu city. I didn’t begin preaching the main message until around 1:30 am. Regardless of the late hour, everyone there listened intently to my message; no one was even talking at the back of the room! The incredible night ended with serving the Lord's Table.
We were also very blessed to be able to attend the wedding of a young woman whose family I have visited many times over my past five trips to India. We joined the over two thousand guests and at the end of the ceremony, I sang the Aaronic blessing over the new couple and Jackie had the great honor of participating in the very significant Indian cake cutting ceremony.
Many times, we spoke about Israel and its relationship to the church and each time, the message was received with a commitment to pray for Israel and the Body here. The Indian people believe that they received the Gospel from the apostle Thomas who came to India and was martyred in the city of Chennai. They recognize that he was Jewish and are thrilled in these last days to again receive Jews from Israel. This was my sixth trip to India but it was the first time that I traveled as a part of a team. I can really understand why Yeshua sent out the disciples in teams and not alone. Mati and Alex, and my wife Jackie, were an incredible blessing. Together the effectiveness of our ministry times was increased as we joined together in prayer for the meetings, the people and ourselves. Mati preached several full messages and shared at numerous meetings. In addition, we stood as spiritual guards one for the other as we interceded and prayed for each other.
One of the greatest blessings we experienced was to be in the homes and to share in the family life of these three apostolic couples with whom I have established deep and personal connection with over all these years. TD, Kumar and Martin, and their families have given their entire lives to see the Gospel take root in India. Together, they have planted over 100 churches and every one of them has been established in an area where formerly there were no believers. They have brought the light to tens of thousands of people, raised up a mighty generation of leaders and the fruit of their efforts is multiplying quickly. In closing, we want to thank all of you who prayed for us during this time. What an encouragement it was to know that we went with your prayers continually surrounding us. In spite of the intensity of all that we did, we always felt this covering of prayer. His grace flowed upon us and through us and our hearts were continually filled with so much love for these people. We are so grateful to have been able to make this trip. We believe that God's purposes were accomplished and that we will see a mighty harvest of fruit for his kingdom.
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