Their resilience astounded us. Their love inspired us. Their joy was evident to us.
They chose to follow Jesus despite the unavoidable sufferings that would result. They have been beaten and threatened multiple times for choosing to follow Him by shepherding His people in the slums of New Delhi.
My friends and I had the opportunity to meet this family of six. Each week for three months we would drive about two hours until the road became too narrow for the vehicle. We walked the remaining distance: A few hundred yards down a narrow, bending alley filled with colored walls that somehow made the polluted sky look bluer. At the end of the alley on the righthand side, we were welcomed each time by one of the precious family members.
They would invite us in and offer us chai and biscuits. (They're called biscuits, but they're basically little cookies.) We would leave our shoes outside of the front door and sit in white plastic chairs or along the side of a bed. We would sit for 10-15 minutes and then some of the family would lead us to the heart of the slums just minutes away. Again, we would drive until the road became too narrow. From there we would walk less than 100 yards to the home of a Christian family that would soon be overflowing with children.
The children came from all over the slums. Their parents formed a spectrum of nominal to radical Hindus and Muslims. Each time we told them stories of Jesus, sang songs, asked their names, prayed for them, and a few times we gave them candy. Sometimes we would go to different houses and pray for those who wanted it. I could write a separate blog filled with those stories alone. Toward the end of our time there, one of the girls would always grab my hand and walk with us back to the vehicle. All we could do was smile, hug, and say, "I love you. I pray for you." I didn't know much Hindi, and she didn't know much English, but a definite, inexplicable connection was made.
My purpose in writing all of this is due to a need that has gone unfulfilled for over a year. This pastor -- whom I know and have seen many times personally -- has begun constructing a building immediately outside of his home. At this time, he does not have the means to finish it. His intention is to use it as a place for people to gather together, hear about Jesus, and worship Him.
It is roughly 200 square feet -- which is about twice the size of the home the believers usually meet in. Most of the walls are in place, but it is in need of doors, windows, a roof, and electricity. Recently some people have stopped coming to the original home because it is too small, too crowded and too cold on the floor. The estimated cost to finish is about $4,300. Those of us who have been are hoping for closer to $5,000 so that they will be able to have furniture of some sort and good mats for the floor.
Two main verses come to mind when I think of India. Isaiah 51:3 and Philippians 4:19.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the glorious riches that are in Christ Jesus.
I am asking you to pray with me for our brothers and sisters in India. I do not doubt that God will meet all their needs. Let me know if you are interested in being a part of that.