Wings in India - Second Report Sunday, March 19, 2006
 

By Ann Edenfield Sweet

 
     

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This is the second report from India. It was filed by Ann Edenfield Sweet on March 19, 2006.

Sunday, March 19, 2006 Email Message #2

Doug, Paul, Shelly, Cathy and I are sitting outside our rooms, enjoying the shade of the trees and the overhang of the roof. It is a hot day. This is Sunday, and we had a wonderful worship service this morning at Christ’s Church, Pastor Joseph’s main church building. We arrived around 9:45 am and the worship service was already in session. The church was packed, with at least 200 people. The women/girls were on one side of the aisle and the men/boys on the other side. Everyone sat still, were very reverent, and even the children were very focused. The children watched us, smiled at us, and were so attentive.

The first thing they asked us to do was to commission a new pastor/missionary. I said a prayer and Paul, Doug, and I laid hands on him. It was a great honor that they bestowed on us to commission him. In retrospect, it will be probably something he will always remember, since no other Americans/Westerners have ever visited their church. We found out later that his cost to work/minister full time is about $100 a month. Hopefully we will be able to find some sponsors for some of the new pastors called to ministry in this part of India.

Then we gave gifts to Pastor Joseph. This is Rev. Glory’s father and he is 62 years old. I gave him a copy of my book and one of the beautiful books from Guideposts. Then we led singing of “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High” and “Be Glorified”. Next Paul gave some prayers, the offering was taken, and everyone walked forward and dropped rupees in a bucket, and Doug and I went down the side aisle to walk up the middle with everyone else to give an offering. Everyone’s eyes were on us the entire time, but their welcoming smiles made us all feel so welcome.

I spoke next. I shared about the meaning behind our logo with an angel representing comfort, protection, support, and ability to uplift. Then I shared briefly why I started Wings and why we are here. Doug gave the sermon and talked about Jesus last words on the cross. He shared about the two thieves and their choice to choose Jesus. Rev. Glory translated in Tamil and the congregation’s occasional “Amen” or “Alleluia” indicted that he was reaching them.

At the end of the service we distributed gifts to everyone. Each person was given a piece of candy, a Wings pen, and most importantly a small wooden cross. I had explained to them that people in America had also been given similar crosses, and asked to give their cross away to a friend, family member, or loved one during the time we are in India. Just as we are giving the crosses to those we meet, we hope now not only the American friends at home, but the new friends in India, will also given their cross to someone. In that way, we hope to spread Christ’s love to others.

We also distributed the seeds from Johnny Allen in New Hampshire. Johnny has a ministry where he ships seeds to people all over the world. We’re honored and so thankful to have his seeds to share with the people here. We gave his specially packaged bags of carrot and bean seeds to the adults in the congregation. As this is a rural area of India and there are fields of crops in every direction, we are sure the seeds will be welcomed and planted quickly. Our seeds are just another way to share Christ’s love in a tangible way. The field directly behind our rooms is a tapioca field. The plants are about 1 foot high, are green, and actually from a distance look like bush bean bushes to me.

The church is part of a larger compound. Orphan children live there, the children are schooled there, and a day care where children are dropped off so the mothers can work. It is the main complex of the greater ministry. They currently have five mission sites, have smaller churches all over, and generally on Sundays Rev. Glory travels around the area to their many smaller churches.

There is an interesting story about how Rev. Glory was able to purchase this facility where we are staying. It had been built by a Hindu as a school. The school didn't do well so the Hindu leader went to a Hindu priest to ask him about this problem. The Hindu priest said that the school had evil spirits. Soon everyone in the community heard this and no one wanted to buy the property. Thus, Rev. Glory was able to purchase the property not only for less than half of what it was worth, but he also can make payments on it. God was certainly at work! There are 44 children currently living here at the property where we are staying. By June they hope to have 100 children here. They will build a second story dormitory with palm branches on the roof. This will be the cheaper way to add additional accommodations.

An elderly man just stopped by asking for prayers for his very sick wife. Paul prayed with him and I gave him a small cross, package of crackers, and some shampoo to wash her hair. It is amazing how many people stop by the grounds asking for prayers.

Igball is the driver’s name. He is a Muslim man and Rev. Glory hopes to bring him to Christ by his driving us over the next 10 days. It has become a joke about his name. Somehow we thought his name was “David” so we kept calling him “David”. Rev. Glory at first didn’t even know who we were talking about. Now we hope that Rev. Glory will be able to bring him to Christ and when he baptizes him, will call him “David”.

Petrol in India is about 50R per liter and new laws have gone into effect and the terrible polution problems that I experienced when I was here 10 years ago from diesal fuel no longer exist.

Tonight we will go to a rural village where no one is a Christian. We are looking forward to this opportunity!

In His love,

Ann

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