This has been a much quieter week. The postgrad seminar students have left the campus and we were back to just the undergrads. The staff here were gracious enough to allot me me 4 blocks of 1.5 hours each afternoon as well as the Community Chapel on Wednesday. Having my own apartment, also allowed me to do some cooking and escape the “huge pile of rice at every meal” syndrome that is part of life in India. The campus truly is beautiful, a gem on the outskirts of the bustling city, where a leisurely walk to the village of Rysandra becomes a daily retreat. The forest that the path goes through is full of Eucalyptus trees and a favorite routine is to grab a bunch of leaves and crush them in hand, releasing the Eucalyptus oil that smells so wonderful and soothes the sinuses, dried out by smoke pollution from the city.
The undergrad students are a remarkable group from all over India and Myanmar, totally devoted to Christ and their calling. I was undecided as to what to do with them, so I gave them four options on Monday and allowed them to vote. This resulted in a tie between a series on How to Share Your Faith and Discovering Your Ministry Profile. After praying, we cast lots and it was the Ministry Profile that came up. It has been such a blessing to watch the students figuring out their spiritual gifts, passion, personality and abilities and putting it together to hone in on their calling. We wrapped the course up in three sessions; so today we are ending with a session on sharing the gospel. Thursday night, I showed the film Courageous, a wonderful production focusing on the importance of Biblical fatherhood.
Today, I head back to the city and fly out tomorrow to Vijayawada, where Pastor Rajendra has me speaking in no less that 5 churches on Sunday. I am really looking forward to seeing the children in the Orphans’ Home. They are so precious. I will also joining him on a road trip where we will take in and Indian wedding. I hope to connect with James Johnson who has just arrived in India and is also serving at an orphan home not too far from Vijayawada.
I have also had some time this week to work on my new book “Get in the Boat”, a light-hearted look at sailing as a metaphor for the Christian Life. Look for an excerpt soon.
The amazing thing about trips like this is that we don’t ever know what impact our conversations and sharing will have. Last Saturday night, I was in a restaurant alone, so they put me at a table with another couple. Before the meal was over, we were sharing food and I was able to tell this Hindu couple the gospel and my testimony in a way that left them intrigued and thinking. Who knows what the Lord will do? We see so little of the puzzle, but he puts it all together for good. Each one of us is a agent of the King of Kings, the God of Love.
The Lord has been good. It has been a restful week and I have enjoyed the weather and the spiritual climate on campus. I have a feeling that this week has been a respite in advance of a hectic couple of weeks ahead as I do a fair bit of travelling. May the Lord use each one of us wherever we are.
I appreciate your prayers.