Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Apostles of India

I mentioned before that there were 12 guys who went everywhere with me while i was with Suresh in Aurangubad. Even though i'm not enough like Jesus to warrant it, i still couldn't help identifying with him while hanging around with these guys.

Some of these guys were marvelous (like Peter, James, and John) whereas some of these guys were useless, or barely saved, or not Christ-followers at all. I had to pay for them for everything, which was sometimes frustrating, and so i often laughed at myself knowing that that was exactly how Jesus must have felt with his disciples at times.

Also, most of their names were impossible to pronounce (even for them, i think, given that i'm not sure i even heard intelligible noises from 2 or 3 of them), so i took to giving them nicknames so i could tell them apart. They liked that, and we all had a good time working for the Lord (even, again, if they didn't know Him).

Suresh is great, a young leader with big vision and a hard work ethic.

Daniel is Suresh's older brother...and he's a little bit of the good crazy. People respect him very much, and he prays for hours and hours every day. I like him a lot.

Raoul is Suresh's younger brother. He is very quiet, helps very little, and wants to become a children's pastor. I am glad he has Suresh and Daniel to show him the ropes, because Raoul is raw and needs a lot of work in ministry.

Cabbie was our Hindu-Catholic taxi driver. He was a lot of fun. When things first began, he was very aloof but he was slowly drawn into the mix and became very excited about all that God as doing around and in and among us. He had a conversion of sorts while i was there, and covered up all the idols in his taxi as a way of showing he was leaving his old life behind. Don't ask me why he kept them...everyone else seemed to regard this as a marvelous first step in the faith and i'm sure i was losing some things in translation anyway.

Grouchy was the other cab driver. He hates Americans, but still found time to eagerly listen to all my teachings before going off to the local temples and making sacrifices to the Hindu deities.

Rashil was the emcee and song leader everywhere we went. He was the big smile. I got the sense that he was the catalyst that made a lot of things happen around there, but (even though he was much older) deferred to Suresh in all ministerial matters.

Drums was a young man who reminded me a lot of myself at 20. He was a great drummer, with a big heart for God, and was just getting ready to start seminary. We became good pals.

Orange never said a word. I don't even know why he came with us.

Moustache was a Seikh who came with us as a means of hearing about Christ. He had never been interested before, but Suresh promised him he would be transformed by the experience. When i left, moustache was very emotional...i think he will change teams soon if we pray hard.

Ramesh was the old salty dog of the group, a lawyer who only practiced when Christians were on trial and needed a good defense. Ramesh is one of the top lawyers (serving on some kind of high court council), but spends most of his time traveling into the villages and preaching the gospel.

Uncle was the other older man who came with us, but he stuck to the background and never said much...not sure if he really cared for me being there...who knows.

Sunil was the faithful and diligent worker. Whatever we needed, he took care of it with a spectacular smile and a beautiful spirit. He was good people.

Anyway, those are the 12 dudes with whom i prayed, preached, traveled, ate, laughed, slept, fought devils, opposed cultists, angered idolaters and adulterers, and generally irritated the dark powers of the invisible world.

May God bless them for showing up and sticking it out.

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