Dad used to talk about Donovan Ing, pastor of one of the largest churches in Hong Kong. Dad met Donovan while in the UK, when Donovan was a student at an IPHC bible college and Dad was a guest lecturer. The college was small, of no repute, and Dad felt like the whole thing was likely of little kingdom value.
Until Donovan started his church and grew it to over 5,000 in just a few short years. He credits his success to Dad's week-long class on church leadership. Now, Donovan supports Dad's mandarin-speaking congregation in Canada.
I guess you never really know what kind of impact your work overseas will have.
Yesterday i spent all day with a small of group of pastors, evangelists, and missionaries teaching them about apologetics, scripture, and the way of Jesus. Afterwards, when it was already late at night and the power to the city had been lost for the third time, i went with pastor Lal and visited every single member in his church at their homes and prayed for them.
What a day.
I kept thinking "i've got to get some rest...i'm exhausted." And then we'd go to the next house, pray for the next family, and i'd think "that was worth it...these people are worth it...this is worthwhile."
I feel like i've been a good encouragement to these people. I've given a bunch of money away and a bunch of gifts away, to the missionaries and pastors...but they tell me the teaching and training i gave them was far more valuable.
I'm not sure i believe them, but it is cute to hear them refer to themselves as Peter, James, and John to my Jesus.
Lord, forgive me :)
Pastor Lal is doing a good work here. He supports 5 missionaries out of his own paycheck and has good inroads to local universities and businesses. He is well liked and well connected. Our money is well invested with him.
I'm not yet sure about whether or not we could bring a team here, though. Mostly because of the cost. He would make good use of us, and it would be a good experience for our people, but i'm not yet convinced it would be a better experience that we might have in SA or Haiti, etc.
Today i fly to Aurangubad and meet Suresh. Pastor Lal says Suresh is hardcore, and will take me waaaaay out into the middle of nowhere to minister to the villagers and country folk.
Please, God, let there be no spiders.
Anyway, i began my trip in the Radisson Hotel in Delhi, one of the nicest spots i've ever stayed in, and then went to Guwahati and am staying in a total dump. It feels like, now knowing where Suresh will take me, this trip is a slippery slope away from civilization. I think it's good for me to be so uncomfortable. I've not been this out of my comfort zone since i was 14 and in the Phillipines. India is the filthiest place you could possibly imagine, and maybe this is the best landscape for me to more wholly rely on God.
OK - now pastor andrew (the former terrorist, now rehabilitated and ordained) is knocking on my door to film a sermon for sunday. How funny! We're in the worst place on earth, but they still have video cameras and LCD projectors in church. I'll record the message today, andrew will edit it and add Hindi subtitles, and they'll show it on sunday.
I guess that's only slightly weirder than watching LA Ink in a mud hut last night while drinking Chai Tea by candlelight.