Saturday, April 7, 2012

1st week in India

As I was on the plane about to arrive in Mumbai a week ago, I looked out of the window and saw a huge landscape.. I saw dirt soil accompanied by patches of trees and then patches of land where tall buildings stood. Within the cities with the buildings, I saw hundreds of little shelters covering wide spanses of land. These were the slums that covered so much of the landscape. I then began to ask God, "Lord, what am I doing here? How am I going to make an impact on this huge country?" immediately, God answered and whispered, "Renae, just walk with me."
    I will always remember this because God was so direct in answering my question and He has continually been challenging me with it. In fact the second evening we were here, we were doing house ministry in the slums and I felt God was leading me to share the sermon that evening. So I sat in a little house packed with 25 people and began to share what Jesus has been teaching me about Walking with HIm. God began to just lead me in words to say and I began to see how the Holy Spirit was leading me. He gave me complete peace about sharing and I wasnt nervous the entire day about sharing (even though I had no idea if I would be talking in front of a church or a small house fellowship. God directed me the entire time and gave me complete peace. I have begun to realize how thankful I am that the control and perfectionism spirit was cast out of me because now I can be completely led by the Holy Spirit and walk with Him. Believe me, He is walking with me and revealing so much to me. 
   I just wanted to encourage you with that because once we literally lay down our life to God and GIVE UP ALLL CONTROL to Him, HE WILL SPEAK TO US, GUIDE US and LEAD US. This is truth and this is a testimony to what He is doing in my life. In fact, when I do ministry in house to house visits, the Holy Spirit begins to speak to me and gives me words for certain people of the family we are ministering to (complete strangers) and He often gives me a sense in my spirit to the mood of the household to if there is tension, weariness, joy ect. Its so neat! THis is all due to the direction of the Lord. Thank you Jesus. 
      God is soo good and He has been doing some amazing things while 4 out of the 6 teams from my DTS are together at a YWAM base in Lonavala, India. The sights, smells and culture are mind boggling! Every day, the girls are required to wear sarra kameez which are long, colorful shirt/dresses along with a scarf and baggy pants or leggings in 100 degree weather and 100 percent humidity! its sooo crazy!! The guys have to wear long shorts or pants with longer sleeve shirts. Every day at this base, we are training. We have breakfast in the morning, then we have lecture for a few hours. People from other cities have come and talked to us about Hinduism, Islam, Community deveoplment, Aids/HIV ect. We then have chai (tea time basically at 10 am every morning) then we finish lecture and have lunch at noon. We then have work duty for a few hours in which we have been scrubbing the outside of the buildings and then we have chai (tea time again at 4) we gather with our teams at 4:30 for ministry for 4 hours. We go with one or two translators and go into the slums and do house visits. The slums are everywher, in fact we are surrounded by them. Each day we go into 5 houses or so and share with the families about things God is showing us through Scripture, share Bible stories, lead worship, share testimonies and pray over families.  It has been so amazing to see God work. Every day, we each share something and have opportunities to share with families.
     Some of the teams have prayed over people who were blind and now they can see. Others have prayed over people who were lame and paralyzed who now can walk. God is constantly moving and working in all of us. 
    Its also been crazy just walking through the streets of Lonavala, Pune and Mumbai. Cows, motorized rick shaws, busses, trucks, cars, motorcycles and bikes fill the road! honking is constant! Trash is everywhere as it lines the streets. I cant even explain the smells and sights. If you have seen Slumdog Millionaire, then everything in that movie about India is very true. I am constantly amazed by this culture! Next friday, my team will be leaving on a 33 hr train ride for Calcutta, India. Please be praying for us and for our health. We will be working in a children's restoration home. Your prayers are much appreciated. 7 out of 25 of us have NOT been sick yet, including me, so health is so important! We have 3 meals a day which consist of rice and lentils. Well Im not sure how often I will be able to update you all but my internet time is now used up.. so I hope to update you soon or once I can find an internet cafe in calcutta! blessings!