Sad to say I’m getting a little used to what they call a squaty potty; it’s actually much cleaner than a toilet because it’s really just a hole in the ground where you don’t have to touch anything. But I still can’t handle some of the food here. Today I joked with Ryan (who loves spicy food) that he has an iron stomach while mine is a delicate flower being trampled on — my pepto bismol caplets are like a pez-dispenser.
Yesterday, we went to Uncle’s childhood home, where his mother made us some great Indian food, which we ate with our hands of course. Though Margaret, who is left-handed, forgot she was using the poopy hand to eat her dinner. The last course is a yogurt, which helps with digestion…it really does. I was SO dehydrated this morning, because I’ve been in the bathroom so long. I thought I either have malaria or I’m dieing, or I’m dehydrated and if it gets any worse I’ll need an IV. Luckily the gallon of water brought me back to health, and now I have to pee like crazy.
But anyways, Dheej’s grandmother has an amazing testimony, translated by her daughter in-law; basically the family bull (the bank account) was sick. She heard about Christ and thought well I’ll pray to that God, and if he can heal my bull than I’ll send a quarter to the church. So she prayed, and against all odds the bull lived, so she sent a quarter. And then when one of her children got sick she prayed again; the child recovered and she sent another quarter. So for a time she prayed to Christ along with the other Hindu Gods, until a pastor of a lower caste came along and started meeting with her in the home and praying with her (a very immodest thing to do in Indian culture). Eventually she claimed Christianity as her religion, without even fully understanding the gospel; her family was very angry with her. Her relatives and the whole community disowned the family, but eventually her son (Uncle) became a Christian and explained to her what the gospel really meant, and what it means to be saved by God’s grace. So as a result, all of the children are Christians, all of their children are Christians, her sister and some of her children are Christians. And Uncle runs a bible school training pastors who go into the villages and low caste areas proclaiming the gospel. We have heard so many stories like that where the Lord finds some way to infiltrate the heart, and Christ just takes over. The low caste people find the message of Christ’s love and his grace so appealing, because in their world they are worthless.
One thing that has really impressed me is that Indian Christians are such prayer warriors. Today we visited a bunch of churches, run by pastors who are part of this association and graduated from this seminary. There is such a culture of prayer in the churches here; at least a quarter of the service is prayer. Anytime you do anything you pray. And in general, there is such a sense of surrender among the Christians here, because some of them have really lost everything.
The majority of this trip has been sight-seeing and doing all the cultural and historical things, but even among those times I think all of us really have heard such amazing testimony, and according to Uncle, have left really strong impressions on some of our tour guides. Part of that really comes from some us; there are people in our group who carry the Lord’s faithfulness with great passion, and you really see it when you spend this amount of time with them. So I came to India, just because I thought it sounded cool. And…India is the bomb, but I am so blessed and energized to see the Kingdom advancing here.