Dear Family and Friends,
Thank you for traveling to India with us through your prayers. We certainly feel it! It is so hard to know how to communicate all we have seen and felt and experienced here.
We arrived in Bengaluru on Tuesday where we went to the Phoebe Home. It is a home for girls who have come out of very hard life circumstances....abuse, slavery, homelessness, persecution ....they are mostly new believers with new joy and hope.
Several of them tell us their stories .... One was orphaned after both her parents died, and she had no one to take her in. One became a Christian, for which her family rejected her. Others had their own sad rejection stories, but they were now daughters of the living God, in a new home, with a new future, and new sisters.
It is hard to communicate the level of joy they have in singing, and also several danced for us. We shared with newfound awe that we are all sisters, and one day we will all see Him face to face. They crowd around us, and we cannot help but love these young ones. We hold their faces and kiss each forehead and leave with them waving until we are out of sight.
Then we took an overnight train to Madurai. We were in a "sleeper car" Not the most comfortable, but we're in India! We were so tired we were thankfully able to sleep and woke up in Madurai How wonderful it is to be back with our wonderful friends and to see all the work God is doing through them here.
We went to the Sahayam Home for women. These women are all at the end of their lives and have been cast out to the street by their families because they did not want to care for them anymore. The first lady to greet us was 107 years old! She had the deepest wrinkles but all were shaped to show she was a joyful woman. She was widowed at 13! She became a believer and spent the rest of her life in ministry. The first and last words to us from her were "I love Jesus"!
Another woman was there because her husband died, and her children said they would not care for her. She threw herself on a train track to end her life. She lost her leg, but her life was spared. Now she knows and loves Jesus, so when her life is over, she will see Him face to face.
They gather around us and want us to encourage them. Dale is such a natural, but I am all amush with emotion as I look at their dear faces and talk to them about heaven, where one day we will all stand on the same ground before the throne room of our God, and we will recognize each other. What a wonderful truth that has new meaning! They ask us to sing, and we sing Holy, Holy, Holy. But they want more, and Will sings "Fly Me to the Moon" snapping his fingers. They have no idea what he's singing since they don't speak English, but they like the pep in his song!
We have a special place in our hearts for the Jesus Family, one hundred rural village pastors living on $38 a month! Poor in the world's eyes but so rich to anyone with true eyes. I can't adequately communicate the depth of the witness of these people, but we were awed at all God does through these men and women. Two of them are blind. They pray for others' healing, and they are healed. But they seem to understand that their blindness is a gift that causes others to see Jesus more clearly. The pastors have been persecuted and cast out, but they joyously preach on, and as a result of their faithful obedience, many have come to Christ, many healed of disease, many delivered of demons .
Thank you so much for your prayers. We are blessed and awed by the privilege of being here.
Beaus He Lives,