Thursday, November 14, 2013

Our Journey to India

My sister and I recently went on a mission trip to India.  It was such a neat experience, one filled with many joys but also many obstacles.  God was on the move, there is no doubt in my mind, but so was Satan.  I think in sharing our journey you’ll see what I mean. :)

Our journey began at Chicago’s O’Hare airport where we had a 4-hour delay due to issues with our plane.  Our original plane had problems with leaking water and then our replacement plane had mechanical issues that had to be worked through before we could take off.  This 4-hour delay meant we would arrive in Paris at the time our next flight was scheduled to leave.  So they rescheduled us for a different flight out of Paris of which we found out would leave at 1:30pm instead of our original time of 11:00am.  The crazy thing was though, was while at the Paris airport from the time we landed until the time we boarded our next flight we did not stop moving for 2 hours and 15 minutes.  I’m pretty positive we covered the entire airport.  It was a fight.  I say a fight because I know we were experiencing spiritual warfare.  Everywhere we went we would hit a roadblock.  I remember counting how many places we had to go or things we had to do before we were able to get on our plane and it was around 12.  Yes, 12 obstacles we had to face before we got on our plane.  Honestly, we almost gave up because it was so frustrating.  I left that airport with three stamps in my passport if that gives you any idea of the troubles we faced!

Probably the greatest struggle was going to the ticket counter to get our tickets to find they were not boarding passes.  So we had to go to a completely different counter and get our actual tickets.  We then go back to the line with our tickets in hand to then have a woman come out of no where and pull us into this little area to weigh and measure our carry on baggage.  We couldn’t believe it, at this point we had about 30 minutes before our flight would leave, and we knew they were already boarding at this point.  We couldn’t miss this flight!  Unfortunately when our flight was rescheduled it was rescheduled with a different airline that had very different restrictions for carry on baggage.  The woman weighed our carry on and Heather’s was way over the limit, so was mine and our friends but she only made Heather check her bag.  Heather had to sprint to the checked bag area because of course it was in a different place to find she had to pay an extra $270 to check her bag.  Wow, awesome.  Finally though I saw Heather running towards us and we got back up to the line for the third time and this time we got through.  We then reached the security line.  I had to go to a different line because of my pacemaker and of course it was the line that did not move.  I saw my sister and our friend had made it through in no time, but there I was still waiting, I finally just bolted past the others so patiently waiting and told the woman I had to go or I was going to miss my flight.  Thankfully, she let me go.  We then had a Home Alone moment where we all ran to our gate to board our plane with minutes to spare. 

The new flight we were on took us to a 6-hour lay over in Saudi Arabia, where to our delight everyone was very nice and helpful.  When we landed in Chennai, India we discovered Heather and I’s checked bags were lost which meant Heather had no clothes because of having to check her carry on in Paris. 

“No weapon formed against you shall prosper…” Is. 54:17a

These events were confirmation to us that that God had a plan for us in India and Satan did not want us there.  We could have given up, we almost did, but I'm so thankful God gave us the strength to not give up.  As our time in India unfolded we began to see the plans that God had for us there.  Heather and I were so blessed to be able to share messages at both the women’s conference and Gospel meetings.  God used these to touch hearts in ways that I don’t readily see in America.  There was such an openness and response.  People were responding to the Gospel, coming to faith in Christ for the first time and many others were touched by the Holy Spirit in various ways in their walk with Christ.  We heard beautiful and encouraging testimonies of faith in Christ and the work and growth of the church in India.  We were also personally touched and moved by the Holy Spirit.  My heart was burdened deeply for my own country and what I am realizing even more is spiritual apathy.  There is something special going on in India, God is on the move and people are responding to the Gospel in ways I have not personally seen in America and are coming to Christ and His Word with freshness and excitement that is inspiring and convicting.  I saw a house church that comfortably fit about 15 people where around 25-30 made a way in and some even still sat outside.  There's a hunger in India for Truth.  I think one of the greatest things I have taken away from my time in India is a burden to pray for a revival in my own nation.  Would you pray with me?

I also want to encourage those who feel like giving up or have given up because of spiritual warfare.  Beloved, keep fighting, because Your God fights for you (Ex. 14:14)!  There was a time when I was in India that I experienced spiritual warfare and in a way I did give up, but later came to Christ in repentance for renewal and strength and saw Him work through me in a way I have never seen.  I felt His strength and power in a supernatural way that helped me overcome my own limitations to be able to share the hope of Christ with a group of women.  It never would have happened if I would have looked to my own strength or stayed in defeat.  Friends, it's time to stop walking around defeated and start living in the Spirit of Christ who lives in us!  Yes, it's time to start moving forward, living in victory over Satan to watch God move in ways that can only explained through Him!  

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