- Published on Saturday, 16 August 2008 07:04
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2008 INDIA MISSION TRIP
In March of 2008 six members of a team all with ties to Rivers of Grace were called together by the Lord to travel through southeast, northeast, and north India to teach, declare the good news, pray, heal, feed, and encourage many people including Pastors, Sunday school teachers, local people and many orphans. The trip had several focuses and objectives to achieve in just 18 days including travel time. There was two main focuses for the team. One main focus was to evangelize, prophesy, and pray for local people. Another focus was to bring supplies and aid to orphans and needy churches as well as instruct and baptize.
Many lives were touched from the very first night of ministry once we finally arrived at our first ministry destination, a local school and church compound overseen by Bishop Marc in northeast India. Our first day of ministry started off with one obstacle after another which caused us to press on in prayer and determination. After being forced to pay double for our nights stay at a hotel, we traveled all day from early morning till 10:00 at night fighting canceled air flights, delayed alternative flights, crazy taxi rides and missed trains. Finally after 10 at night the team stepped directly off the crowded truck onto the stage to join a team from Sweden. Immediately after we started to pray for people to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit we saw the manifestation of the Spirit. People were unable to stand under the weight of God and speaking in new tongues! Praise the Lord!
As we continued to minister at the compound we saw God move through healing, prophetic words and even trances similar to the trances mentioned in the New Testament. A Hindu woman who was invited to the compound came seeking truth and was suddenly struck motionless in a trance exhibiting to us no response. Parents of children struck in trances were obviously puzzled and due to the language barrier we were unable to explain in any way what they were witnessing but just had to pray and trust the Lord.
We also ministered through teaching and prayer twice a day at a remote organized meeting outside the compound. Here we saw many come forward to confess the Lord as their savior and master before men and then be water baptized. One memorable event was seeing an elderly man who could not walk without help gain much strength and stamina in his legs. He was baptized the following day! Another was seeing one man leading another man bound with ropes to our remote night meeting. At first we thought the man bound with ropes may be demon possessed but found out he was drunk and was being led by his father in law (who obviously also had been drinking) to the meeting to get him saved. Both were ministered to and prayed to receive the Lord as their Lord. Praise God!
We then traveled by train from Kolkata to Deli to minister at more churches. Midway to Deli our train was stopped by protesting students who proceeded to pummel the train windows with baseball size rocks. Windows on the car we were seated on shattered sending broken glass flying everywhere but thanks be to God none of us were injured. In fact at a latter train station stop we were interviewed by the news media and witnessed of God’s protection over us and the angles he sends to minister to and protect us.
In the southeast of India in the province of Andhra Pradesh we had the opportunity to minister twice a day to different churches and Sunday school students and teachers. All of us had opportunity to teach and pray for many people and even baptize some in water and pray for the filling of the Holy Spirit. We were able to buy and distribute food and gifts for hundreds of Sunday school students, teachers and orphans.
One memorable man who we renamed Joseph, was always with us when possible to help carry bags and wash our clothes. He would collect our laundry one day and bring them back the next day without charge. Even when we persisted to pay him he refused to accept payment and only wanted to serve us. We caught on that he would accept food from us which we gladly gave him for his services but he just desperately wanted to serve God through serving us in anyway he could. He was “saved” when Jesus visited him in a vision and called him to come and follow Him. The Spirit was “heavy” on this simple man and when he would pray for others he would fall out under the Spirit. We had the honor of baptizing him and giving him his new name; Joseph.
When we finally arrived at the train station for our last train ride back to Hyderabad to take our flight back home we were approached by beggars as expected in train stations. One man in particular had very deformed hands and carried a bag with a book in it. We gave him money to buy essentials and began to talk to him through the interpreters we had throughout our stay in Andhra Pradesh. We discovered he was a believer and carried a bible with him everywhere he went. He testified that he came to the station that day expecting to beg but God had us there to pray for him. We were still there because our train was late in arriving. His hands were severely injured in a fire in his home as he tried to get to and pull his wife to safety. His wife died in the fire and the officials believed he was the cause of the fire since he did not die in the fire or the fire happened because he was cursed and therefore was responsible and gave him a jail sentence. His young children turned against him because they were told the fire was his fault.
We asked how we could pray for him. His greatest desire was to be reunited with his children and we prayed for forgiveness and unity in his family believing God would bring unity and love again. He totally believed God would answer that prayer and was visibly moved by God. Finally we asked him about being filled with the Holy Spirit which he did not really understand so we explained it to him and he said yes he wanted that. He also had not been water baptized. For some reasons I did not really understand due to his injured hands and sensitive skin the church he attended would not baptize him. So we took a water bottle and right there on the train station platform baptized him with water and prayed for the infilling of the Holy Spirit which I believe he received judging by his actions and response. Praise the Lord what a highlight and ending to an awesome ministry trip!
Teaching children in local village in southeast India.
Distributing treats and supplies
Local Sunday school children sing songs and recite bible verses for us.
Melody enjoys her time with us.
New converts from daily meetings being baptized by Bishop Marc.
Man at train station received the baptism of water and Spirit.
Last leg of journey to first night of ministry
Swedish team member praying for Indian lady
Rivers of Grace team member praying for stirring of the gifts of the Spirit.