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Isn’t it amazing how God anticipates our needs? Our team was facing the fatigue common to the “halfway hump” of missions trips, but no sooner than we addressed this did Sunday come, and with the news that it would indeed be a day of rest. A few of us wished John goodbye on his early morning departure, but most treasured the chance to finally sleep in before our morning church service on campus, where the college girls welcomed everyone in to the tune of “How He Loves.” Jeff and Pastor Melanie, both in beautiful Indian garb, spoke to our group of college students, construction workers, and teachers. We are so grateful for their powerful admonishments!
Following church and an intense time of prayer, our team gathered at the Chairman’s house to greet Pastor Fraser, the final addition to our team. He is from the same church as Jeff, Melanie, Siarrah, Christina, and Gen, and will be leading the pastor’s conference this week. Late that night we helped clean up the school building in preparation for this exciting event! The rest of Sunday afternoon was spent relaxing, talking, and soaking in the beauty of the day. One group went back to the Bay of Bengal, to fulfill Christina’s dream of dipping her toes into its waters. When a father and son approached her and began a conversation with her, she told them that it had been a prayer of hers to visit this bay. The man replied that “God is good to us.” Not missing a beat or a chance to evangelize, Christina replied that “Yes! The one true God is very good.” And to her pleasure, he responded that “Yes! Jesus Christ is so good.” It really is a surprise and a joy to commune with fellow Christians halfway across the world, and to get to pray for families like this man’s.
Monday morning brought us the arrival of about 15 pastors and their wives from local villages, eager to begin their day of training in scripture and church care. Pastor Melanie took the wives to another room, where they discussed their specific needs, including, but certainly not limited to church growth, protection against persecution, acceptance of Hindu converts by the church, financial provision, and boldness.
Meanwhile, the college girls and incredible teachers were hard at work decorating the classrooms in the school building in preparation for the start of classes on Thursday. And when I say decorating, I mean that there is coconut tree constructed in one room, and all 6 days of creation in another. It is quite an impressive collection of work.
I am also so impressed with our construction team, who have already finished their main goals of painting the hostel building and setting up the state-of-the-art computer center, and were still willing to say yes to Martha’s next task. Most of the buildings here have flat roofs, which collect water during the monsoon season, causing terrible leaks. The locals’ solution is to dig into the concrete of the roof, fix the leak of the ceiling, and fill in the roof again with rocks. Our men’s job was to bring these heavy rocks up to the top of the 3 story building, but they do hope to research better, more permanent solutions.
Please pray today that Pastor Fraser’s luggage will be delivered to the campus quickly – it was unfortunately misplaced on his flight. Also pray for quick healing for Tony H’s hand – he sprained it at some point during the difficult work day. Another prayer request is for Jenny, who is in the process of writing a grant proposal for the funding of the solar panel system – please pray that corporations would be generous and quick! Finally, please keep the pastors and their wives in your prayers; that they would embrace the advice imparted to them and be able to minister even more effectively to their neighbors in light of persecution.