Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I want to share a story from Lauren's team that went to India. I am likely not to get all of the details just right, so I apologize in advance if in the retelling, I err.

Her team traveled a great deal across the southern parts of the country. They knew going in that the Voice of the Martyr's magazine was sending out stories routinely of Christians being detained, beaten, even killed in India. Radical Hindu groups are seeking out Christians and expressing Satan's displeasure through violent means. This is happening almost exclusively to nationals. No stories were reported that we saw, involving foreigners.

The backdrop of potential violence has a way of keeping ones senses on the alert. Certainly Lauren and her partner David (who led BJ to Peru twice) were aware of possibilities, but did not live in fear. They walked in the power of Christ and knew you and others were lifting them up for safety and Salvation.

On this day, they headed into a leper colony. Most remember the social structure in India is the Caste system. There are three tiers and then the "untouchables" who are the outcasts of that land. The lepers are the untouchables.

The teams presence was a surprise to the people of the village. The team had passed flags on the way in, warning of the dangerous people they would encounter. Dangerous due not to potential violence, but disease.

What they saw was heartbreaking. Humans who had fingers and toes, hands and feet, gnarled beyond recognition. Noses that were sunken into faces. To try and describe the devastation to their bodies seems cruel and unusual, and yet this is how they live...abandoned, discarded by society. If I understand correctly, only 20% of leprosy is incurable, yet no offerings of cure are being extended to this people.

The team went in and loved on these people. Embracing them, trying to communicate with them...engaging them. Smiles were quick to be found on otherwise hopeless faces. There is something unfair about the deep lostness that resides behind the eyes of God's created, that all others seem to have abandoned.

After sharing the drama, one of the girls on the team began to do her best to share with one of the ladies. She like most, was wearing the "bindi." This is the "third eye," worn by Hindu's to ward off evil. It is usually found as a dot on the forehead.

The young lady on our team had learned five phrases of this ladies language. She began sharing with her (about Jesus), and quickly ran through all five. By this time, the lady believed that the student spoke her language. She began slinging words so quickly and frantically that our girl looked around for help, realizing she did not know what was happening or what to do about it.

As this dear lady spoke, she also began to weep. What would happen next would serve as a symbol for this team of the work God was doing in this land. Far too few workers are there. Even fewer are willing to minister to this segment of society.

This lady saw the depiction of Christ crucified and resurrected. She understood the story she had witnessed. She wanted what was being offered.

With tears streaming down her face, she took her fingerless hands and wiped the moisture from her irrigated face. Then in one swift movement, moved to her forehead and wiped away the "bindi."

The Truth and light of Jesus Christ had come to this woman. With all that she was, she removed the mark from her forehead knowing that all it represented, was a lie. She had received Truth!
Truth would set her free.

This experience was not the norm for this team. They were not routinely able to share their faith as scrutiny was always nearby. Still, the Lord moved in power among them and through their obedience. New brothers and sisters will one day stand side by side with them, whole...complete...healed and worshipping the One who is worthy of all our praise!



At 4:53 PM, Blogger AshLeY said...

You know I have told this story so many times because it made such an impact on my life, but it still give me chills. It is so amazing to see God work beyond our abilities! I join in with those few christian lepers and cry out to my awesome God, "Hallelujah!"

At 3:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow... definitely gives you some perspective

At 9:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you so much for posting this story, every time I hear it or read it, from the first time on the bus leaving the colony to right now, I remember how god showed Himself in incredible ways every moment we were in India. Through this story I am always reminded why I serve God, because He is truth and is all there should be to life!


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