“Welcome to Hyderabad,” we read on a sign outside the airport. After a long day of travel, we arrived safely to Hyderabad, India around 9 pm. Our driver picked us up and navigated to our hotel through the crowded and bustling streets. A clearly marked 2 lane road, at times served as a 6 lane road. They technically drive on the left side of the road, but that is more of a suggestion. I know my family is thankful that I wasn’t driving.
As we walked through the largest temple in Hyderabad today, our hearts were pained as we saw countless people worshiping made-up gods. I’ve prayer walked many temples, but this one stood out. We stood near an alter where animals are sacrificed and their ashes are put on the forheads of the Hindu people to remove sin. God break our hearts for the lost people in our world!
“Your presence here makes more impact than you will ever know.” This was the first sentence we heard from one of the church leaders. After a long journey, before anything was taught, these words were reaffirming that we were in the right place. We have been spending time with many pastors and church planting leaders in Hyderabad. Every day we have spent a significant amount of time learning about the spiritual climate since the new government took over about 18 months ago. The challenges the church in India faces is overwhelming, but the leaders remain encouraged and hopeful as they swim upstream in the fastest river I’ve ever seen. OM India has set realistic goals to reach 25 million Dalit people by 2025. They currently have over 4,000 churches, 107 schools, and 25+ training centers. They are also extremely involved in stopping human trafficking, rescuing temple prostitutes, and government influence to change anti-conversion laws. Can you imagine being punished for becoming a Christian?
Each time we get together, we spend much time in prayer for both personal and ministry struggles. God continues to use the Indian people to teach me about the power of prayer. Often times, when we see this type of environment, our first thought is…”I’m blessed to be born in America.” God has blessed us beyond measure! But He hasn’t done so for use to live comfortable and happy lives in our subdivisions. He has blessed us so that we can be a blessing to others. I’m proud to be apart of a church that loves ALL of God’s children and is committed to the Great Commission.
We will officially begin our pastors conference tomorrow. The pastors are traveling 10+ hours today by train to spend the next 4 days with us. God has already done God-sized things since we have arrived, but the conference will reap fruit for years to come. Please pray for the power of God to pour out on these pastors and church leaders. Even though our “In-country” team is small, we need YOU as a partner in prayer right now. Thank you in advance.