07 March 2018 ~ Comments Off

E-Pray March 2018 News

Hello friends!
We are happy that in this e-pray we get to share thoughts from our team members about our recent time in India. We had a wonderful trip and just ask that you will continue to pray for all of those who we were able to love and serve, that they will understand and receive the Truth that they heard. Thank you! :)

Thoughts from Joanne…
The Indian believers practice hospitality really well. They invited us into their homes and into their lives. They shared the hard things they were going through and asked for prayer.
Relationships really matter- even though the team only goes once a year the believers really look forward to spending time together with the team. I really enjoyed spending the day at Jeeva Jalem, having a meal together and just hanging out.
It was special to dedicate a meeting place and pray for so many people. It was a joy to spend time with the Indian believers every day. It is always special how our team bonds and builds relationships.

Thoughts from Rick…
It has been approximately 6 weeks since returning back from India. As I think of an experience to share from the trip, the one that always comes to mind and close to my heart is the “little leper lady”.
This story starts back a year ago. We went to Jeeva Jalem, which means “Living Waters”, a leprosy colony in the tribal area. We have been going there for 13 years now. Anyhow, we got off the van and walked to the colony. We were met by the some of the lepers. One lady came out from her home. It was the “little leper lady”. As she came toward us with her hands in front of her with the traditional greeting from the Indian people, she was crying. They were tears of joy and tears of pain. As she approached we embraced in a hug as she continued to cry. She was so happy to see us. She, as well as the rest of the colony, are always so expectant of our yearly visits.
I remember John talking and asking her about her pain. Cassidy also looked at her and I don’t remember off hand what was wrong. I’m thinking it was a heart condition. Anyhow, fast forward to this year. We returned to Jeeva Jalem and as we got there, it was more quiet at first, not as many people were around. I don’t think they knew when we were coming. As we walked around we saw more and more of them and I was wondering about the ” little leper lady”. We did find out that she had died. I was saddened at the news of her passing.
I reflected back about our previous years of going there and the relationship we had with the “little leper lady”. I thought of the life of this woman who had leprosy, she had little bumps all over her arms, legs, and face. I would think that most or all of her life she lived with rejection. In that culture she was an outcast, a nobody. I would have loved to sit down and have talked with her about her life story. 13 years ago, through SERVE India, was the first time we ventured to this leper colony. As we got there, both our SERVE India team and the lepers were not quite sure of each other. It was new for both of us. It was a short visit and not much happened. I do know that we didn’t touch them at that time, and I remember thinking later how much I regretted not hugging them or shaking hands. I felt like I reinforced what they had been told their whole life as being an outcast and an untouchable. I do remember thinking that if I ever did go back there, that, that wouldn’t happen again. And of course, we have been back many times.
I believe they do feel special and that they feel they do matter and that they do have a purpose in life, and that we do love them. We have a meal with them. We always worship with them. And I truly believe they see the Lord in each one of us that have been going or have gone there. Through the years we have developed a great relationship with them.
It is great to be called and used by God to go and love the people He has created, but that have never heard about Him. I am so happy that the “little leper lady” knew and worshiped her Lord. We will meet again!

Thoughts from Jody
Randy and I were reflecting on the amazing trip to India and both agree we felt God’s hand on this event. There are so many experiences that it is hard to choose, but one that was powerful to us was after a long day connecting with many people and praying with them and being so encouraged by their hospitality and faith, our group had the privilege of being a part of a meeting place dedication. Despite language and cultural differences the joy of the people of the community and our joint worship of God gave us a deep sense of us being brothers and sisters in the Lord. They served us with such kindness and grace providing a delicious meal that we all greatly appreciated.
Randy and I feel so blessed to have been able to go to India and serve with such a great team. Thanks John and Terri for your faithful ministry!

Thoughts from Randy…
I think of this passage when I think of John and the Workers we met while in India.
“I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your faith in the Lord and your love for all the saints. I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Him. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints”. Philemon 1:4-7
It truly was refreshing and encouraging to see the work being done in India by John and the Workers there.

Thank you for your continued prayer for all of those we get to love and serve. We are so grateful for you all!!
Many blessings, Much love! The Nanda’s :)

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