Robbie and I have been financial and prayer partners with Christ for India for the past eight years. Among other things, Christ for India trains Indian nationals to become pastors. Many of the Christ for India seminary graduates have established church groups throughout India, however these new congregations rarely have funds to build a church building.
Robbie and I are excited that because of God's blessings in our lives, we have been able to help with the construction of a church for Pastor Prabhudas in Savara Villi, Vizianagaram Distrist, Andhra Pradesh State, India. This congregation of men, women and children has been meeting weekly in a veranda of one of the member's home.
We received these photos of the new church building several weeks ago, so it's possible that by now these new walls are resounding with praise to our Savior. Maybe there will be wooden benches in the room, but more than likely everyone will stand or sit on the floor. I pondered this as I sat in our air-conditioned, carpeted, nicely decorated church with cushioned chairs, a worship team, and PowerPoint slides to help me follow along with the pastor's sermon this morning. I contemplated how it is often difficult for me to allow myself to worship fully, wondering who might be watching me or if my hair is out of place or if there are any scuffs on my shoes. Yet, in India - a country where Christians are still often persecuted for their faith - these men and women worship in an outdoor veranda, without shoes or inhibition, praising the same God!
We received a letter from Pastor Prabhudas who says: "In the year 2005 I pioneered a church at Savarvilli village. We have 20 believers worshipping in a varanda of a house. We have been praying for a church building. Thank you for building us a place for worship. We pray for you. God Bless You."
I stand amazed that God used us to answer the prayers of Christians we have never met. Today I want to give God all the glory for the construction of this church building. It is His provision and the faith of the believers in this congregation that has enabled this new place of worship to be built in India!
My prayer now is that God will allow us someday to travel to India to see this church and worship there. I wonder how it will feel to worship in a small building without air-conditioning and cushioned seats? I wonder if the members there will be able to see the light of Jesus shining in my life? I wonder what lessons God will teach me there?