Faith is to believe what you do not see;
the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.
In May of 2006 I found myself in Hyderabad, India on a mission "scouting trip" with another ministry. The last few days before going home were spent with the Amrutharaj's, a lovely couple who had a burden and vision for the poor in their area. They shared their calling to open a medical clinic in the Papireddy Colony and asked that we pray about partnering with them in this endeavor. After I recovered from yet another "spirit jumping in me" episode, we attended a church service in another of the slums in the area.
Throughout the service I could not help but notice a woman who sat on the floor across the room from me. She had the countenance of someone with the weight of the world on her shoulders. She rarely looked up and, as far as I could see, never looked anyone in the eyes. God broke my heart for this dear woman that day and for the many, many women just like her in this city. It appeared that God was using this woman to answer my prayers regarding partnering with Drs. Joseph and Vimala even before I prayed them! I pray that God will allow me to see this precious woman again while we're still on earth but if that is not God's will I look forward to telling her about the impact she had on my life and my calling!
I wasn't to return to Hyderabad until November of 2007, a full year and one half after my first visit. However this second mission was also a "scouting trip" only this time it was on behalf of Touching Lives! And this time my sweet sister in the Lord and now fellow Touching Lives Board Member, Darien, accompanied me.
As we discussed the future partnership between Touching Lives and Drs. Joseph and Vimala, once again my spirit leaped (my body should do as much jumping as my spirit does!) when I heard that their dream is not to open one but five clinics. To this day I don't quite understand why that felt so right, I can only tell you that it did!
Over the course of this mission we were able to visit the construction site of the first clinic. As the Amrutharaj's posed in what would become the doorway of the structure for us to take pictures of them, tears came to my eyes. Before me was God's visual confirmation that this crazy adventure we were on was His will. This was a wonderfully humbling moment!
One of the few regrets I have had in regard to participating in short-term missions has always been that, either because of his work schedule or his health, I have never be able to share a mission with Mark first hand. But while in India this second time I began to ask God to bring Mark here. It only felt right that he would meet Drs. Joseph and Vimala "up close and personal" as we begin this ministry partnership. The morning after we returned home as Mark "debriefed" me on the trip, he told me that he felt God leading him to go to Hyderabad! And, you guessed it, I got that spirit-jumping thing going again! So, we have begun to pray that God would open the doors for us to visit India this coming May. Please join with us in praying that 1) God's will is done and 2) that He receives all the glory, honor, and praise due Him as He carries out His will in our lives.