Sunday, 29 April 2012

team SriLi ministry

SO I'm going to attempt to update!
First of all, my birthday was EPIC! (yes I am blogging about it) We took a bus into Negombo (where we've done house-ministry all this week) and then squished 7 ppl into a rickshaw in the pouring rain into the town. We had an amazing meal and fellowship. Then took a second rickshaw to another home where we saw a woman delivered! We also had a second AMAZING meal... with dessert! The next morning my team surprised me with ice cream and nutella with bannanas in it and prayed/affirmed me, so super sweet!
We've been lead a kids ministry/ sunday school one night this week, which went remarkably well! We even had the parents get involved with a relay race, it was so funny seeing the women get all competitive and really challenging the guys side... obviously us girls won!
For the most part, this week has been house ministry were we've been sharing testimonies, short preaches, and leading worship. The fellowship has been wonderful and we've truly felt like family in this community! and we've been stuffed with incredible food... you literally have to cover your plate if your full.
Mid-way through the week we were super blessed and went boating! We took a picnik out into the middle of nowhere (and saw a legless, dead, massive turtle on the way) and went swimming in the ocean! Such a wonderful relaxed day, after we visited two different homes and had amazing food at the second with dessert! (again, so spoilt).
Saturday we went for a prayer walk on the beach... my team of 3 were blessed by one of the church members who bought us a coconut on ... Coconut Grove! (Kona people will appreciate that :P ) ... and corn-on-the-cob! We did an open-air on the beach which involved doing 2 dances, 2 skits and a testimony (half of which we were not! prepared for) and leading some games. Which ended being the locals teaching us how to play "Telephone Charades".

Next week we'll be teaching a Bible Study class for 4hrs a day for 4 days... it is bound to push us in entirely new ways, but it should be good!

Sri Lanka is so beautiful! It hasn't all been easy, and there are so many little things that we miss from home, but the community here has welcomed us and spoiled us in so many ways that any hardship pales in comparison!

Thank you for your continued prayers, and please be specific in praying that these bible teachings go well!

Much love,

Saturday, 14 April 2012

The Story of India

So we have all arrived alive in INDIA!
It took us 48hrs travel time and around 30hrs couped up in a plane. But we made it!
Arriving in Mumbai, we met up with our contact at the airport and loaded into a too-small bus for us and our luggage, but being true YWAMers we made it work and sardined-it, for the 4hr bus ride to Lonavala. Going through Mumbai and up into Pune was unlike anything I've experienced. You hear that the traffic here is crazy, but seeing and hearing it, is an entirely different thing. You see vehicles come within litteraly inches of each other, and people walking straight through the middle of a road (which seems more like a death walk than crossing the street). Honking is a constant, and we gradually realized that the only traffic law that is followed, is to not hit anyone else. One of the more important things that I think we all realized on the drive through Mumbai is the contrasts here. You drive next to a slum city and than right beside it, you see a sky-scraper, and then back into slum-housing. Its so difficult to see the wealth and the poverty so close together, and not see the one helping the other.
oh. I saw monkeys on the drive up. awesome-sauce.

The base here is beautiful. Its what I would picture to be post-colonial India (though I actually have no idea). White stucco walls, jade and cream marble, and old-wood interiors. We have bucket showers (try figuring that one out... it takes longer than you think) and paper-free toilets, and mattresses that may be 2 inches thick.
Breakfast: rice and chai. Lunch: rice and dhal. Dinner: rice and dhal. As well as Chai Time at 10am & 4pm.

We went into Pune day 2 of being here to purchase traditional Salwar Kamiz, via Local Train. That is a whole other experience. Its a mad rush to get on and off the trains as you have 20sec and a whole wall of people coming from the opposite direction. It was beautiful to see the scenery of India, as well as extremely difficult seeing the level of poverty surrounding you on all sides. Even walking to the train, this one beggar, she was probably 14, kept following along beside me for 5 minutes even as I tried to go around cars and "loose her". Its difficult being told not to give to them and just to completely ignore them. Being here on outreach you think that that is who you help. But since being here and learning that many of these children don't actually keep the money they receive, that "Slumdog Millionaire" is more of a reality than we realize, it becomes easier to "ignore" the beggars, and focus on the children and situations that we can help. Just praying that God brings someone into their lives that can help draw them out of their circumstances.

The first Sunday we were here, we led a home-church in Kahne were I shared my testimony. The whole time I shared I noticed this one woman whose eyes were bright and she seemed so excited to hear about Jesus. I figured that she was a hungry follower of God and eventually felt like I was speaking directly to her. After our "service" was done, we had the locals share their testimony, and this woman spoke-up. She said that her (approx. 6yr old) daughter had been coming to church for a month, and every time she came home from service she would tell her Mum to put all her faith in Jesus and that He is the only God. The service we came to preach at was the first time this lady had ever come to church!
We've gone into "The Hill Slum" a few times, the first time we were there we got to pray for a woman who had been beaten by her neighbours and then cursed by a witch doctor. Not your everyday story in America. She has recovered from being beaten but seemed to have some mental issues, we're not sure exactly what the reason is, but we're assuming its a result of the trauma, as she wasn't in that state beforehand. Her younger daughter has been watching her as she is not able to do anything. We had the chance to pray and worship in their home, and when we went back a week later, the lady was much more energized and had begun to do some cleaning.. so encouraging to see God moving!
In the same slum we were praying for a Hindu family whose son had a heart condition, when the grandmother came in who had cataracts, and asked for us to pray for her. We did and she was able to see! AND the big news is that she gave her life to Christ! When we went back to visit she said that she is able to see at night but not during the day. I had the opportunity to talk to her about faith, and the ways that God is moving in her. This grandma really touched my heart, and I will continue to be praying, if that is something you would like to come alongside in, that would be amazing!
We also had the opportunity to go into a village/slum and pray for a woman who had a stroke and was paralyzed in both legs and her right hand. As we were praying we were able to assist her in walking, and she gave her life to God!!! Some of our team went back to see her, and she now has mobility in her hands and is able to pull herself across the floor.Unfortunately her legs still aren't working properly, and our team really feels that the atmosphere has shifted in the home from being very welcoming to being rather closed-off to us and God. (I personally feel that it may be because she hasn't had the oppotrunity to practice walking, which would be something her family would have been coming alongside her in). So please be interceding that that atmosphere shifts and that this wonderful grandma will be able to function independently, and have the support of her family!

Now for a highlight of mine! When we went into the Hill Slum 2 days back, we led an open-air ministry. Aka. sang some worship songs, did a drama/dance, and had a preach and altar/prayer call. At first it felt a little discouraging as there was a lot of distraction in the crowd (around 30 people) and people didn't seem to interested in responding to "the call". But as we waited we ended up having a bunch of people come forward! I got to pray with quite a few kids, and ended up leading 3 girls through a prayer of giving their lives to God! Such a special moment for me, and is bound to change their lives forever!

I know this has been a super-long post, but it only glazes over the surface of what God has been doing here in Maharashtra India over the past two-weeks. Our team has become so much closer to God and each other, and as individuals as well. God has blessed us with seeing the lame walk, the deft hear and the blind see... according to scripture, the next thing on the list is seeing the dead raised!
Please be praying for our safety as our team is flying-out tonight to Sri Lanka for the next 2 months of outreach!

Blessings to you all, and thanks for your support and continued prayer!
Much love, Becca