Good Friday – Back in India (March 21, 2008)

We are on our way back to India from the US.  We had an amazing time.  God opened doors for us to minister in various places, from schools to churches to youth meetings.  We spent a lot of time ministering and meeting people one-on-one.  Some of the highlights of our trip were:

1.      We visited a school in Seattle where many children, and even a teacher, were filled with the Holy Spirit and were just crying because they felt God’s love.  The children prayed for one another and experienced God’s healing touch in their bodies.  One boy testified that as the others prayed for him, his sinuses cleared up.  A girl removed a wrist brace she was wearing and testified that the Lord had healed her sprained wrist…the pain was completely gone!  Yet another girl testified that she had been extremely tired and was feeling drowsy, but after a classmate prayed for her, she felt energized.

2.      At a church we visited, we had the opportunity to pray for the sick for over an hour after the service.  Many received a healing in their body.  One girl said she had been in a car accident seven years earlier and had been in constant pain ever since.  After prayer, she could hardly believe that the pain in her neck and back was completely gone.  “I have not felt like this in seven years!” she exclaimed.  Upon seeing this healing, a relative of hers also came up for prayer.  She had pain in her neck and could not turn her neck.  She said that she had been suffering for over a year.  After prayer she kept moving her neck and showing people, “Look, I can turn my neck and it doesn’t hurt!”  Yet another lady had been experiencing excruciating pain in her back.  She said she had not even been able to stand during the worship service.  However after prayer, the pain was gone.  A little boy who had a lazy eye also came forward for prayer.  The first time we prayed, he said that he did not feel a difference.  But, the second time we prayed, he said, “I feel a big difference.”  After a few more prayers he said that he felt like he could see perfectly.  His mother tested to see if both his eyes were in fact tracking, and she said he appeared to be healed!

3.      We did mall ministry with a youth group from the University of Washington.  We had the chance to pray with and share God’s love with a variety of people in the shopping mall.  One Japanese American man stands out in my mind.  He was over seventy years old.  Although he seemed to be happy to talk to us, he appeared nervous and almost as if he were trying to justify why he was not a regular churchgoer.  At one point he actually said that he felt “guilty” talking to us…but also recognized that we had not said anything to make him feel that way.  We barely said anything to him, but could tell that God was convicting him.  He allowed us to pray with him.  He was so impressed by our faith that he actually took the time to introduce us to his wife when we later ran into him in the mall.  This really showed me that sometimes it is nothing we say or do, but simply God’s presence that goes with His children that is enough to change a person’s life.

I was surprised to find that a number of people came over just to find out more about coming out to India to volunteer in the slums with us for a few weeks later this year.

As many of you know, we ended up extending our trip by one week at the last minute (once again).  But that week was so nice.  We got to just rest and spend time together as a family.

Here is a short video showing some of the fun we had during the trip to the US:

Scripture of the Day:

 Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.  Psalm 121:4

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June 25 – June28, 2007 – Getting Back in the Swing of Things

On Wednesday the children came for tutoring.  Seven children came: Amit, Sarika, Mahima, Seema, Arti, Reena and Kajal (Khushboo also came, but she just slept the entire time).  The kids were happy to be back, and we were happy to have them back.  It was awesome to see the changes in Arti.  When she had first started coming last year, she would come, but she would refuse to learn.  But, slowly, she had started to show and interest in education.  On Wednesday she actually concentrated for one hour, which was amazing.

After tuition was over, more children joined us because we had announced a movie night.  The kids stayed for almost 3 hours watching different movies.  Mom popped popcorn for them.  It felt like the “old times.”  It is good to be home.

On Thursday we went to Priyas for marketplace ministry.  When we left home, it started to rain.  By the time we arrived in Delhi, it was pouring.  It seemed like the rain would never stop and that we would not be able to go to Priyas as planned.

First, we went to the hotel and met a couple of young women who are serving God in Delhi.  We had a chance to share with them about what God is doing and to hear their testimonies. 

Mudit joined us.  Praise God his mother got a job, so he was very happy.  We had a chance to briefly pray with him before he had to go home.  His little brother was home alone and he was the designated babysitter.

Praise God it stopped raining by the time we were done at the hotel.  So, we headed over to Priyas.  At Priyas there were a lot of unfamiliar faces.  It was surprising how after just six weeks things have really changed.  Some of the stores have shut down and new showrooms have been opened.  We prayed with a few people who remembered us.  Some of the children who pick up trash at the marketplace came forward for prayer.  Pradeep had pain in his shoulder.  As we prayed, the pain left.  He had a big smile on his face.  It is kind of funny.  Pradeep has gotten prayer many times and seen God work in His life.  But, each time, he seems to astonished!

One lady came for prayer who had heard about us, but never met us.  She received prayer for her knees.  She felt God alleviate the pain.  She was so happy, saying, “I had heard about you.  I am blessed to finally meet you and get prayer.”

At first it seemed like no one was coming for youth meeting.  We had Jaswinder Bhaiya and Akhilesh.  But then Divya, Ajay, Deep, two of Jaswinder Bhaiya’s friends and a few new people joined us.  I ended up sharing about the miracle of blind Bartimaeus receiving site.  At the end we began to pray for people and lots of people came from who knows where.

Finally at 8:45 we headed home.  It felt good to get back in the swing of things.

Scripture of the Day:

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.  Proverbs 1:15.

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June 24, 2007 – Back in Prayer Fellowships

Today’s message was based on Psalm 121.  The basic gist of the message was that when we find ourselves in a bind, rather than looking around us at the problem or situation, we need to look to Jesus for the solution.

At the end Narendra prayed for some of the kids and was ecstatic to see that Jesus healed those whom he prayed for.

Approximately fifteen people showed up for the prayer fellowship in Delhi.  It was so good to see the youth again.  Some of them have been going through some issues it seems, but they had powerful testimonies to share.

One young girl, Sonata, shared a testimony about her friend.  She said that she personally was unsure about her faith in God and her friend was an atheist.  However, they met one of our young people, Ankit, who shared with them and convinced them to come to a youth meeting at Priyas.  There they patiently sat through the meeting and allowed me to pray with them.  And from then God began to work.  Sonata personally has seen God work in such ways that now she is a true believer in God.  And as to her friend, the testimony was that the friend has had depression and due to that had missed a lot of college.  Because of her poor attendance, the attendance board at the college decided that she would not be allowed to sit for her exams.  Meanwhile, the friend’s family found out certain things about the friend that they did not approve of and decided to yank her out of college and get her married.  They completely isolated the friend from the outside world, taking her cell phone from her.  But, we all continued to pray.  The friend’s brother testified before the attendance committee saying that his sister should not be given an opportunity to sit for her exams because they intended to get her married anyway.  The teachers and the other students were all against the friend.  However, God heard the prayers and performed a miracle.  The committee changed its mind and allowed the friend to sit for the exams.  And on top of that, the faculty at the college has guaranteed the girl that she will be allowed to complete her graduation.

Divanshu shared that one day he was with a group of friends and they all wanted to see a movie.  But Divanshu did not have any money.  So, he told his friends.  His friend were all very disappointed and called Divanshu a party-pooper.  Divanshu felt bad and prayed to Jesus for money.  That evening, out of the blue, and very uncharacteristic of his dad, Divanshu’s dad handed Divanshu 500 rupees!

After prayer, we went to a nearby slum to worship and pray with the people there.  Someone had informed them that we were coming, so there was an awesome turn-out of over 50 kids and many adults.  They were happy to see us back.  We had the chance to pray with various ones for their needs.  One boy came up and testified that he had previously gotten prayer for his studies and noticed a difference, but he wanted more, so we prayed again.  Another girl testified that she has been praying for her dad and God has been healing him of debilitating foot trouble.

Scripture of the Day: 

1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help?  2 My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.  Psalm 121:1-2.

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June 23, 2007 – Our Time in the US

2.     We visited a school in Seattle where many children were filled with the Holy Spirit and were just crying because they felt God’s love.  Kids felt God’s healing touch as we prayed for various ailments.

3.     My brother has a clothing business.  They have their own label.  They design clothes, have them manufactured in various countries and then they sell them in the US.  Well, about a week ago, we were sitting around the dinner table when my brother got a phone call.  It was an employee of his.  They had a shipment from China that had come in one week earlier but had been sitting in customs.  The US government was saying that China had not gotten the proper quota, so the shipment could not enter the US.  China was swearing that they had gotten the proper quota.  Now this shipment was just sitting at customs not allowed to enter the country.  Meanwhile, the customer was waiting for the shipment, and every day it was sitting at customs, my brother’s company was losing money.  When my brother told us this, Mom said, “Why don’t we pray?”  So, we all closed our eyes and said a short prayer.  And you won’t believe, within one minute, my brother’s employee called back and said, “I don’t know what just happened, but the shipment just got released.”

My cousin’s wedding was fun.  Relatives from all over the US came and we got to spend time together. 

As many of you know, we ended up extending our trip by one week at the last minute.  But that week was so nice.  We got to just rest and spend time together as a family.  We went out to eat a few times, went bowling, watched movies and just relaxed together.

We took a different route to India this time.  We flew to New York, then to Dubai, and finally to New Delhi.  God worked miracles even on our way back to India.  Our flight from Seattle to New York got really delayed because of bad weather in New York.  So, we were extremely late to board the flight from New York to Dubai.  We were sure that we were going to miss the connection…but God is good.  Even though we were so late, they still let us board the plane…we were the last to board.

Then, before leaving Seattle, my family had prayed for us.  And at the end I had had them pray that I would get three seats on the flight so I could sleep :o )  And God is so good.  The flight from New York to Dubai was the longest leg…approximately 12 hours.  And guess what?  I got three seats.  The plane was pretty packed…but I got three seats.

Then, on the plane, they were giving little hand puppets to the kids.  I love toys, so I asked for one too :o )  On the leg from New York to Dubai the flight attendant gave me one.  Then on the leg from Dubai to New Delhi, the flight attendant gave me two more!  Jesus is so good.  He gives us even the littlest desires of our heart.

We spent nearly two days in transit, including commute time.  So, needless to say, we were exhausted when we arrived home in India.

Scripture of the Day:
 Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.  Psalm 121:4

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December 15 – December 21, 2006 (Part I)

Sunday was church as usual. Before church we had drama practice. The kids are getting good. Those who attended were:

I shared the second part of the message I shared last week. This was on what Jesus will give us if we give our hearts to Him. After the message we prayed for the children and sent them home. But, several of the ladies sat and prayed to receive more of the Holy Spirit. About four people received. Sapan Bhaiya’s mother-in-law received very powerfully.

Then we rushed to the church in Delhi. By the time we got there a large family was waiting for us. They had come for prayer for various reasons. They did a good job of worshipping. Some times all you can hear is my voice. But, this day you could hear several of their voices as well. We had a decent turn out. We tried to end church early so that we could practice for our drama. After service a family showed up for prayer.

Then finally we were able to practice for the Christmas drama. The youth group seemed to enjoy practice.

Scripture of the Day:

And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Mark 16:20.

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December 8 – December 14, 2006 (Part IV)

Then we went to Priyas for marketplace ministry. At first no one came. But, then a crowd started to form and people got prayer for various things. Some came just to testify that they had been healed the last time we prayed for them. One man seemed almost ready to give his heart to Jesus. Another man first watched people getting healed. Then he had prayer for a backache, that went away after prayer. He returned and asked if we could pray for old problems as well. He said he knee pain since birth. As we prayed that completely left him as well. He was shocked!

At youth meeting we didn’t have a big turn out, but we had a good discussion on expectations. Those who attended were Divya, Rahul, Saddam and Chand. Saddam and Chand are two slum children. During the discussion we found out that Saddam and Chand are step brothers. Saddam’s mother passed away many years ago. He is mistreated by the family. But, it was interesting to hear Saddam talk of his parents expectations of him and how he planned on fulfilling every one of them, by caring for them in their old age.After the youth meeting, we went to a yummy fancy Italian restaurant for dinner. When you are in that restaurant, you feel like you are in America.

Scripture of the Day:

God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. I John 4:16.

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December 8 – December 14, 2006 (Part III)

On Tuesday my sister and I went shopping for a bit at Janpath. Then we went to the slum in Ashram to spend time with the kids. We taught them a new song and dance. They were happy to learn. We prayed for several of the kids regarding their various ailments. The Lord healed them. The kids in the slums have such pure and simple faith. It really brings the scripture alive that talks about having faith like a child.

When we got home, a friend of mine Raegan came over for prayer. I had met him over a year ago in a church where we were ministering. He happened to be in Faridabad for a friend’s wedding and decided to stop by. God had recently touched him in an awesome way and he was excited. He had felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. I encouraged him to pray and receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. At first he was hesitant, but then he prayed and received! He was so happy.

On Wednesday we again had tuition. Those who attended were: Akhbar, Kundan, Rustam, Mahima, Amit, and Sarika. Several of the kids who were coming for play practice also showed up early and got some tutoring as well.

The kids were so excited about play practice, they showed up way early. It was adorable when Seema, who plays Mary in our drama, ran into the house and asked, “Am I late.” It was only 3:30 PM and drama practice was not scheduled to start for another 2 hours.

We had a good drama practice. This time we did not have to start with a totally new cast. A few extra kids showed up, so we taught them a little song and dance that they will perform at the Christmas program.

In the middle of practice my second-cousin Puneet brought two of his friends over for prayer: Amit and Rishab. I shared our testimony, as they listened intently. Then I prayed for both of them. Let’s see what happens.

In the evening the neighbor with the bad eyesight who get prayer came. He told us that for the first time in 10 years he was able to go to the movie theater and watch a movie. So although his eyes are not completely healed, there is a marked difference.

Scripture of the Day:

“Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Mark 8:34.

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December 8 – December 14, 2006 (Part II)

After the meeting we went to my grand-uncle’s home. My grandmother had shared with them about Mr. Mehta’s miracle, so they all wanted prayer. My grand-uncle actually said that when we had prayed for him a few years earlier, he had felt a difference in his health.

On Sunday we started the morning with drama practice. Some of the old kids didn’t show up, but new kids showed up as their replacements. We seem to be working with a somewhat new cast every time.

Those who attended the service were:

Mintu, Teeja, Neetu, Seema, Avinash, Jyoti, Karan, Ranjit, Rohit, Mahima, Sarika, Sandeep, Nahim, Mohit, Chattur, Dharmendra, Mahindra, Jagdish, Akhilesh, DhanKumari, Narendra, Deepak, Prashant, David, Suraj, Danish, Arti, Anoop, Amisha, Deepansha, Dhruv, Kushagr, Urmila, Sanja, Ajay, Dhruv’s parents, Deepansha’s Mom, Mr. Mehta, Ekta, Suvineet, Promil Bhaiya and others.

In the morning service a new family attended. The have a little girl who is suffering from nephritic syndrome. We prayed for the little girl and also her cousins. One of the cousins has polyps in his nose and sinus problems. As we prayed he felt his nose clear up. The other cousin had pain his foot that immediately left as we prayed.

Mr. Mehta shared the testimony of his healing. Suvineet shared about how the Lord is helping him with his studies. He has been receiving the highest marks in his class even when he himself does not feel fully prepared.

I shared a message on Christmas and the Gift of Life that Jesus offers us. It was amazing how intently the children listened. They usually squirm and talk during the message, but this day they were listening quietly. Afterwards many prayed to receive the free gift of life Jesus offers.

Then we rushed off to the afternoon service. We had an okay turn out. Hemant shared a testimony of how he has been skipping work to party, and so he was sure his pay would be cut for the days he missed. However, to his surprise, not a single day of pay was cut from his paycheck! Jesus loves us so much that even if we are not always doing what we should, he does not forsake us. One lady who had come the week before shared with me that she used to have severe headaches for 3 days at a time. But, after prayer, her headache only lasted 1.5 days. So she believes that the Lord is beginning to heal her.

Several people prayed to receive the Holy Spirit. Rahul was excited as he prayed for a lady with arthritis and the stiffness and pain immediately left. Another lady who had pain and did not believe that God would heal her was amazed to be healed after prayer. A family brought their little boy for prayer due to a stuttering problem. We prayed for him and he was able to say the letter “K” without stuttering. Of course I told them to observe him for the week and see if there was a long term improvement. Another man who had been depressed came and was amazed how the Lord had set him free. He was so thankful to the Lord for the miracle.

Scripture of the Day:

21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”

22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”

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December 8 – December 14, 2006 (Part I)

In the afternoon, the children came for tutoring. Those who came were: Amit, Sarika, Mahima, Ajit, Rustam, Afzal, Akhbar. We have been teaching the kids how to add. Most of them are getting it, but Mahima is having a difficult time. She doesn’t seem to be paying attention. She is generally slow in initially picking up things, but once she picks them up, then she runs with it. I hope that is the case here as well.

After tutoring was over, my sister and I went to a nearby hospital to visit a congregation member, Mr. Mehta, who had been admitted earlier that morning. The man had an 8mm kidney stone that had gotten stuck in somewhere between his kidney and his bladder that was causing a lot of pain. The doctors did an x-ray and admitted the man into the hospital predicting that they would need to operate the following morning. The man told the doctor that Jesus always takes care of him. The doctor asked, “Then where is your Jesus now?” The man responded in faith, “Jesus will do it.” We went to pray for the man in the hospital. The pain disappeared as we began to pray. The next morning when the doctor did the x-ray, the stone was no longer there. Jesus did it! Praise God!

While we were at the hospital, praying for Mr. Mehta, his mother told us about another miracle. A few weeks ago she had called and had us pray for her grand-daughter over the phone. The grand-daughter had had a severe allergic reaction to epilepsy medication and was in the hospital, not in very good condition. She had been very unresponsive. After we had prayed, she began to immediately recover quickly. Praise Jesus!

As we were returning home, my second-cousin Puneet called to share a testimony. He said that in his MBA college they were having a “Big Manager” competition. At the last minute he decided to participate and it was like God just gave him wisdom and direction. He ended up winning the competition!

In the evening Sapan Bhaiya called to tell me he didn’t understand what was happening to him, but he just wanted to express, “I love Jesus so much.” He was just feeling an immense love for his creator!

At night, one of the new young people who has started to attend the Delhi fellowship, Pawan, called. He has been having a difficult time. I have been encouraging him to pray for and receive the Holy Spirit, but he has been hesitant. He doesn’t think he is good enough. I have tried telling him that it is not about being “good enough.” Anyway, as we were praying over the phone in general, all of a sudden Pawan started weeping and praying in tongues! He was filled with the Holy Spirit!

Scripture of the Day:

He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. I John 4:8.

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December 1 – December 7, 2006 (Part IV)

After the slum we went to the Priya marketplace. We didn’t have a mad rush of people coming like we had last week, but we had a pretty constant stream of young people coming for prayer. One boy came back a few minutes after prayer and asked, “When you prayed for me, I felt a power go through me. What was that?” As usual, people were healed from various aches and pains. A young girl, Shweta, came back for prayer. She testified that since we had prayed for her, her migraine headache problem was significantly better. She brought her friend for prayer.

For youth group Ankit, Rahul, Deep, Hemant, Akhilesh, and Pawan attended. We had a discussion on forgiveness. But, the weirdest thing happened. As we started our discussion a crowd gathered around us and began participating in the discussion. The only problem was that they were not quite understanding that we were talking about forgiveness, so they began having a heated debate on other topics. Eventually we just had to let them have their own discussion, while we had ours.

While we were having our discussion a young lady came by. We had been praying that she would get pregnant and she had. But then the doctors had told her the baby was not growing inside of her and had likely died. She refused to believe the doctor stating, “If Jesus gave me this baby, He will keep it.” She got prayer. Now she has a healthy baby growing inside of her.

As we were leaving the police began to hassle us a bit. I think they saw the heated debate and misconstrued it. We will have to pray and ask God to intervene.

Scripture of the Day:

For there are three that bear witness in Heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. I John 5:7.

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