Our First Day in Chennai

I was a little late in getting ready…we had a few minor setbacks (the flushing mechanism on the toilet wasn’t working and neither was there any warm water).  But, as soon as I got ready, a friend of mine, Ajay was waiting for me.  He came from Bangalore to spend a few days with us here in Chennai.  I met him back in August when we were ministering in Bangalore.  We have kept in touch and he is like my brother.  If you have heard the stories from our Banaglore trip, you may remember Ajay.  Let me refresh your memory:

We did a youth meeting at Kormangla Methodist Church.  There, I first shared our testimony.  Ajay now tells me that when he first heard my testimony, he wasn’t convinced that I was telling the truth.  After sharing the testimony, I asked, “Does anyone have pain in their body?”  A little girl raised her hand.  She had an ace-bandage on her foot and ankle.  She couldn’t walk properly.   I asked her to come up on stage.  “Who wants to see a miracle?”  Many of the young people raised their hands, including Ajay.  I asked Ajay and another girl to come on the stage.  I told them to put their hands on the little girl’s ankle and to say “In the name of Jesus, be healed.”  They did that.  Instantly the pain left the little girl’s foot!  She took off the bandage and was able to walk around without pain.  Ajay was amazed, as were we all.  We saw her later in the evening and she was still walking around with no bandage and no pain.

Ajay went with Mom and I to our first meeting in Chennai.  The meeting was in a small chapel near the Satyam computer company campus.  About fifteen young IT professionals attended the meeting.  It was really nice to participate in worship in English.  It has been a while since we have been in an English worship service.  It reminded me of home (back in Seattle). 

I shared our story and briefly encouraged people to begin to move in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Afterwards, we prayed for some of those who had attended and you could see that they were touched by God.  Three young men received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  The power of god was very strong on them.  One young lady called me in the evening for additional prayer.

Afterwards, Ajay and I went site-seeing.  Our first stop was a snake park (there seem to be a lot of snake and crocodile parks in and around Chennai).  The snake park had all sorts of snakes, big and small, venemous and harmless.  I don’t like snakes.  There was a small snake show they did in which they told us about various snakes.  During the show they said that there are about 400 and some different species of snakes.  Only about 24 or so are harmful to humans.  Of those, only a handful are actually found on the ground, the rest are sea-snakes.  they also told us that the cobra is virtually deaf.  So, it is not the sound of the snake-charmers instrument that causes the snake to dance, but rather the movement of his instrument that causes it to dance.

After the snake park we went to Saint Thomas Mount.  St. Thomas Mount, known as the “Calvary of St. Thomas” is the place of the martyrdom of the Apostle (doubting Thomas).  The Apostle Thomas came to India after Jesus’ death and many people of South Indian origin attribute the faith of their ancestors to the preaching of Thomas.  St. Thomas Mount has a small church as well as several monuments.  It is also one of the highest places in the city.  From the mount, you can see the entire city. 

The church houses a piece of bone from Thomas’ hand. 

There is also a stone carved cross, which is said to have been carved by St. Thomas himself.  Tradition says that while he was praying before it, he was martyred and it was stained with his blood.  The cross was discovered in the 16th century AD, when they dug the foundation for the church.  The signs around the cross state that the cross used to sweat blood every December 18 from 1551-1704 AD.

There is also a painting of Mary holding baby Jesus in the church.  The painting is said to have been painted by St. Luke the Evangelist and brought to India by St. Thomas.  

In the gallery, I have posted pictures of some of what we saw.

Scripture for the Day:
 
24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” 26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”  I Corinthians 11:26.

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