The Mordecai Project Newsletter
February 2008 / India and Australia
Thanks to all of you who prayed for me while I was in India and Australia. It was an amazing journey that took me around the world on 12 different planes. We never missed a flight—although a tram driver at the Delhi airport almost got us lost. I stayed healthy most of the time except for a short bout with fever (thanks to some suspicious Indian spices) and a nasty cold that hit me at the very end of the trip. I am jet-lagged but very grateful for the Lord’s faithful protection. Here are a few of the trip highlights:
** Pastor Andy Byrd and I preached for three days at the Bless Bihar Conference after arriving in Patna, in the north Indian state of Bihar. Two intercessors from Florida, Maureen and Jackie, joined us for this portion of the trip and helped with prayer ministry. They also taught the women in a separate session. About 300 pastors and young church leaders took part in these times of encouragement, training and empowerment.
** All the teaching was great, but the best part of this conference was the tangible love of God that was so evident. Every morning when we arrived at the retreat center we would hug almost every person in the conference. Most of the people at the event were Dalits, or “untouchables,” yet our constant affirmation was healing for them. God broke our hearts with His compassion for these precious people who have been at the bottom of the Hindu caste system. The Lord is tearing down this cruel system of lies today.
** In one session with the men, more than 60 publicly confessed to abusing their wives. This is a serious problem in India, so it was encouraging to see these men weeping at the altar in deep repentance. Meanwhile the women in Bihar tend to be very timid and withdrawn. By the end of the three days we could see a new boldness and confidence rising in them.
** Our host, Pastor Biju Thomas, has been working hard to reach Bihar, which is one of the least evangelized states in India. His church sponsors a home for 15 orphan boys. I am praying about helping Biju and his wife start a similar home for girls. Because of the discrimination against women in India, girls are at a serious disadvantage educationally and this makes it harder for women to emerge as leaders. I believe The Mordecai Project can help change this situation in many parts of India.
** From Patna we flew to Hyderabad and then drove to Warangal with members of Rev. Harry Gomes’ team. Harry was doing a city-wide crusade in the city, and he arranged for me to speak at a two-day women’s conference in the mornings. About 600 women crammed into a Baptist church, and on the second day an additional 200 gathered outside the building to listen through the windows because there were not enough seats. On that second day, about 400 women were baptized in the Spirit at one time! It reminded me of what happened in the house of Cornelius in Acts 10.
** I spoke at the crusade that Tuesday night, and Harry asked me to pray for the sick that evening. Harry said about 50,000 were in the crowd. Normally after Harry preaches he kneels on the stage and prays for various diseases to be healed. He let me do this because he wanted to encourage me to move out in the miraculous. It was an amazing time and my faith was stretched. I prayed for about 15 minutes, and then people began to line up and testify about various healings. One lady said her entire left side had been paralyzed but she now felt normal. Tumors vanished, pains went away and so many other miracles happened. The testimonies lasted for an hour.
** Andy and I both received so much from Harry Gomes. He models Christlike humility and has an incredible prayer life. We asked him a million questions and received a lot of mentoring. On Wednesday we traveled to his home base, Coimbatore, where we visited his boys’ home and then spoke at a pastors’ conference. Again I challenged the pastors to treat their wives with dignity and respect—and to view them as equals. When I challenged them to repent of abuse, many came to the altar even though their wives were in the auditorium. One of the pastors told me that the subject of wife abuse is never addressed publicly in India. We felt we were a part of history. I know the message we preached there will spread.
** I hope to partner with Harry Gomes to launch a girls’ home and school similar to the one he has for boys. In Coimbatore, people in one area routinely kill baby girls after birth because they believe female children will suffer too much if they live. When I learned this I was stirred to the core. We must do whatever we can to stop this genocide.
** Andy and I were exhausted when we flew from India to Australia on Feb. 17. I had misunderstood the schedule of the conference in Sydney, so when I landed there at 7:30 a.m. I discovered that I was preaching in the 9:30 a.m service at Penrith Christian Life Centre. Yikes! It was a stretching experience but the Lord gave me grace that day and throughout the event. I preached five times that week and it was a life-changing week for everyone.
** Penrith Christian Life Center, pastored by Jack and Carol Hanes, is an amazing church. They are totally committed to planting churches in the developing world, and in 2007 they planted more than 700 churches in India. My heart was knit to Pastor Jack and the other speakers who came from the U.S., Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India. I taught a message about the importance of releasing women for the harvest, and the Aussie women were overwhelmingly inspired. I believe God is mobilizing the women Down Under to head to the mission field.
** We had a very special moment on Thursday when I spoke on the importance of reaching our Samarias—the places near us that are culturally or racially different. At the end I invited an Indian brother, Philip, to come the stage. He is a Dalit, and he had shared with me a horrible story about how he had been treated in India. Some people of a different caste had told him that he would have to wash the floor where he walked because he contaminated it with his “untouchable” feet. I washed Philip’s feet in front of the crowd and asked God to heal him from the rejection caused by the caste system. There wasn’t a dry eye in that place that day. The Lord poured out His compassion for those who have been marginalized or mistreated, and the Aussies were also challenged to reach the Aborigine population in their country. (Just before we arrived in Australia, the national government issued an apology to the Aborigines for their mistreatment during the early days of Australia’s history.)
Thanks to all of you for praying for me and my family. I have posted photos of my trip on my Facebook page. If you are on Facebook please tag me so that you can have access to my page. Also, I wrote three columns about my trip and they are available on my blog, fireinmybones.com.
Posted by Lee Grady on March 25, 2008 07:15 AM