The Mordecai Project Newsletter
Report From India / April 2009
My recent 12-day journey to south India involved eight airplanes, a train, a motorized rickshaw and a houseboat. I preached 10 times and visited 7 cities, including Mumbai, where I went to the world’s largest garbage dump and observed a unique Christian outreach to slum kids. I left part of my heart in India this time. Here are some the highlights of this trip:
** I was in the state of Kerala the first week. My meetings were sponsored by the New India Church of God, a movement of 2,200 churches founded by V.A. and Mariamma Thampy. Their son-in-law, Shibu Zachariah, hosted me the entire trip. I met Shibu and his brother-in-law, Biju Thampy, in Australia last year and we knew God wanted us to work together. Shibu arranged for me to do meetings in four Kerala cities—Kottayam, Kochi, Ranny and Chingavanum. We did women’s sessions in the morning and sessions for families at night.
** Most Christians in India are rather private about personal problems—so issues such as domestic violence or sexual molestation are rarely discussed. I was breaking ground when I taught on these subjects, offering women the opportunity to receive healing for abuse and challenging men to repent of abusive behavior. The Lord opened a well of healing for the women in every meeting. In fact we had reports of physical healings that happened even during the teaching times.
** The abuse of women is a serious problem in India. Some women who came to the altar for prayer were demonized, and we had to take some time to cast the spirits out of them. One day right after I ministered a woman came to share with Mariamma that her husband had taken her to a river and held her head under water to force her to give him more dowry money. This type of behavior is common in India but it is hidden from view.
** In every evening session significant numbers of men came forward to repent. This was especially significant because their wives were often in the auditorium with them. The Lord’s conviction would fall on them and some of them wept as they asked God to take out their stony hearts. In Kottayam I asked the men to come on the stage so that they could corporately apologize to the women for mistreatment. That night a man was healed of a serious knee injury when he was kneeling before the women.
** On Sunday I spoke at the New India Church of God in Chingavanum, near Kottayam. Many people were baptized in the Holy Spirit that day. Then Shibu and I took a train to Coimbatore to visit Harry Gomes, an Indian evangelist who is like a spiritual father to me. Harry runs the Home of Hope Center for boys, and he recently took in 53 boys from the troubled region of Orissa. Most of these boys lost their fathers in anti-Christian violence, and they have been psychologically traumatized. I am hoping to help Harry start a girls’ home in Coimbatore soon. I was also able to pray with and comfort Harry after the loss of his son, Sashwi. Some of you may remember that Sashwi died in a car accident last year. I visited his grave and a memorial that Harry built on the orphanage property. It was an emotional experience for me since I knew Sashwi. I still cannot fathom the grief that Harry and his wife, Dellis, have had to endure—but the Lord has sustained them.
** After our visit in Coimbatore, Shibu and I flew to Bangalore, where I spoke at meetings sponsored by Bethel Assembly of God. This is a growing church that is reaching this huge city known for its high-tech labor force. I did meetings for women and men as well as a special session for leaders. In the men’s session something unusual happened. I began to receive words of knowledge from the Holy Spirit about what the men had been doing to their wives. When I said that one man had shattered glass in order to scare his wife, a man immediately ran to the altar. When I said that another man had been hitting his wife with a stick, a man got up and ran over to the side of the stage. (This man later began to manifest demonically and it took about 10 minutes for him to get free.) Praise God that the Lord was uprooting this hidden sin and helping these men to love their wives in a godly way.
** The meetings in India were awesome, but I am finding that one of the most important aspects of my work overseas is simply pouring my life into key individuals. This is true discipleship. I can make the biggest impact by mentoring and training younger leaders like Shibu (he is in the photo with me, below). We want to work together more closely and are praying about that. Another young leader, Raja, came to Kerala and spent time with me during those days. He and his wife have a children’s home in Andra Pradesh as well as 16 churches. I was able to pray with and encourage Raja during my time there.
** Before catching my return flight home I passed through Mumbai and was able to spend a few hours with Biju Thampy, who has a church and a feeding center in the world’s largest garbage dump. This is the same slum that is featured in the movie “Slumdog Millionaire.” I saw dozens of kids walking into the dump to forage for food and to collect plastic bottles. Then I boarded one of Biju’s ministry buses, where he offers hot meals as well as Bible stories and activities to 1,000 children each day. It was an inspiring way to end my visit because Biju really challenges me to live selflessly.
** There is no way to know how many men and women were touched in the meetings in Kerala and Bangalore. All the sessions were taped, and people who did not attend will be watching the recordings. I do believe that something revolutionary has begun and that the Word will continue to change hearts. Please agree with me in prayer for that.
Posted by Lee Grady on April 29, 2009 09:37 AM