Sunday, February 15, 2009

Jet Lag Notes

Got back to Indy Friday at 5:00. Felt good until jet lag hit me Saturday around noon. Dragging myself around since then. Go back to work tomorrow.
Trip was good in many ways. Here are some points that will get elaborated when my mind returns.
  • Indians are a people (in contrast to Americans) who have little margin in their lives and do not value it. I see this in their housing and traffic patterns, to name two things.
  • Rajesh Paul has a great vision for raising the bar for medical care in his part of India. He is demonstrating the grace and truth of Jesus.
  • God can answer prayer to get a bus unstuck.
  • Riding down India's roads is a great lesson on placing faith in the one driving.
  • Hindu cremation service across the road from the mission station.
  • 3+ hour Christian worship service at which I learned that morning that I would be preaching.
  • "Forgive me for irritating you [God] as I forgive those who irritate me."
  • Opening a wedding with prayer, nearly 1000 guests. Serving communion to the bride and groom.
  • "What's your name?" Kids wanting to connect. Me deciding how much I want to connect.
  • Someone said that I resemble Daniel Vittori (New Zealand Cricket Team Captain) -- I checked. Not even on a good day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Out of India

Eight days ago I arrived in India with a team from my hospital to provide medical care and education to rural villagers around the city of Machilipatnam, India. I leave for the train to Chennai tonight at 5:00. I believe that the trip had significant impact and after hearing Dr. Rajesh Paul's vision for the Christian Medical Center and Nursing School, I am more committed that ever to help make it a reality. This is a wonderful strategy for transforming this part of India under the direction of God's Spirit. Sometimes you have to just step into something you don't understand and learn as you go. In God's economy we never see the end from the beginning. If we think we do, it becomes an opportunity (a jarring one) for God to teach us a lesson about faith. Life with God is "stranger than fiction."

I am looking forward to being with my wife in a few days. My next cross-cultural mission experience will be in her company.

On another topic, I'd reccomend the writing of two new authors:
Science Fiction -- James Sawyer
Thrillers -- James Rollins

Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Foretaste of India

My wife and I just enjoyed an evening with our son Jeremy. Before enjoying some of Famous Dave's delicious barbeque (, we saw the new film "Slumdog Millionaire." It was produced and filmed in Mumbai, India and surrounding areas. I am traveling to the opposite side of the country, but I recognized many similarities: the use of mass transport, colorful clothing, immense poverty and the unclean environment. Like any nation there is corruption and vast differences between those who have and those who have not. People in India and America share the same needs to be safe, loved, involved in occupations that do not degrade, and creative to name a few.

I was a pleasure to share a "taste of India" with Nadine and Jeremy. If you choose to see the film I believe you will be blessed.

I will post again after I return from my trip and perhaps more of the film will come to mind as I make my own movie in my memory.

India Bound

Tomorrow morning I return to India for two weeks. I am a chaplain going with medical personnel to assist them in medical camps, teach people about preventative health care, lead Indian church leaders in a workshop, and provide spiritual reflection for the team. Please pray that God will open the opportunity for people to experience the reality of God's love for them. Pray for God's guidance for me as I attend to how the team experiences this trip. Pray for those I leave here.

Before I depart, I will enjoy "Slumdog Millionaire" with my wife and oldest son this afternoon. I look forward to sharing a piece of India with them in a small way.

The hotel in Chennai, India has internet so I will post more then.

Until then, keep living with all you heart the story God is writing in you life and whenever you get confused, exchange paragraphs with someone you trust you will find common ground on which to stand.