I felt like it took forever to get to the little town of Damoh in the middle of India. I was invited by a 25-year-old leader whom I had been coaching via Skype.
It was Sunday, March 25, and I was exhausted after almost 30 hours of travel from the Los Angeles airport to the town of Damoh with maybe two hours of sleep under my belt. But, I was so delighted to finally be there as I anticipated what Jesus had in store.
India is a fascinating country of approximately 1.2 billion people, and it’s projected to surpass China as the most populated country in the world. Over ten years ago, Hinduism accounted for 80.5% of the population of India, Islam (13.4%), Christianity (2.3%), Sikhism (1.9%), Buddhism (0.8%) and Jainism (0.4%).
It’s dangerous being a Christian in India. Converting to Christianity from Hinduism can cost you your family, your job, or possibly your life. The same goes for those preaching the gospel.
Sunday night I was actually able to preach in a little village church in downtown Damoh, a small town (by Indian standards) of around 100,000. Men, women, and children sat without any chairs in a room built over the pastors home.
My sermon was translated into Hindi, and when I finished, eleven people responded to the simple gospel message and embraced Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. My translator told me that some of them had been attending for almost a year, and tonight was their night to meet Jesus! He also told me that half of those in regular attendance are Hindus.
Tuesday and Wednesday, I had the privilege to present my Leaders Who Last seminar to around 250 men from eleven of the twenty-eight states in India. These men are pastors from all over the country, representing some of the 900 churches. What an amazing opportunity Jesus provided to invest in pastors as they impact others. It was surreal for me.
I claimed Esther 4:14 for my trip, trusting that the Lord sovereignly brought me to Damoh, India, at this particular time, for things he wanted to accomplish through me.
“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your Father’s house will perish… And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this.”
Might I encourage you to pray over this verse as you trust God’s timing in your life? He has you where you are for a particularly purpose. You are where you are at this particular time as Esther was where she was at a particular time. Jesus wants to use you right where you are. Serve God where you are by his grace, because you can’t serve him where you aren’t.
Over six days I had the joy and profound privilege of preaching and teaching to a total of 1,575 people on six different occasions.
I arrived late back in Southern California on April 1 after the most amazing ten days of my life. All praise to Jesus for saving me, putting me into the ministry 44 years ago, and allowing me this experience in Damoh, India.
I know the Christians and pastors in India would deeply appreciate your prayers for the work Jesus has called them to do in a very needy and hostile country. If you want to know more how you could possibly get involved, feel free to contact me.
Read more stories here as Mars Hill Global wants to tell of what Jesus is doing all over the world.