Summary: The sermon focuses upon my expereinces in India
It all began for me last May when God began to direct brochures and flyers about a vision trip to South Asia. Over time God clearly showed me that I was to go, but throughout the months of preparation and even the mission experience itself, one question still seem to haunt me. Why? Why was I going to India? Why this trip where the emphasis was to prepare leaders to help create partnerships and mission teams to serve South Asia over the next three years? Why?
Around December God gave me a passage of scripture that help me connect to the question of What? What did God want me to do while in India?
I like to share that passage with you and interestingly enough a portion of this passage is on our own bulletin cover and even more amazing it shows a famous landmark from our last mission trip to New York.
If you have your Bibles turn with me to The Gospel of Luke chapter 10 beginning in verse one.
As Jesus sent out 72 disciples, as he commissioned them to be his witnesses, as they went out on their first mission trip. He spoke clearly to them in word pictures that they could understand, these men and women were fishermen, farmers, people who worked closely with the earth. He spoke to them of a harvest. A great harvest, In fact one translation describes the harvest as being white ready to be picked, but despite the great harvest in the field, they had a problem, not enough workers, not enough harvesters... And then amazingly Jesus told his disciples to pray, Pray to the Lord of the Harvest, to send out more workers into the harvest. He didn’t tell them to go out and manipulate, arm twist, trick, force, people to work the fields. He simply said to pray... Basically as they went to pray...
Later in the gospel of Matthew Jesus again reminds his disciples but this time an intimate group of 12 to Pray...
Listen to The words of Jesus recorded in Matthew chapter 9 beginning in verse 35:
Jesus traveled through all the cities and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the good news about the kingdom. And wherever he went, he healed people of every sort of disease and illness. He felt great pity for the crowds that came, because their problems were so great and they didn’t know where to go for help. They were like sheep without a shepherd.
Upon arriving in Calcutta India I was reminding of this passage especially when my luggage didn’t make it to India. Jesus sent out his disciples and told them not to take a traveler’s bag or extra pair of sandals. God it seemed was really making me live out this passage.
We arrived in Delhi, India around 10:30 pm Monday night. Our team of six squeezed in a small conversion van and headed toward East Delhi where we would stay for the week. Our missionary warned us that our little motel wasn’t much, but that it would be enough to meet our basic needs. He told us that Delhi was a city of contrasts a city where the very very rich and the very very poor live, a city of 14 million people, a city where only about 1 percent of that 14 million was Christian.
When we arrived at our little motel, we were truly welcomed to India. Picture the worst dirtiest room you have ever seen and multiply that by about three and this gives you a picture of our home. I was grateful for this man dress because without luggage and without heat in the room that man dress became my sleeping gown for the night. I did well until I got tangled up in it trying to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. After a rough night and a early start to our day, a start of about 7:30 am, my mood was anything but cheery. A man who hates to camp and God always puts me in a place of roughing it. Again the question of why? flooded my prayers. Why am I here?
It was about noon on that Tuesday that God offered to me a reminder of what I had come to do? Our Missionary took us to a Hindu Temple and this particular Tuesday was a special holiday. At first we were to go in and see what the temple looked like, but because of the holiday, thousands of people blocked our entrance. As we got out of the car, I was quickly ushered into a whole new world. There is no way you fully see and experience what I saw, but as I try to describe it, close your eyes and picture in your mind what I will describe to you with my words: