Yesterday the tiredness finally caught up with me! So after a great time of worship at church and a challenging sermon on boldness I came home, fell asleep straight after lunch and the next thing I knew it was 5 pm! I was very touched at church when 2 Hindi speaking ladies who had been at my talk on Friday night came and gave me very warm hugs, and though we couldn’t communicate in words, their smiles said a great deal; then an English speaking lady came and shared how one thing I had said in my talk had really spoken to her, and had changed her outlook and attitude to some particular circumstances she was facing.
I’m always blessed and amazed in equal measure when God uses part of my own story to help other people, but it reminds me of the mandate He gave me when I started the Lifeline charity. Back then God spoke to me from Esther chapter 7. At the beginning of that chapter, Haman is building a gallows, 75ft high, to hang Mordecai, and by the end of the chapter Haman is hanging from his own gallows. It always seemed to me to be a metaphor for the evils that happen in our lives, the things that come not from God but from the devil, with the intention to destroy our lives and families. Just as Haman ended up hanging from his own gallows, we can hoist the devil with his own petard by taking the very things he throws into our lives to destroy us and our families and using them to bless other people and make him rue the day he ever messed with us. In the case of Lifeline I wanted to see people come to Jesus who would not have done so if it weren’t for Ellen’s suffering and disability. And in using my story of some very painful circumstances in my own life to draw women closer to Him, I felt God was doing the same thing again on Friday evening.
One thing I am really grateful to God for this trip is the good health I’m enjoying. Even though you can see the pollution hanging thick in the air some days (this morning particularly so) I haven’t been troubled at all by the asthma that affected me so badly last time, praise God.
This afternoon I took my second workshop with the local teachers, explaining lesson plenaries to teachers who had never heard of them. I showed how they can be designed to suit aural, visual and kinaesthetic learners, and how, by making them fun, they can help the students to retain more of what they have been taught.
This evening I took a workshop on creative writing. At one point I set a writing task, and although I hadn’t intended to write anything myself, while everyone was scribbling away, I found myself writing down some thoughts about why I came to India, and what this trip has done for me so far:
I came to India in search of – what?
I hardly knew.
Only that my heart was being drawn
to girls whom life had cast,
robbed and wounded, by the wayside,
until a Samaritan gathered them up;
not knowing if I had anything to offer them,
only that I loved them before ever we met.
And so I came, and in their eyes
I saw God shining back at me in love;
in their slender arms and busy hands
I met Jesus, my neighbour, my Friend.
And in the quiet hours
I found myself in a thin place,
the veil between heaven and earth
transparent as gossamer,
and the voice I had strained to hear
down the long tunnels of my life
whispered so close, I felt His breath on my ear.