Upon arriving at Hyderabad airport we were met by two pastors from Acts India. Shortly after that, Dr. Ratnam pulled up curbside and whisked us off to Ashirvad Global Training Center for a two day conference on Daniel and End Times. Over 200 pastors and church leaders attended. Many shared their gratitude for the teachings.
Every conference has a lot of picture taking before, during and after, but these attendees hold the record for most group poses and selfies. Our faces hurt from smiling for pictures.
Whenever we’ve brought a team to India, we are careful to emphasize the importance of staying flexible. Plans have a way of changing at a moment’s notice. The following except by Barbara proves my point: “Our plan was to stay at Ashirvad for four days after the conclusion of the conferences. Elena went down to the front desk to see about getting some clothes washed, and the person looked very puzzled. He said he had to check with the manager. Then, the manager asked her what time we were checking out, and she told him we were staying until Monday. He got on the phone and she went to her room.
We found out shortly after that we had to vacate immediately. All the rooms on our floor had been booked for that day. The pastor who had arranged our accommodations apologized and began frantically looking for a hotel. A place close to where the women’s conference would be held was found, so we headed over there. The front desk took our passports and our money and we checked in. I knew there was going to be a problem because of the smell in the open air lobby, but it was 100x worse when they opened our rooms. Think pesticide mixed with cigarette smoke, moth balls and Hindu temple incense and you will get close to what it smelled like. And you could write your name in the dust. We could not stay there. It was awful and the people were rude. So we packed our luggage back into the car and went way across town to an American hotel. We were feeling pretty optimistic with this place although the air outside smelled like sulfur. The lake across from the hotel collects sewage from the city of Hyderabad. For dinner, Sal and Tomas ordered burgers that were somewhere between meat loaf and a hockey puck! The chef came to our table and we were telling him that the texture of the burger was “off”. Then he tried to cut it and could not, so he apologized and told us to come back tomorrow and he would take care of us. Haven’t seen him since!”
Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” 14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. 15 What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15
On Friday we travelled to the venue for the Women’s Conference. Technology was a challenge as we encountered difficulties that delayed the start by over one hour. However, we were able to present Session One of Standing between The Wilderness and the Sea. Barbara then gave her testimony. Lunch was also delayed and time ran out. Session 2 was never presented. This was a great disappointment for me personally. It is in those moments I am reminded of my own advice . . . . Stay flexible!
Saturday we did some shopping, and spent Saturday night with a home fellowship of ministry families from Acts India. Sal taught from Ezekiel. Afterwards a home cooked meal was served to the entire fellowship. It was after 1 AM when we were dropped off at our hotel and fell into bed.
We completed our Hyderabad visit with an invitation for Sal to preach at a church on Sunday. He and Tomas left at 6:00 AM to reach the church in time for the first of two services followed by lunch at the pastor’s house. The pastor told Sal he personally needed to hear the message preached from Ezekiel, and that he was crying while listening. Barbara and I stayed back for a much needed day of rest. Monday we will pack up and move on to Vijayawada for 2 days of conferences before we head back to QCI.
Please continue to pray for the team. India is a place of spiritual activity by powers and principalities whose purpose is to prevent the spread of Christianity and sound biblical teaching. It is a war. Prayer and the word of God are our only weapons.
Thank you to all who are praying and also to all who have sent comments. It’s a great encouragement to hear from blog followers. You lift our spirits greatly.