Wow! Less than two weeks left in India. We have even less time here in our city before we go back to Delhi. Things have been going well here. I have been able reconcile in my heart some of the cultural differences that I struggled with when I first came to India. God has begun to show me some of the reasons he brought me here and this process will surely continue long after I am back in the U.S. Something that I have learned and continue to have confirmed in my life is that God wants to use everything in our lives to teach us how to rely on him and teach us that in every situation the rule of the Kingdom of God is simply “ask.” We have still been able to regularly meet with some Muslim guys. We have a good friendly relationship with them. They have been so generous in making sure we experience some of the best of the culture. We have talked with them about religion and on a few occasions both them and us experienced some frustration with difference in beliefs. To be honest, it would just take us more time in this culture to really understand better how to approach the subject. These men have been raised in Islam and from their childhood have been told what is truth and what is false by their teachers. They have never been encouraged to seek out truth themselves or to actually read what the Qu’ran says because amazingly there are several passages that point to Jesus. This being the case, if the subject of religion is not approached with much care then it can become more of a barrier than a bridge. This is somewhat our situation right now. There has been a sort of unspoken agreement to not talk much about religion any more. While this makes me feel a little sad or that a door is closing, I feel like now I can focus on being a friend to them. I believe that the light of Christ will shine out brighter than any well crafted argument that I could ever create.
We did however have another unique experience a couple days ago. We went and visited a MBB (Muslim Background Believer) family that we were put in contact with. This was a truly amazing opportunity to see Christ at work. This family had previously lived about two hours south of where we are now and after becoming believers they were asked by their family to leave the community. Their story of trusting God for everything would be an example to anyone. Lately I have been learning a lot about discipleship to Christ and how he does not call us to just be a convert or a church member but he calls us to be disciples or apprentices of him. Naturally, the main objective of an apprentice is to actually, at some point, become what the master is and to actually be able to do what the master does. This was Jesus’ intention when he told the disciples to go out make more disciples, teaching them to observe everything he commanded. In light of this I was so blessed to meet this family who is doing just that. They are not receiving any special training in how to just be a good Christian or good church member. They are learning directly from Jesus and his word. They have got it. They have learned and are learning how to live within God’s Kingdom. Kingdom principles are written all over their lives and the most beautiful part is that they have not learned these things because they have been to school or seminary or special weekend seminars. They understand that Jesus is their ultimate teacher and learning to obey what he commanded is true discipleship to him. They have learned to trust God like a child would a Father. They live and rely on the Kingdom principle of asking. They have come to believe, to the point of action, that this universe is a perfectly safe place for them to be because they are trusting in the God who created and controls this universe. This family has served as a wonderful example of Christ-likeness and I think their example will be with me for a long time. This kind of encouragement makes it possible to work through some rough aspects of the culture and gives me perspective about the work we do here. There is so much work to be done but when I see what the result of that work is, I can’t help but be excited to see what God has in store.