This morning we went to a church in Kovilpatti. This is Pastor Gnanaselvam’s church. We had stopped by last night after we finished a church service in Llaiyarsanednhal, and they served us some late dinner. This morning his wife served us breakfast before the service. It is very humbling to have them serve you. It is not like in the States where we all sit down to eat. Not only the wife but the pastor serves you as you eat. They are constantly watching your plate or your glass to see if you need anything. As the Pastor poured gravy on Viji’s rice, it reminded me how we are to be servants, as Jesus was.
After our breakfast we had the church service, and again I gave my testimony and then a sermon. As always, the people lined up for prayer. We take as long as it takes to listen to each one as they bring their problems to us. It breaks my heart as we see the women who bring their children to us whose husbands have abused and left them because of alcohol. This is a big problem here, as it is in the States. Some are having to live with their parents to keep from being abused, and they have no job so they can’t send their children to school. There was one young girl in particular that the Lord put on my heart as her mother wept trying to tell us how she wanted to send her to school but couldn’t because the father had left them. You will see her picture with the caption “Girl needs help with school.” I have already decided that TEM will send her to school. She is so precious, and so desires to get an education. Viji is going to have the pastor find out how much it will cost.
After our prayers the pastor and his wife prepared lunch for us; when we finished eating we headed back to Madurai. It’s about a 2-hour drive, and I had a great time listening to Viji’s story of how God called him into the ministry. He went to Memphis, TN for his schooling. We have so much in common. Neither of us ever thought that we would be in ministry or have a ministry, but God knew all along His plan for us.
When we arrived back at the hotel it was about 3 p.m. I knew I would not see Viji until tomorrow at about 5 p.m., so I had plenty of time to rest and explore. I left the hotel and just started walking, not knowing what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised that just about everyone I met greeted me, very friendly, and most of them wanted me to take photos. They loved to see the photo after I took it. I walked down alleyways where there were all kinds of local shops; most of the shops had living quarters above. As you might imagine, I stand out a little, so everyone is watching me. Sometimes that feels strange, but what wonderful adventures my Lord takes me on!
I know I have said this many times, but I have the best job (really like that term) in the world. I get to go around the world and tell people about our wonderful Savior. I want to thank everyone for their prayers for me and my family, and the gifts to His ministry (TEM) that make all of this happen. I pray for all of you often. Each time we give someone hope here, it makes the trip worth it.