The next day consisted of travel from Chang Mai to Bangalore, India. It was an excruciatingly long day that consisted of airports, airplane food, sitting, sweating and arriving in India at 11;30pm.
Arriving in India was somewhat stressful as they have really tightened security in the airport and each of us got a verbal grilling on why we were visiting India and if we were doing any business or humanitarian work. It was tense at best. However, we made it to SAIACS, and wearily dropped into bed around 2:30 am.
The following day we woke to meet up with Jesudoss and Paulrani from the DEAR team. We sat and talked and listened about their current work with the LGBT community and different ways we can continue to pray for them. We had the privilege of going with them to their shelter and hearing from one of the young men they were working with. Fraser informed us that that experience was completely unique; he's never had a team that was allowed to do that, and it was amazing to see firsthand how their ministry operates. We also were able to purchase bags they are selling to help sustain their ministry. We were unable to take pictures but did get a group photo with Jesudoss before we said goodbye. We look forward to sharing more with you about our visit with them.
We then headed over to meet with Vidya Sagar and his wife Ruth, a long-standing partnership that Bright Hope World has had. They run a school for grades K-10 called Sandra Rickets Public School and Vidya Sagar has developed a balm he gives to church planters to sell that will in turn fund their ministries. This was a good example of a partnership that has become self-sufficient and is thriving. It was wonderful to sit and talk wit them, eat a delicious Indian meal made by Ruth, play with the school kids, and see God at work in this couple and their passions. They were amazing hosts, and even called in one of their teachers to do some traditional Indian henna for us. It was a much-needed time of community and rest for the team.
Hanging out with the kids after school let out
Great hospitality, including food, tea and henna!
After a full day of activity, food and sweat, we decided against the dinner that was planned for us at SAIACS, opting instead for a team meeting in one of our dorm rooms. We had stopped at a mini-mart and purchased some simple sweets (chocolate, etc.), which we shared over a Thoughts and Feelings meeting, which is how we've ended almost every night. It was so great to process everything we're experiencing together, because it's overwhelming emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically. Having our community of 5 has been a blessing that cannot be put into words. God knew exactly what He was doing when He put this team together.
By Tom and Angela