Depending on God in India (Lindsey)

Three seemingly short days ago, I was in New Delhi, India. I went with four other great people from my church in Powhatan. In our time there, we were able to reach out to 5 slum camps through hosting about 100 youth and over 250 children for Bible Clubs in a tiny room. Each child received a snack and a coloring book that told the story of the Gospel through illustrations and Hindi. We sang praise songs, discussed the Good News with colors from the wordless book and reviewed it with Gospel bracelets. We were able to have prayer and share testimony with believers, as well as, people whom have never heard.
A few things stuck out to me during my time there. One is that we asked God for big things. We spent a lot of time in prayer asking for things that only God could do. The pastor we were working with had a neighbor whom someone had put an evil spirit of voodoo over her home; she was afraid for her family. We were asked to come pray with her and share the Good News of Jesus. Feeling the darkness of India, it was easy to feel overwhelmed.
Last night, I received an e-mail that 12 youth came to church on Sunday, the day after we had left. Praise God! He has changed the world with about 12 people before. Please join me in praying for the next youth meeting planned for August 15 and that those youth would become multiplying believers. The e-mail also said that the woman we had the privilege to share the Gospel with and pray for had sensed peace in her home and attributed that peace to Jesus. She now wants to begin reading the Bible and coming to church. There is so much to celebrate and thank God for doing. He is so faithful.
Never have I been in a place so unreached by the Gospel. In the summertime in Virginia, I can drive down the street and see 3 or 4 children’s Bible camps at churches (VBS’s). We have churches here who pray that God would grow their numbers and while we were in India, we almost had the opposite problem. We sent a 50 passenger bus to pick up kids from various slum camps and each day about 100 children arrived on that bus. Dozens of children had to be turned away. In our team’s lack of understanding of their language and culture, God still used us (and translators) to communicate His great love.
The picture above shows our team standing in an empty space in the center of one slum camp that was donated to the pastor we worked with as a space for a future church. I would guess that the space was about the size of an average American bedroom and they hoped to fill that church with 50-60 people. It has two trees growing in the center and most homes surrounding it seemed to be around 6 or 7 feet tall. Many are built with mud but stones had been donated for this church. In the black shirt in the center is Gotham who is a little younger than me and will be the future pastor of this church.
Join me in praying for God to use this humble space as a light for His glory in a dark and hopeless place. Many people in this slum camp wear a string around their waist to ward off evil spirits. Pray that they would come to know the one true God, that He would save their souls, and use them for His purposes. Pray that this place would become awake and free in Christ.

::the perfect summer read giveaway::

“God we will do anything. Anything

This was Jennie Allen’s prayer a several years back.  She was growing weary of the safe, comfortable, happy American Christianity.  She wanted to live the way Jesus was calling her to live and so her and her husband prayed that prayer one night{“God we will do anything. Anything“}—she prayed for a life that was surrendered, reckless, and courageous…. and God has answered it in some amazing ways.  This is the perfect summer read! 

& to go along with this book Katygirldesigns has donated 2 prints with the perfect reminder!

& we are throwing in a journal so you can take notes on the book.

TWO WINNERS will receive all three gifts.  
To Enter:
1. Please like us on facebook and comment that you did “like” us on this blog post.  AND– include your favorite thing about summer & your email address so we can contact you if you win.  
2. The winners will be randomly picked July 23rd at 5pm.  You have a week to enter(& you can only enter one time please).
3. The giveaway is open to college students in Tidewater & Richmond & anyone and everyone else:) all are welcome on this giveaway!

love to you.

Parachutes and Patience {Laura}

This week I am volunteering at a youth Bible day camp. My friend and I are running a teamwork station for the younger kids, ages 6-9 and today was parachute day. Remember the HUGE colorful parachutes from camp or gym class when you were younger? They are awesome. And today was great…but so challenging. 

At the very beginning of the game I gave them two rules:

1) Your hands must hold the parachute the entire time. No letting go. 
2) If anything falls out of our parachute, let it go and a counselor will get it. 

Then we began to play our game of making “soup” with our parachute. Our pot was the parachute and we threw all kinds of “ingredients” (a.k.a. beach balls, pool noodles, wiffle balls, etc} into our pot and stirred it all around. If the rules were followed, this game would be so simple and take 5 mins. 

But… they did not follow the rules. I would say, “remember to hold on to your handle,” they would repeat it back to me, and then immediately let go and crawl under the parachute or go to chase a ball that flew off! Really?!? I felt body begin to tense up from anger and the desire to yell at them rise. It was frustrating to be blatantly disobeyed. The day proved to be an opportunity to see if I choose to walk in my own flesh or walk in the Spirit. It was a true test of my patience.

I often am told by others that I am patient. And I like to think that is true of me. But today made me wonder–am I really patient or have I become a master of putting myself in places where it is easy to be patient? Am I really loving? Or do I just put myself in situations where it is easy to love in my own strength rather than through the Holy Spirit? Though the day was hard, I’m grateful. It gave me a chance to think about how often I do things that appear good out of my own strength rather than out of the Spirit’s abilities. I want to put myself in more situations where I am forced to let go of control and surrender to the Spirit’s leading. 

And that is my challenge for you today. Place yourself in a situation that truly forces you to rely on the God’s strength rather than your own. Paul said it really well in 2 Corinthians 12:9….

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

When is the last time you’ve been in a place of weakness? Is it time to step out of your comfort?