Paddy and Mary traveled this fall to India, with their host, Don Stauffer.
This is at the Dubai airport after their breakfast, now waiting for the connecting flight to Hyderabad, India. Dubai is in the Middle East just east of Saudi Arabia. It is an extravagant modern city full of amazing sights.
Ah, the lovely green countryside outside Hyderabad, India. 8 million people live in this 5th largest city in India, the state capital of Andhra Pradesh, rich in history and culture.
Mr. Stauffer has a full schedule of meetings in this area. He was fascinated by the deep red soil. The thin, slow moving farm animals. The unique shapes of trees and shrubs. The children playing in the dirt and chattering away in a language unknown to him. The birds floating silently in the deep blue sky. The hills off in the distance.
India is a vast colorful array of life beaming from vegetation struggling through hard earth to individuals struggling to make a life. He found it impossible to express the smells, flavors, emotions and quality of life that surrounded him there in that strange land that still held a sense of home to him.
In Hyderabad, their hosts were Dr. Mano & Dr. Shoba Paul in their lovely home. They were so filled with hospitality.
Mr. Stauffer spoke to groups of pastors, yet felt that he had so much to learn from them!
India’s greatest asset and its greatest need must be the vast amount of people. Everywhere you turn, people are everywhere! Needy people. A people who need God! How much we miss when we do not see our own great need for God. We have so much at our disposal, so many avenues to meet our own needs. Yet many of these believers live on just a few dollars a day, or less. Their prayer is truly for their daily bread. Their example of faith in a living God was very refreshing.
Here, the poor are very poor, yet, there are many who are reaching for a higher economy to acquire greater “stuff”. Many are left behind in poverty.
Look what they have in Nagpur! Hmmmm!!
Traffic in India is quite wild. Each driver desperately racing toward their destination. Its a wonder they ever arrive in one piece! The roadsides offer a great variety of shops. A standard favorite is a cup of chai tea with plenty of sugar and milk!
“How can we best proclaim the living Christ in this place?”, Mr. Stauffer asked himself. At a large youth gathering he shared how God led him in his Christian walk over the years.
Another highlight of his time in India was visiting the boy’s and girl’s Christian hostels (orphanages) where he shared Bible lessons about the love of God on the lives of Abraham & Isaac, and Ruth. Such bright smiles those children had. What a thrill to hear them say “Hello” in their limited English. What hopelessness many of them were born into. In the time of innocent childhood, a time which is to be a carefree and happy time, they have gone through so much hurt and disappointment, some just wanted to die even before the age of 8. Now they are surrounded by the love of their guardians and many believe in Jesus. Hope now gleams in their eyes. “They stole my heart!”
Here, Paddy and Mary are pictured with the Bansod family in Nagpur. “Great family and a great time was had in fellowship and ministry. The blessing was mine!” said Mr. Stauffer.
Below is a fellowship lunch at church, after a 2 1/2 hour service in Nagpur, India.
What an honor to connect and identify with believers on the other side of the world in an entirely different culture and see their heart for the love and service of the Lord Jesus Christ. What a lesson on how we must beware the materialism and consumerism that surround us here in North America. How we long to be more open to allow God to be God in the daily routine of our lives!