Even before we departed, Caleb was skeptical and hesitant to go to South Asia for a variety of reasons. He felt a little bit like Jonah being told to go to Nineveh. Yet God had much in store.
All of our senses were overloaded. The air pollution is like a thick fog and unavoidable, even with masks. There is trash and animal droppings everywhere. Cars honk horns continually. Getting around is like a combination of Mario Kart and Frogger with the various modes of transportation on the road (bikes, cars, trucks, tractors, motorcycles, rickshaws, cows, horses, camels, etc). What a sight!
As uncomfortable as things were externally, the spiritual sense of lostness broke our hearts. On the first day, we visited a Hindu temple. It was sad to see so many people worshiping gods for healing or good fortune, but it’s all empty. Those gods aren't alive and don’t offer anything real. We watched as they placed special fabric on a specific tree to ward off evil spirits harming their families.
One of our desires for the trip was to encourage the family RHC supports. They coach and train local leaders of church planting networks, and develop the infrastructure for churches, church planting, and the Gospel movement. We spent the majority of our time visiting local pastors in their homes to hear about God’s work in the region. One question they commonly ask each other is, “When was the last time you shared the Gospel?” While our purpose was to be an encouragement to them through sharing God’s word and praying for them, their testimonies and sacrifice were even more encouraging to us!
We also had the privilege to go to villages to share the love of Jesus. Through sharing our personal testimonies, and our lives, the Spirit was at work, drawing people to Himself!
For Caleb, the Lord gave Him a deeper understanding of His love. God sees our hearts, which are dirtier than all the trash and pollution, and still decided to come save us. That is Good News for all!