Friday: We are currently in a smaller city, around 50,000, in a guest house with no internet. The place is very nice, much better than expected. The trip down here was long, 6 hours, but by God’s grace I did not get car sick. We started out on a nice 4 lane expressway but heard there was a major traffic jam, several hours long, at a river crossing where they are doing construction. So we diverted to side roads which were a lot more winding. But we got to see a lot of country and generally had a good time.
The couple we are working with, Johnny and Koki Desai are wonderful and we are enjoying getting to know them. They have such depth of maturity and the decisions and lifestyle they lead reflect that. They have introduced us to a group of churches that they have been working with for some years, developing and laying a foundation that will be much easier for us to build on now. Leaders from 8 different fellowships, or denominations representing 1500 churches, met together for our presentation. That is so unusual for India as the different bodies rarely work together. But these seemed prepared to work on our training together as a group. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce our training program and to help them understand what it would be like and how they might organize themselves to train all their pastors. Although about a third of the people left after lunch, the group seemed very receptive and eager to proceed. We agreed to both pray and see how the Lord might want us to proceed.
We met on the upper floor of a building which I think houses the home and office of one of the leaders on the main floor and the church meets upstairs. Although there were many windows and doors and the room was fairly open, it was brutally hot even with a few ceiling fans turning. I am sure in the afternoon it was over 100 degrees in there. Perhaps it was the metal roof that made it so hot. It was much cooler outside, where we ate, and when we returned our plastic chairs were hot to sit in. Thankfully we only went from 10:30 to 4 pm. I am not sure I would have lasted much longer.
Today we travel a couple of hours by car and then catch a train to Mumbai. It will be about a 4 1/2 hour trip and should be interesting. We have spaces in a sleeper car but not all in the same room so it will take some negotiation to get together. Tomorrow our plane leaves at 6:30 am, and we travel to the very southern tip of India to check out another group for possible training.
Later: The train ride was rather uneventful, a little wobbly but it all ended well. We are dog tired and up at 4:15 in the morning to press on. We could use some prayers for endurance at this point.