Posted by: janpierce | February 9, 2009

Love in Action

We spent three days in Anantapur in south India with Nehemiah and Sarah Naik. They planned those days so carefully, it seemed like a three day seminar on how to show the love of God to the poor. Our first meeting was with all the children and widows they care for. It began with a troup of elderly Banjara women in their traditional garb dancing for (and with) us. Their dances are usually done in a circle and are very energetic. We were tired from our overnight trip on the bus to get there, but we did our best. Then some of the children shared testimonies. Many of them are handicapped and some have HIV/Aids. They stay in several homes with caregivers and some live with pastors. There are about seventy children being cared for. Then the elderly women shared. They are probably the most vulnerable souls in India because they are often turned out when they can no longer work and the family can’t afford to feed them. They also gave testimony to God for rescuing them. There was a lot of singing and drumming and clapping and then each of us shared something. This trip I have been able to have some verses and teachings ready to go, but also have been able to be spontaneous when another short message is more appropriate. Here I shared about how the love of God can’t get used up and is like a flame on a candle, living on and growing, a lesson I learned from conversations with my son Josh when he was little. Thank you Josh! The children and everyone there seemed to understand and appreciate the concept.

The next day we met all the pastors and their families. They all live so simply and are so fervent in their engagement in their ministry work. The five leading pastors are hoping and praying that their children might go to a better school that costs ten dollars a month. It is beyond their means now. The second evening we went to a village where a dance group made up of children about 9-12 did the most amazing dancing I’ve ever seen. It was so physical that after about half an hour I was worried they might collapse. The first set was done in two lines and later they danced some circle dances. They held shakers, something like tambourines and the girls wore long sparkly hair pieces that trailed down their back and shone in the dark as they danced. They were led by a young man who gave them cues with whistle commands. After the dancing we went to a small house church for a service and cold drinks. Everywhere we went they fed us the best food they could. There was chicken and rice and bananas and various curries and even ice cream!

The last day we spent with Nehemiah and his family in their little home and also traveled out to a Buduga Jangam village. There we met a whole group of believers and had a service in a home. Right next door there was a big fight going on between two men. Nehemiah said something like, “There is the work of the darkness and here is the light.” We really enjoyed being with that little group all sitting on the floor of a tiny home and giving their testimonies. One lady shared that her husband has left her and their four children because she refused to worship her dead mother in law. Another man with a wife and four children has been known all his life as Deaf Man. No other name because he is deaf and dumb. Roger prayed for him and told him his new name is Son of God. He was beaming from ear to ear. This group of people travels much of the year doing small businesses or begging. Their homes are nicer than many that we have seen, but they don’t stay there for some reason.

We love working with Nehemiah and Sarah because they truly serve the people. They feed and clothe and care lovingly for all they take in and their love and generosity is contagious to the workers who come after them. Even though it is a hard trip getting to Anantapur, I think it was a highlight of the trip.

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Responses

  1. Hi Jan The flight from Seattle (where is had been snowing) to PDX seemed like a fleeting moment. I was still wearing my flip-flops when I got off in Seattle. I tried to put my shoes on but my feet were still swollen and they would not fit. It seemed strange wearing flip-flops in 40 degree weather. We went to bed at 7:30 pm (we both were wiped out) and had a good night’s sleep until 9:00 am. The weather was clear and cold 44 degrees but the air smelled to clean. We both took HOT showers I washed my hair twice the let the conditioner soak in for awhile. Since we had nothing in the house to eat we went to (you guessed it) Shari’s in our American clothes and had sausage, eggs, hashbrowns, toast, orange juice and coffee I have been enjoying reading your BLOG. See you both soon I hope your trip home goes smoother than ours Love and Hugs to your both. Sharon and Mike


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