Saturday, January 17, 2009

Church

Right now I am sitting near the balcony window sipping on a cup of Indian tea lovingly prepared for me by my niece (like she does almost every morning). It is Sunday morning and in a couple of hours we will be leaving for church. It is amazing to worship God in other countries. During our mission trips to Benin and Central America we had the opportunity to participate in worshiping our One True God in other languages. It gives us just a glimpse of what heaven will be like. Too often we think of church and heaven as an extension of what we are familiar with in our home churchs in America. In Africa the worship was loud and vibrant with singing, dancing with hands raised and boisterous preaching. In India we go to Dad's church.

My father-in-law preaches at his church in one of the upscale slum areas of Ghatkopar West (Mumbai is divided into areas like the neighborhoods of Chicago; Austin, Little Village, Lincoln Park, etc...). I say upscale slum area because the homes are constructed of solid material like concrete and not sheetmetal or tarps and rags held up by sticks. The houses are small (a large house would be about 10 feet x 10 feet, housing 4 -10 people in each house) and his church building is about 10 x 12 feet. Every Sunday about 30 men, women and children gather there to sing, learn about Jesus and read the Bible. While Harvest is great and we miss our church back home our God is an awesome God. Our God does not need a big fancy church building. Our God does not need an interpreter to hear us praising him. Our God does not need us to be literate, but to keep His Word in our hearts with memorization. Our God needs us to submit ourselves before Him and to His will. Church is about relationship with God, not the details of when, where, and how.

1 comment:

Sandy Kokaly said...

Hi Sandy! It is wonderful to read your perspective on things during your trip. What a great way to journal, and to let others come along for the adventure. Do you suppose you got your writing abilty from your grandfather? Love the pictures!! Lydia is so precious in the suitcase! Love and prayers, MOM