I’ve just returned from a two orphanage trip in India which first took me south of Chennai to a place called Sankarapuram. I was joined by two members of my home church when in Australia. My first visit and physically a challenge, my bedroom for six nights was 34c which does not aid sleeping! That was easily put aside by the hearts and response of the children. There were 77, 7-15 year olds of which 20 are disabled in some way. They were like a parched dry desert getting some unexpected rain. The first meeting and I had their hearts, from then on during breaks I felt like father Abraham sitting with his nation as they sat crowded around my feet and chair all scrambling to get as close as possible. Each day when we left you felt like a wrung out cloth from all the tight hugs you got from them.
The leaders gave me permission to teach anything I like because they said, ‘these are only children and they can’t understand yet’. How wrong could they be! After teaching on repentance and salvation everyone responded and their faces changed and took on a shine. From then on everyday many, many of them would come up to me point to their hearts and say Jesus. When filled with the Holy Spirit almost everyone spoke in tongues though they had never heard tongues before and continued not only to speak everyday but louder each time. Over two thirds responded for inner hurt and pain and then later for forgiveness towards those who hurt them, yet again their faces changed. That morning before the meeting we had looked at each child’s handy work from the craft session the afternoon before. I came to an eleven year old boy and as I looked at his work he kept his head down and every word of praise he put it further down and no way could I get him to look me in the face and take praise for his work. If I touched him he his body went stiff. He responded for prayer that day and after the meeting came up to me and he took hold of my hand with a big smile on his face and gave me a hug. We left fulfilled that we had done what God gave us to do there and He had transformed those children’s lives inwardly and visibly on the outside. Sadly in spite of all the evidence the leader’s attitude towards the children’s ability to receive didn’t change.
I also had the privilege of speaking to a group of very dark skinned children in a gypsy village, very, very poor and the flies were over us in swarms. I was told they are normally almost uncontrollable, but not when the Spirit of God is over them and they sat so quiet and still listening to Gods word.
Next up to my usual orphanage in Rajahmundry where the meetings were just like a follow on from the first one except these are further on in God and a bigger number. Half way through my stay we were able to take them a step up in what God is doing and planning for them when I had the thrill of having my youngest ever interpreter in India. He is a fourteen year old boy in the orphanage who I had my eye on last year as he could speak quite a bit of English and I felt that God would develop that and use it which I told him back then. He has really improved and I noticed him interpreting me to other children in free time conversations. I asked him if he would interpret some for me that night which he did and my usual interpreter said he was very good. He interpreted my opening prayer and the introduction part of my message and by the fourth meeting he did everything, prayer, whole message and invitation for ministry and he didn’t need prompting once. Each time he interpreted he was smiling as he did it and beaming afterwards. This time God was bringing the new ones up to the place of the others in the basics (easy when they have such great examples all around them all the time). Several of the new ones at the start would not smile but by half way through my stay and God working they smiled all the time. God was dealing with some very deep rooted needs in so many and setting them free and asking all to make some tough decisions, which they rose to beautifully.