I am just back from India where I only went to my regular place, the orphanage which is very close to my heart. I have been going there for over ten years now which means that now some of those first children are in ministry thanks to having started in the BASIC teams others have good jobs or are studying in college or university, all this was way out of their reach earlier. It is such a privilege to be able to build into these lives the things of God, the power of the Spirit, self esteem and vision which in turn gives them a chance in life.
This year following words I was given before I left I felt it important to go back to the cross and basics of the Christian life. This was doubly right as there were quite a lot of new children there and it was good for the others to re-establish these things in their lives. There are currently two hundred and five children and everyone proved to be so hungry for the word sitting close together in very hot temperatures dripping sweat and not falling asleep but soaking up every word then desperate to respond and change. I had the privilege of laying hands and praying for ALL of the older children and the children in the BASIC teams prayed for ALL the younger ones.
I felt to teach on water baptism which I hadn’t done for three years and we made my last meeting there on Sunday a baptism service. After teaching on water baptism earlier in the week I told them if they wanted to be baptised they must go and see the pastoral carers and they would talk to them. Each one then wrote on paper their testimony, what they understood about baptism and why they wanted to be baptised. They told me that many of the children came to them in tears of conviction that this was their time to be baptised, they were themselves in tears as they told me. Then my interpreter and I had the thrill of baptising seventy seven children of all ages in water. The children were so excited they woke up earlier than normal on Sunday.
After the baptisms they celebrated with the annual feast meal, every year God provides money to buy food that the children don’t normally have because it would cost too much. They always look forward to this and eat far more than they usually do so we call it their feast, this year it was made extra special. I also took money from a church in London which bought desks and benches for the school; from Good News Crusade which bought two medical beds plus bedding. I also took money from this country and Japan which sponsors specific children in the orphanage.
As usual we took a combined group of the BASIC teams out into villages on two evenings for them to show me their village ministry. This year many of the older members have left to go to college so the new ones bring new ideas for their programme. One change was using more of the very young children to minister. Also an older boy preached in English and a girl interpreted him into Telague. I felt very proud and blessed seeing them using their talents and callings, fulfilling my vision of serving God while young.
A goal was achieved in the life of the elder son of the pastor who runs the orphanage. For fifteen years he has looked up to me as a mentor in his life and I have always felt that he would become my interpreter. As a youngster he was very shy but has always said to me that one day he would do it. This year he was eighteen and it has been a year of stepping out for him in several ways and he was my interpreter for most sessions.
More exciting news, a pastor called me who I haven’t been to for fifteen years he used to arrange my itinerary in India. He said that most of the children who I ministered to back then in his church are not only still going on with God but they also have very good jobs and his church is in a slum area. As a result of the teachers seminars they now minister to five hundred children.
Saturday night I was very touched and speechless when the orphanage put on a surprise fortieth anniversary in ministry celebration for me. Girls sang and danced; boys made and put two fresh flower garlands round my neck. We all enjoyed a piece of cake and forty roman candle fireworks were lit, the children were so excited as they had never seen fireworks so close up before. They made a huge card banner and all staff and children signed it. I thought they were never going to stop clapping and cheering and it meant so much to me that I have that kind of place in their hearts.
So its praise God all the way for all that He has done now and in the past and a huge thank you to you for helping to make all this happen by your dedication and commitment to praying. Together God used us.
Much Love & Thanks