Biryani & The Jesus Church
This is where we walked tonight. An outdoor marketplace, buzzing with loud horns and people selling everything from produce to shoes to clothing and luggage. The streets were over crowded with mopeds, buggies, buses, and people were literally everywhere just hanging out. Tomorrow is India's 70th Independence Day celebrating its independence from British colonialism on August 15th in 1947, so the festivals around here are in full swing. But here's how God is at work, through all of this normality called chaos that has been life in India for the past 48 hours.
We were sitting preparing to eat dinner at a family style Biryani restaurant. One of our translators named Moses (..that's so dope right! Exodus 4:10) began to pray. He said a beautiful prayer, we said "Amen", and waited for the staff to begin serving us our food. Right before they began serving, one of the staff said to us, "You are of the Jesus church yes?" My eyes instantly filled with tears. I looked at him and with my brain going 100mph I let out an exuberant "Yes we are!" He nodded his head, smiled, and went about serving us.
I asked one of the sweet ladies who had been with us a few hours what made him ask that question. She then said, "He was watching us pray. He identified us with Jesus because we prayed before we ate." This may not seem like a big deal, but considering where we are geographically and culturally, that was pretty significant. I have spent the last few days reading a Bible behind closed doors and using much wisdom in my conversations with the people here. But tonight, without having to do much, we were identified not as Christians, but as "the Jesus church." Just to hear the name Jesus on the lips of people here, to be identified as His, made my heart explode.
We were not merely a table full of photographers tonight. We were identified as His.
Thank you so very much for your prayers. We desire nothing more than to glorify God and make much of Jesus from the smallest to greatest ways in this region, especially beginning tomorrow as we teach. May His presence be undeniable. May His name be made known. Going to sleep tearfully humbled in awe of our Father God who has already gone before us.