India journal – encouragement

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We have had a long day of meetings, and a trip into the heart of the city of Chennai.  I came to India to learn more about the missions, schools, orphanages and other such ministries my organization is currently helping to support.  I also wanted to be an encouragement to the workers, many of whom are toiling long hours in difficult situations with little or no contact with the people who have been praying for them.  I wanted to be a face to the “we’re praying for you” message that these good people have been hearing. Please pray that I fulfill that mission of encouragement.

Today I was given more encouragement than I gave.  I saw first-hand some men of God who are pouring their lives into ministry and making a difference.  Let me highlight two such men:

M. M. Immanuel is one of those people who is always doing something.  He and his cellphone are constantly connected.  He’s the man many of us come to for answers, particularly when the questions are hard.  Immanuel does not always tell us what we want to hear, but he has the courage to tell us the truth we need to hear.  We thank the LORD for him.  Please hold this servant up in prayer.

Ravi Paul is one of the more enigmatic characters I have met today.  He is an impressive lawyer with an analytical mind and a reserved composure.  Yet underneath his calm is a man passionate about the gospel.  When he told us about the ministry his church is doing among the slum residents in his area, you could hear that passion.  They are helping to transform entire communities by giving young people a help out of the trap of poverty, not by just giving away food or money, but by assisting in their education.  Their church provides a place for young people to study, and covenants with parents to keep distractions away so that the students can succeed.  It is working. Already several of the youth have obtained good jobs and are on their way to a future that would have been much different if it weren’t for people like Ravi.  Join me in thanking the LORD for Ravi, and pray that he continues to display integrity in a profession that is often type-casted for the lack of it.

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