India 2013

India 2013: Home, sweet home

Our India mission team arrived home safely on Thursday afternoon.  It was a bit of a bumpy ride into Toronto, because of the wind, but we landed without incident and all our bags arrived with us!  We all are so grateful to God for his kindness in preserving us through this whole trip.

We also are grateful to God for the prayers of so many.  While we were in India, we witnessed all kinds of spiritual warfare.  The church is a small and sometimes persecuted minority in India, and those believers need our prayers.

After crawling home in snowy traffic, I had a shower, Diana and I had supper, I called my parents, and we went to bed.  Nine hours later, I awoke, and I’m really hopeful that this will be the extent of my jet-lag…but I’m not sure that’s the case.  We’ll see how the next few days pan out!

I’m sure I will muse more about this trip in the coming days and weeks, but I wanted to thank you for your part in our journey.

Encouragement From The Word, India 2013

Vision matters!

Many, many thanks to those of you who have prayed for me and the team with whom I travelled to minister to the staff, faculty and students of the South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies in Bangalore, India, these past few weeks.  We have been blessed in many ways, and we hope we have been a blessing.  God has ignited a fire in the community there to give personal spiritual formation a greater role in the life of the school.  If we accomplished nothing else, that would be enough – though we did find that many men and women found themselves spiritually nurtured through our ministry of spiritual direction and sharing the Word in chapel services and small groups.  We were honoured to be so warmly welcomed by everyone there.

What is especially exciting is that the key administrators of SAIACS now have a vision to see the foundational principles of spiritual formation more intentionally integrated into the academic life of the community.  There is a vision that the Lord has given, and the leadership there is prepared to do what it takes to make that vision a reality.

The news this week reported that Queen Beatrix, the reigning monarch of the Netherlands, is going to abdicate her throne in favour of her eldest son, who will become king.  Her mother did this for her, as did her mother before her.  This shows such a clear sense of vision on the part of the Queen!  She could hang on until she dies, and she’d have every right to do so.  But she wants a new generation of citizens of her country to be inspired through the leadership of a younger monarch.

As I’ve said before – not originally – having vision is like planting a tree under whose shade you will not sit.  And sometimes, that vision requires sacrifice.  In the case of the Queen of the Netherlands, it’s abdication of a throne rightfully hers.  In the case of the administration of SAIACS, it’s stepping outside a comfort zone of pure academics – knowing about God – in order to encourage everyone to know God better.

What vision has God given you?  And what sacrifices will you have to make in order to see that vision come to fruition?

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good ,pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12.2, NIV).