From our team in India working with children.

Good evening from Delhi, India! The 2011 VBS team greets you!

Our travels were safe and easy. We flew from Atlanta through Paris into Delhi. We arrived here at the hotel at around midnight Sunday. Thus far everyone is healthy and energetic and a bit tired and jet lagged.

We wasted no time upon arrival. After sleeping about 6 hours, we were up and split into 4 teams to attend worship services in house churches in Delhi. In each church, members of the team shared their testimonies of faith with the local believers. After lunch, we went to the VBS site and began making preparations for tomorrow's big kickoff. We are expecting more than 900 children to hear the gospel over the next 6 days! Praise the Lord!

Some of my favorite moments from the day:

In our house church, we met one couple who had believed in Jesus, gotten married and were asking for prayer about family pressure about their faith and a house closer to the church so they could be closer to their faith family. We spoke to others who were preparing for their civil service exams, in order to be in the Indian government where they hope in the future to spread their ministry. But the family pressure here can be intense, and the low numbers of Christians can be discouraging for the believers. I think encouraging the believers who feel isolated and alone is as important as our message being preached. The Indian believers who are sharing the gospel in their lives with their family and friends will reach India ultimately, not me.

In Delhi, our ministry partner here started one house church in a living room, and now there are over 320 house churches all across Delhi. What we have committed to as a faith family is the plan God has given us, and already I have seen it working in this small group of believers. Be encouraged brothers, the sacrifices we are making are leading to salvation of people in Delhi!

Perhaps my favorite moment occurred when we were walking to our house church. At home there are churches everywhere. There are none here. You can walk the streets forever and will see very little of anything to do with Jesus. Yet as I approached the gate, still on the street, I began to hear music. Drums, guitar.. and then singing. It was a group of believers, in a basement, in a place where it is difficult to be a Christian, singing out to God. It was a beautiful sound among the motorcycles and cars and horns.

I told the church in my testimony that though I was there to encourage them, in reality they were encouraging me. Their faith and boldness and willingness to stand up is clear evidence of grace and the Spirit at work in this place. Yes, it is dark here. But the light is shining and will shine. And the darkness has not (and will not) overcome it.

Pray for continued strength for our team as we share the gospel with the wonderful children beginning tomorrow and pray for the believers we met today. Pray for boldness and endurance and protection from temptation from the evil one and this world. Pray for many in India to come to know Jesus through their obedience to his call.

Colossians 1

11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,
12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.