My trip to India is drawing towards an end. I am due to leave for the UK tomorrow. Since September 12th I have spent four days over in Kerala. I was hosted by Alex and Jyoti Vergis.
The main bulk of the time was spent at a Christian Homeschoolers Retreat at Pligrims Retreat, Vagamon. This consisted of about eight families. The location was amazing; we were up in the mountains. The temperature was much fresher. There were several major storms whilst we were there. The food provided was marvellous.
And the group of people were such an eclectic group; not all were homeschooling (and there were different varieties thereof represented). But to listen to those involved in mission, those thinking about how we approach mission and those seeking to discern what is going on around us particularly from a spiritual perspective, was just great. I found so much of the listening into those informal conversations fascinating. So, in a sense, the home schooling slant was quite in the background.
One observation from this is the fact that spiritual realities are more open in these areas of the world. The realities are just as potent in The West, but hidden away.
To share like common faith with these people was just soberingly beautiful. Different backgrounds and differing perspectives, but one in Christ.
I preached three times on “Raising up a godly home”, “Fathers” and “The Living Love (based on 1 John 4:7-21)”. Happy to do such, but not sure how much was conveyed. I trust there will be blessing. Heard one talk on the Lord’s return; this was engaging, intriguing and fascinating.
Yesterday, Monday, I shared a special time with Biju and Jincy Mathews who were with us in Feltham thirteen years ago. Also met with Dr John Abraham and his wife (Jyoti Vergis’s parents) who have fond connections with Margaret Lee from our fellowship. It was special to meet them
This morning I flew back to Chennai and this afternoon/evening I have been sampling some of the happenings in the vicinity to where I am staying including having a haircut. The sounds, the smells, the hustle, the organised chaos, the contrasts between poverty and wealth, all provide a mix which is impossible to convey in words.
I have received so much kindness here. In Chennai I have stayed with the family of my friend back in the UK, Ramesh Chelliah. They have lavished so much generosity upon me; I have feasted like royalty everywhere where I have stayed.
The way people serve you here still chafes with my western habits. As a rule the ladies serve you, quite literally, and then eat later. But the whole idea of serving others is beautiful.
My stomach was iffy from 9th to 12th, but otherwise I have done well with a bit of due care and medication.
I have so much to ponder upon through the Lord’s gift of this time away. Looking forward to getting back home in our Lord’s good will.
Not sure how much it has all changed me. I trust I am a humbler man who has great cause to be thankful to my wonderful Father in heaven.