Namaste, friends! I am back in India again. It has been two years since Grayson and I had our Great Indian Adventure. If I remember correctly, we had absolutely no idea what we were doing. Yet, somehow in the middle of the craziness, God worked, and He used two brotherly buffoons.
This time around, I get the privilege of traveling with Coleman Tanton. He is a long-time friend, who has been pursuing God, completing two years of training through KETA. Last year, I took him on his first flight and missions trip, when we journeyed to see our friends in Trujillo, Peru (Love you Caleb and Jensen). We had lots of amazing miracles and moments as people encountered God’s love and mercy. Here we are, a year later, expecting to see those same miracles in India.
We are taking the message of I Give Life to India. The message is simply this: God wants to empower every believer to give life in their world. We believe that God will use anyone who is willing and available, that every believer can do the same works that Jesus did. We expect this message to take hold in India, a Hindu nation that has been bound in darkness for thousands of years. In order to reach India, every hand must be on deck. Every believer must be empowered and equipped to reach their neighbor. This is God’s plan to save the world, and I’m blessed to be a small part of it.
Our adventure started on a plane. We flew to London, then to Mumbai. 9 hour flights are perfect because the feeling of absolute claustrophobia and delirium has not quite set in. You have enough time to read a few chapters, watch a movie, take a nap, eat a meal, and count how many times you can ask the flight attendant for more water. At least, that’s what I did on the plane. Going into our flight to Mumbai, we had to run to our gate because of a short layover in London. Coleman and I neglected to fill up our water bottles. This was devastating because airplanes really seem to suck you dry. Dehydration is really real. After my last trip to India, I have made it my goal in life never to live a day dehydrated. So, to our horror, we missed out on getting that precious, life-sustaining water.
(Right now is a good time to admit that I am being dramatic. I think that our flights were SO uneventful that I have to make something out of nothing. So that’s what I’m doing.)
But yes, we were running out of water. The flight attendant brought us little teeny tiny cups. I couldn’t tell if it was some sort of twisted international joke, but I didn’t think it was funny and neither did my sore throat. Every time the flight attendant walked by, I asked for water. I’m sorry that I probably misrepresented my country, but I was desperate. In my moments of agony and despair, I read John 4.
If you have your Bibles, please turn there. Jesus encounters the Samaritan woman. She has been coming to that well every day for a while. She gathers her water pots and makes the journey, simply because she needs water. On this day, a Jewish Man asks for a drink. Little did she know that this was the Messiah. Jesus turns this conversation around on this lady, informing her that if she asked Him for a drink she would never thirst again. Jesus has a word of knowledge about her life, convincing this woman that He is truly the Messiah.
This scripture spoke deeply to me on that airplane. I didn’t know if it was some weird metaphor of me and the flight attendant. Was I the woman at the well? NAH. That’s absurd. I was Jesus. Haha, actually that’s not the point. I think I didn’t realize how important water was until that flight. I definitely don’t appreciate it as much as others in parts of the world with limited access. I know this though: we need water to survive. Our lives are dependent upon it. Our health and well-being necessitates H2O. Most people understand this in the physical, but spiritually we thirst too. We live our whole lives in search of this everlasting water that Jesus promised, something that will quench our eternal thirst. We live day after day going to the well of the world, hoping that at some point the thirst will go away. We carry those water pots quite often, containers to fill with love, approval, and security. This woman’s water pots were full of the attention and satisfaction of men. She was already done with 5 husbands and living now with another man. Evidently, she was never satisfied. Then, she meets a Man who promises her living water. This has been what she has been looking for her whole life.
Jesus promised this same water to everyone who would believe on Him. He said, and I quote, “But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” This is what you need. More than me “feeling dehydrated” on an airplane. Your spirit needs everlasting life.
I realize that I’m headed to a spiritually dry country. India is a desert in terms of living water. There are over a billion water pots but very few wells. We are planning to show people to the well and give people a taste of this living water. I know that more wells have to be dug. There is a whole lot of work that must take place. I’m excited to be a part of it.
Notice that after the woman met Jesus, she took off running into the village. In the middle of her excitement, she forgot her water pots at the well. Spiritually speaking, she never needed them again. She had drank once from the river of everlasting life, and her thirst was quenched forever.
I believe that while we are in India, people will leave their pots at the well. They will go and tell their family and friends to come to the well and meet the Man who changed their life. Many of you have partnered with us in this mission. Thank you for your support. We ask for your prayers in the coming days--prayers for boldness, miracles, and fruit that remains.
Coleman and I are excited to see all that God is going to do. We will keep you posted.