Update #2 from Lisa Chan
I guess I should write something every day so I don’t feel like I need to write a novel to fill you all in. But alas, that does not seem feasible so I will try to hit the “highlights”. First off, you can be praying for Francis and Rachel and Mercy. They left at 3:00 this morning for a LONG journey to the persecuted believers gathering (they are expecting 10,000 people). It requires 4-5 hours in the car, a couple hours on a plane, 8 hours at a hotel waiting for the last leg… an 8 hour train ride. I’m tired just thinking about it. The little ones and I are staying at the seminary campus, which is actually a very beautiful place. Very green and tropical feeling. Praise God that I am not struggling with fear the way I was expecting… but I know that is because many of you are specifically praying for me in that regard. THANK YOU!!
When we were in Mumbai (the city where Slumdog Millionaire was filmed) we had the humbling opportunity to visit a slum church. It was around 7:30pm. We were dropped off by car at a crowded, dirty “marketplace” of sorts… and made our way down the alleys amidst a lot of stares. Once again, they stared in unbelief at little white boy. It was kind of later in the evening, but it seems everyone was in the streets and alleys, probably escaping the small confines of their rickety, despairing little homes. We peeked in at a few doorways (which are not graced with a door…maybe a curtain at best) and you could see the older people sitting on the hard cement floor, the look of defeat somehow showing in their body language. I found myself whispering to Mercy, “Do you see inside honey? Do you see how they live every day?”
We finally wound around to a small room that does have a door, and from it we could hear the sound of worshipping. Inside the dimly lit room, probably no bigger than my bedroom, was the Church, about 50 precious people singing to Jesus in the thick humidity and unsanitary conditions. Mostly women and children, who looked up at us with shy but happy smiles as we filed in the back. I was struck with just how beautiful Jesus must be to these people… people who have nothing. Sometimes I have to work at finding Jesus really beautiful and someone to treasure…because I am surrounded by beauty and treasures every day. What true joy and hope it must give these believers… to know that their time here is temporary. What comfort it must give them to know that Jesus will come for them, and truly the last shall be first. The hope of Heaven must be something to cling to in this place.
I can’t help but think that the Light coming from this room must be a draw to the people living outside its walls. There’s no promise of immediate comfort, no earthly riches being offered… but Jesus is preached, and He is a living God! …”You shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life…” Phil 2.
Francis spoke a great message of encouragement to this little body of Christ hidden away in a slum in India . “100 years from now we will be worshipping together. We will look each other in the eye and KNOW that it was worth it.”
Please pray for these believers. They have to work so hard just to survive, pray that the joy of the Lord would be their strength. I was going to share one other “thought” but I am worn out! I will try again later or tomorrow. One of the pastor’s wives is taking me and the little ones to Chicken Burger tonight for dinner. It should be an experience. No diet coke with ice and a straw… but maybe something vaguely familiar.
Oh, yes, today Zeke was asking why we always have to take our shoes off before going inside somewhere. I said, “I don’t really know, but it is part of Indian culture.” He said, “Wow… I didn’t know things were going to be so different here.” He’s so cute. He has also told me he wishes he could live here… so it can’t be too bad in his mind. Love and hugs!