Update from India

We had a meeting with couples from Brother Solomon’s church yesterday. He is the pastor of four congregations located within two and a half hours of Coimbatore. Not all of the members of his congregation could make it, still we met with nearly 100 adults. 

We met in a hotel conference room with a group of people we had not met before, which made the atmosphere a bit awkward at first. Most of the people in the church do not speak much English, which added another layer of difficulty to connecting with them. However, at the beginning of the meeting, we felt God’s grace moving, and the group slowly began to relax as we started speaking. Brother Solomon had asked us to talk about repentance because many couples in his church were struggling in their relationships. We began by sharing about repentance, forgiveness, and the fact that we cannot forgive others unless we’ve been forgiven ourselves. As we shared biblical examples and personal experiences, we felt the witness of God’s Spirit palpably, but it was hard to determine their level of understanding.

During the Q&A session we held after lunch, most of the questions were posed by the hosting ministers, Solomon and Isaac. Although they were good questions and we felt The Lord anointing our answers it was difficult to grasp their impact because of the language barrier. This made it difficult to determine their connection to the session, both during and after the event.

Later that evening, we had dinner with Solomon, Isaac and their wives. They began by assuring us that the message we shared had definitely connected with the people. They then began to ask us questions about baptism and communion. Both of these brothers are eager to learn and repeatedly expressed that they desire to be baptized in Jesus’ Name.

That evening, Brother Isaac told us, “There isn’t anything I’m unwilling to change. If it will bring me closer to Jesus, I want it”.  Brother Solomon echoed this by saying, “They are no barriers, we feel God and we see the fruit and we are ready to learn. How we’ve done it before doesn’t matter; all that matters is the fruit; we will change anything to have the fruit that you all have”. 

The wives of both of these brothers are completely supportive of their husbands. They are a remarkable group of people who work seamlessly together despite their individual talents and gifts. There is no trace of competition or ego between them, only a sense of love and unity that is truly inspiring. I have never seen two brothers with such remarkable unity outside of our community. I believe that these men will play an instrumental role in the work of God here in India.

Today was our last day in Coimbatore. We met with one of Brother Solomon’s congregations, and he informed us that he had canceled the usual church program. He completely opened the meeting, allowing us to take as much or as little time as we wanted. Both Brother Solomon and Isaac were burdened for their people to come to a new level of repentance and for those seeking the Spirit to receive it.

We arrived at the basement of what appeared to be a parking garage at 8:30 in the morning. The temperature was already in the 80s and there was no air conditioning. The room was small, with concrete walls, ceiling, and floor. A couple of old ceiling fans attempted to circulate the limited oxygen in the room. There were a few flimsy plastic chairs for the adults while the children and many of the women sat on mats at the front of the room. Nearly 100 people crammed into the space, many from the day before and everyone from our community.

Due to the previous day’s response, or rather the lack of it, I was uncertain about how we would feel. However, as soon as they began to worship, we could feel God’s presence in the room. Even though we could only comprehend the word “Hallelujah,” we could feel ourselves being united with them in praise.  

Brother Solomon gave us the floor, and Brother Teb began the meeting by sharing his testimony. His story resonated with the audience, and we could sense something stirring in the Spirit. After Brother Teb finished, we discussed Peter’s life before conversion. Despite following Jesus, performing miracles, and even walking on water, there was still something lacking in him. It wasn’t until he denied the Lord and was confronted with his lack of love that he was able to be honest with Jesus. It was only then that he was filled with the Holy Spirit, which enabled him to conquer his fears and become the person God intended him to be all along.

We then shared about believing from the heart, how it’s not something we agree to in our minds but rather something we experience. To illustrate this point, we used the story of the lame man at the Gate Beautiful, who demonstrated his healing not by showing off his newly restored legs but by walking and leaping into the temple, proving to all around him that he had truly been healed.

When we had finished speaking, we invited anyone seeking repentance or the infilling of the Spirit to come to the front of the room. There was a small 6×10 foot clear space for this purpose. As soon as we made the invitation, one man leapt up, followed by another, and then almost the entire room surged forward and fell on their knees. It was impossible for us to reach everyone as people were crying out to God. Their vulnerability to God’s Spirit moves me to tears, even as I write this account. Ten people prayed through to the Spirit for the first time, and many others received a fresh anointing or took significant steps in their spiritual journey.

As we were concluding the prayer session, Brother Solomon, who is also an excellent worship leader, began to sing. The lyrics of his song translate to, “When the presence of God begins to move, I will not be downcast, but I will be joyful!” As the joy of the Lord intensified, we cleared the remaining chairs and joined in dancing and celebrating.

The people who live in this place face a lot of oppression. The culture here is oppressive, and they suffer from economic oppression. Furthermore, because they are Christians, they face even greater difficulties. Even their meeting hall can feel oppressive at times. Many members of this congregation do not have a spouse who shares their faith, and their spouses have abandoned some because of their beliefs. They face many difficult realities, but when the power of God moves, they respond with joy that spreads like wildfire! Despite the challenges, there is hope. The fire of God is already falling, and this place is ripe for a bountiful harvest.

Thank you for all of your prayers. They have supported and upheld us. Please continue to pray for our group of brothers and sisters as they grow in unity and faith with one another. Pray for those who received the Spirit today and those whom God touched; they will undoubtedly face many challenges in the days ahead. Please pray for Brothers Solomon and Isaac that God will continue to lead them and they will continue to find the grace to follow. 

With much love, 

Gabe

Leave a Comment