Haley Moore – MC – South Asia
Hard to believe that we are three weeks in! This summer is flying by. To say it has been easy would be, well, a lie. It's not that every day is excruciatingly difficult, but the culmination of battling spiritual darkness/feeling the burden of the nations/seeing brokenness weighs very heavy on the heart.
Every day is an adventure. Things planned will most likely not happen, or at least, not in the way that you think. One example is our recent trip to a university near our home. We expected to run into some students and strike up "G" conversations. Instead, we were greeted by security, sent to reception, and then to the principal's office! Turns out, he's a super nice man and set us up with a private tour of campus! Instead of meeting students, we met and chatted with faculty, and got an official invitation to return and meet students when classes start back! There are countless stories just like this, such as friends not showing up to follow-ups, Ubers cancelling 6+ times in a row, or the park we were headed to being closed. We have seen the Father use what seemed inconvenient to bring about conversations that wouldn't have been possible otherwise. Instead of friends not showing up, we made new friends with the owners of the coffee shop; instead of catching an Uber, we got the chance to have lunch with two Hindu ladies; instead of going to the park, we pr@yer walked through neighborhoods and were invited to celebrate “Eid” with two families. The Father is so faithful! He is too generous and merciful, and I am constantly amazed and overwhelmed by Him.
We experienced our first Eid, or the festival of the end of Ramadan, on Wednesday. It was one of the most heartbreaking things I have ever experienced. A picture wouldn't do it justice, so let me set the scene. 5:30 a.m., millions all over the city have been awake since 4 a.m. performing Salat al-fajr. After that, the men don their white or light colored kurtas, grab their prayer mats, and head to one of the mosques. Over the next 30 minutes, thousands pour into and over the streets of what is known as "mosque road," placing their prayer mats up and down the street as far as the eyes can see. In the next moments, a man calls everyone into prayer, each of the men first bending halfway over and then onto their knees. The sight is breath-taking as these men fall prostrate before Allah.
In that moment, seeing people that were created in the image of the Father and yet bowing down to a perverse, false version of Him, I wept. How many families were represented? How many souls? How many times have I, since becoming a follower of Jesus, shrugged off conversations because I thought it would be too awkward? Not only with them, but with others? How many families/friends/classmates did I have that thought that if they prayed hard enough, performed perfectly enough, followed a tradition/ceremony to a "t," that they would be saved? How many women did I know that thought they weren't worthy to have a personal relationship with the Father simply because they were a woman? All these questions and more filled my mind as the Father reminded me of my own brokenness and the brokenness around us as I scanned the crowd in front of me. I was reminded of the verse that says that if no one else worships that even the rocks will cry out. In this, I was reminded of why being obedient is important. A lesson I have learned many times, but one I think I will probably have to continue learning for the rest of my life. Our obedience comes from worship of the Creator. We share the "g" not so that people won't go to Hell, but because the Father deserves to be worshiped. He deserves all the glory and honor and praise from everything living, that has ever lived, or will ever live.
There are of course a few pr@yer requests:
That our new friends will come to know the truth of Jesus and what that means for their lives;
That our new friends will see the power of Jesus' name and will understand He is the only way to the Father;
That our team will remember why we're here, will experience rest, and will continue to proclaim the Truth with boldness;
That our new friends (H, M, A and S) will be open to conversations about Him and will listen with open ears and hearts.
A crazy time indeed, but man have I been reminded of the Father's faithfulness, patience, and mercy. He is good all the time.