Soon we will be making our way to the airport in Delhi (our flight leaves at 3 AM) and head back to the United States. This has been a tremendous time with Sam Bandela and participating in just a bit of the CBF work he is overseeing in Nepal. Regrettably we were not able to visit the slum churches in Delhi since they do not even convene until 9 pm and by then we need to be focused on getting our belongings together for our jaunt home.
While I have visited developing countries before and lived in one for nearly three months, Nepal is like nothing I have ever experienced before. It is exotic, mysterious, beautiful, grimy, struggling, searching, at times hoping and at times despairing. There are great people doing great work for the sake of God’s kingdom.
Two words come to mind: hope and love. Hope is the one thing that keeps a human being from sinking fully into despair. Hope can come through things (like food and shelter) and it can come through people. Hope is the essential message for the Christian. Such hope, however, is not merely a profession, but lived out in the second word I mentioned: love. Love is what compels people to give of their lives into a different culture to redeem the innocents and stand in the face of injustice. I have seen both hope and love at work among Christians from across the globe gathered in the country of Nepal.
Milton Martin and I are most blessed that we were able to travel here in the name of First Baptist and in the name of above all names. It is Jesus who compels us to love the least, the last and the lost. What a holy commissioning we have and what a big world we have to discover Jesus in such faces.
Thank you church family for these 11 or so days away. No doubt when we get home I will need a few days of re-acclimating and resting, but I look forward to sharing with you in worship on Sunday morning.
“Jai Messeh ho” (praise the Lord),
Riding to the Taj Mahal the other day was the most demanding of my time away. Riding to the airport to go home was the most terrifying. Our driver wheeled in and gave us a broad smile minus a few teeth. There seemed to be a whiff of alcohol on his breath, but hey, it was midnight, we had a flight to catch and we were ready to go home. The good thing about driving through Delhi at midnight is that the traffic is not that bad. The downside is that it gives the drivers enough distance to build up some considerable speed. Keep in mind I am harnessed in a vehicle whose metal exterior is about as thick as a chewing gum wrapper. For the next 20 terrifying minutes we would go from fifty to zero and back to fifty in 10 second increments, all the while riding the bumper, or the fender, or the grill of the nearest other driver. Did I mention I smelled alcohol on his breath?
I am glad to say we made it to the airport safe, including our luggage which was strapped on top by a bungee cord and prayer (I was praying, Milton was looking). The airport of Delhi is one of the most beautiful I have ever been in, but it was also remarkably crowded for the middle of the night/morning. Our first leg of the flight was just over nine hours where we were dropped off into Heathrow to wait for the next available flight to Atlanta which would not be for another seven or so hours.
We caught our flight to Atlanta just fine without any delays and nine hours later, in addition to passport control, customs, security, and baggage, we were greeted by our wives at the top of the escalator at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.
Sleep in my own bed was good and peaceful and it is a gift to wake up in Georgia again! Our total time away was eleven days almost to the hour. Milton and I appreciate the opportunity to serve and bear witness as well as to come home and share. Grace and peace, Greg