Monday, May 3, 2010

Mumbai Miracle

It's Memorial Box Monday at Linny's blog (aplacecalled This is a great time to remind us of God's faithfulness in the midst of life's trials. As we continue to prepare for overseas missions to serve orphans and widows, I'm remembering how the Lord provided so many years ago...

I was traveling to India - the country Mark Twain called,
" the land of wonder." A place of elaborate palaces and extreme poverty, India's individuality seemingly absorbs foreign influence without changing...

Yet, we, three Bible school students and our class adviser, were going to minister for a month in the southern regions. Our invitation to Coimbatore came from an Indian classmate. His family ran a Bible school, orphanage, and church. They asked us to share testimonies, preach the Word, pray with the sick and love on orphaned children. They also asked us to bring some medical supplies donated by a stateside organization. The medical supplies, packed in large duffel bags, arrived by mail about a week before our departure and included some interesting

"This medical gear might not make it through customs in India. You will be charged undetermined fees for bringing them in country, if they let them in at all. Chances are they could be confiscated and sold on the black market. Please do your best to get these bags to the ministry."

The letter also contained a list of the supplies: syringes, antibiotics, blood pressure cuffs, stethoscopes... valuable stuff indeed, especially in the developing areas of India. We wondered how much a "fee" would cost to clear customs... not to mention the responsibility we felt to get the supplies into the right hands! Prayer led us as we continued to prepare ourselves for the work that lay ahead.

Finally, after hours in the air, we landed in Mumbai International Airport. We retrieved our baggage and stood in wonder at all the people in various skin shades, donned in brilliant colors. A faint smell of curry permeated the air. We wandered to the customs counters to find lines winding around like snakes. (the lengthy lines at amusement parks or Walmart on a Saturday don't even compare!) There had to be a hundreds of people waiting in front of us. OOOhhh, we were tired, hungry, thirsty, sitt
ing on duffel bags of medical supplies, praying that God would show us what to do and how to do it!

Suddenly, a nutmeg-colored man with a beaming white tooth smile and turban-covered head approached us.

Greeee-thingg my frrrends," he bowed slightly and extended his hand which our class advisor grasped and shook vigorously.

"Dis your first tiii-me in mi con-tree?" sounded more like a statement than a question.

Now we all shook our heads, YES, vigorously.

"Please come. Follow me," he gestured to an empty desk near the front of the line.

We looked at each other and shrugged. Okay. Even if we might loose our place in line, we all felt good about following him. He called an inspection officer over to stamp our passports as he lifted the bags over the desk...

We were on the other side of customs with ALL our bags and not a penny spent!
( a HUGE miracle considering the lines, our baggage wasn't inspected, not to mention the threat of "fees.")

Our turbaned friend gave us a friendly wave and anot
her toothy smile. We moved out the doors onto the chaotic streets of Mumbai - streets teaming with ancient culture that seemed to carry us into it's rhythm. We meet our contact and shared our airport experience. He was not surprised, explaining that without the Lord's amazing grace, he would be in a Hindu jail. Evidently, God is changing India for His glory.

And, what about us here in the USA? Are we "absorbed by our culture?" Or, do we pray, step out in faith even when it could cost us (with no promise that it's gonna work out okay) and experience God? It's your choice...


Shannon said...

This is an amazing story! Talk about the hand of God!!!!! It reminds me of some of the things i experienced as part of team serving at an orphanage in a Romanian orphanage!
Thanks for sharing!

Mommy of little ones said...

wonderful story, you are so blessed. i remember entering India through customs twice. i love India!!!! but not customs. anyway, we should talk sometime. feel free to email. i have questions about adoption and also want to know how the trip went in india. God is awesome! brittany

Kristie O'Leary said...

Email me and I'll send you a larger image of the African Awareness shirts! Cannot wait to read the rest of your blog. :)


Steiners! said...

AMEN on the house contract! I will pray it through to closing...

from all of us with love said...

Continung to pray for your journey.
I love your post.

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