Indian observations … under-promise, over-deliver

Photo credit http://www.trekearth.com

In just a few weeks we will have our beloved Indian justice-working, slave-freeing missionary Sam with us in Gainesville. To start to prepare our hearts, I thought it might be good to post my initial reaction to my trip to India back in January:

India.  An under-promising, over-delivering Church.

You need to know what a great work is being accomplished in India.  I am so used to American pastors and ministries overstating their ministries and exaggerating their results.  It’s the marketing mentality, and I get it. Our culture is inundated with advertisers.  But something beautiful happens whenever I meet people that seem to under-promise and then over-deliver.  That is the case with the work in India with missionary Sam.

I felt this at our first stop at an orphanage we provided for rescued children.  The home itself was beautiful.  The children were adorable. God’s presence was tangible.

But I expected all of that.  What I did not expect was to find out this home is right in the middle of a region where there are no churches or Christian influence.  I came to find out the home is more than an orphanage; it is also a church plant.  The director is more than a children’s director; he and his wife are also pastors.  Church planters in a region where Christians are severely persecuted.  In fact, they are very much in touch with the fact that they will likely give their lives for the cause of Jesus.*  Stunning devotion.  They just asked for nothing but prayer.  It was a very sobering train ride out of that area.

As we moved on to the second home I noticed that this facility was attached to a church as well.  So I struck up a conversation with missionary Sam and asked him if this is always the case, and the answer was yes.  In fact, as we described what we do with microchurches he informed me that they have several thousand microchurches connected to the work they are doing.  As we moved from city to city it became increasingly clear that their work has been exceptionally fruitful.

I mention all of this to report what is happening, but also to stir our hearts. Not once did they ask me for money.  Not once did they parade their results to solicit more support than we have given them.  Had I not been there we would have assumed that their main deal is rescuing a few children whenever they can.  But missionary Sam explained to me that they believe deeply in the power of the Church – against whom the gates of hell will not prevail.

That’s enough for now.  Just a quick discipleship challenge to all of us to follow their lead and:

1 – Embrace humility. Under-promise.  Over-deliver. This is a hallmark of a great leader.

2 – Recognize God has one plan for this fallen planet: Church. Let’s be who we are.

3 – Pray for our brothers and sisters who experience danger first-hand.

*Note: Since our trip in January, this leader was indeed attacked and injured for the cause of Christ. The home was endangered and the future looked uncertain. Thankfully, Missionary Sam responded and the group was secured and restored.

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