“And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals,for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.’ “
– Revelation 5:9 (ESV)
I went last Friday to an office supply store followed by a visit to a local Christian bookstore. My sole purpose for the bookstore visit was to drop off something to Robert’s girlfriend. Of course, I wasn’t going to turn down the opportunity to look at books, either.
While there, I heard the doors open and a small group of people come in. Once I heard their voices, I realized they were not from these parts. By one of the ladies’ attire, a beautiful sari, I realized they were not from this country. However, it wasn’t until the other lady, an acquaintance of mine, came directly to me to speak that I looked up to notice those who had come in. I was head-down in a book. Then I noticed the petite woman in the sari.
Here’s why I named the post as I did today. For the longest time, I assumed upon seeing people from other cultures and countries, that they were not believers. I knew otherwise, but because I have never ventured into a country where its people look vastly different than I look, I have this stereotypical impression of what a Christian “looks like”.
As I engaged in conversation with my friend and met her friend from India, I was intrigued to learn that the visitor and her husband are a pastor and wife team there. They have a Christian school, also. Furthermore, the husband of this couple, is speaking in Bangkok within the month at a conference on missions. He was there at the store hoping to gather some resource material.
This couple led my friend to Christ when she lived in India. However, she and her family moved to America some time ago and their children have attended school with mine for some time. Her children are also believers.
This is where the story gets to the coolness factor that I so love!
My friend’s husband was not a believer. She would attend a local church when she could, but always in a way that did not offend her husband. If he was not on call, she would stay home. In the meantime, this couple from India and their congregation were praying for the salvation of my friend’s husband (miles away in America).
When I asked my friend about her husband, she shared with me the fact that he, too, is now a believer in Jesus. The sari-clad pastor’s wife grinned and said that it was a miracle and because so many were praying for him for so long. I wanted to cry, my spirit was so moved by the perseverance in prayer of this church far away for this man far from them.
The wife said this was totally of God (I can hear her say this in her Indian dialect and I smile at her humility) because she had never said anything to her husband to disrespect him. Her quiet example was a loud example to him, is what I was thinking.
At the conclusion of the visit, the pastor (I had found a book for him, btw) gave me his card and asked for my help in researching some things for him. He also asked what I did and when I shared he suggested that I come to India someday to teach women there.
I thought of Amy Carmichael and her life of service to God in India rescuing orphan girls from slavery and I wondered if God would take this Amy to a far away place someday to do His work in a place where she would look so foreign. And, I wondered if the Christians there would recognize ME as one of their siblings in Christ.
(That picture was taken the year I taught 4th grade. David was such a little guy there! Anyway, one of my student’s mom came and taught the class a bit about India and dressed me in a beautiful sari. She taught me how to stand to show the drape is in the shape of India!)