Sunday, August 5, 2007

New Creation Community Church...

We arrived at New Creation Community Church just in time to dedicate it before the worship service started. We prayed, cut the ribbon that barred the entrance, and then packed in for a worship service that was so loud and so enthusiastic, I actually had a splitting headache when it was over (reminds me of the Far Side where the cowboy, all shot up with Indian arrows says to his friend, “Yeah, Clem.. I hurt. But you know, it’s a good kind of hurt.” :- ): We followed the service with an excellent dinner served on palm branches, and then set about meeting the congregates and praying for them.

All in all, there were probably about a hundred people in the little church, and the building was large enough to seat everyone. The pastors are TBL church planters named Hannah and Anthony-Raj (husband/wife team) – shown here – and they were gentle and friendly while talking, but thundered away from the pulpit. I’ve seen that happen before.. it’s an amazing transformation that I truly admire about so many of the church planters with whom we work. They are lambs in every environment, but lions behind the pulpit. Anyway, Hannah and Anthony-Raj have both come to Christ from Hindu backgrounds, and both have experienced significant physical and financial persecution as they have not only continued to live out their lives for Christ, but lead others to do the same. They stand strong with this small community of Christ-followers, and by doing so continue to see (like the early church) their numbers swell daily in the community.

Also, I can’t remember who said it, but i love the quote that says that “a measure of greatness for any empire is how they treat their least”. The young man in this picture suffers from what looked to me to be Cerebral Palsy, and had to be helped or carried anywhere he went. He was a happy young man, but what amazed me most was how the church just “owned” him. They would come and pick him up to help or carry him to the front for Raj to pray for him, then help him to sit down in a chair by the wall. Then they would bring him food, and then take his plate when he was finished. Then they would carry him outside so that he could enjoy the meeting and greeting, and when it was time for him to go (I was standing nearby), an older lady tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to him. “Help him up!” she was saying through the smile on her face (I have no idea what she really said, but it was obvious that such is what she meant), so several of us took ahold of his fragile frame and then hoisted him up to his walker. Being limited in any fashion here in India would be tough (“Handicap access” is not a widely-understood term here yet), so I was significantly encouraged to find that this little church understood their responsibility to not only engage him, but care for him in every way.

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