Sunday, 7 October 2012


Most churches suffer from 'the grass is greener on the other side' feeling.

When you meet in a very very small group like we do - you get that feeling a lot.  The motely crew that we look at most Sundays can make you wish for another place - and that too fast!

But that's what family is about.  You don't choose your relatives.  They are given to you. Like it or lump it.  And how blessed it is to be nudged into liking them.

Today was the first Sunday of the month.  And our two house fellowships met together for a day of service.  We started our worship at 10 AM.  Enoch on the keyboard for a few songs - Asha on violin.  Rishav on bongos and yours truly on guitar.  A joyful noise.

As we moved to the Lord's Supper - ably led by bro Jolly - I couldn't help noticing something blessedly unusual.  We were packed.  The house was bursting at its seams as family after family came in.  We must have had almost 50 people there today.

Bro Rolly shared the word - focussing on Jesus' telling us that blessed are those who suffer because of persecution - and I was deeply touched by the account of Stephen the martyr's death - his face looking like that of an angel and the statement that in the midst of his stoning 'he fell asleep.'

After the message it was sharing time.  Since we were overflowing with kids I decided to take the children's session while the adults told each other what God is teaching them, and how they are experiencing God.  I had 6 boys and 4 girls upstairs with me - a super time with songs and a re-enactment of Paul's encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus.  One of the take-home messages being Paul's willingness to obey.  He had left for Damascus on his horse - but entered being led by the hand.  A blind man, but obeying the voice he heard.

Then it was time for a love-feast.  A great chicken biryani was enjoyed by all - with lots of mingling and talking and kids darting in between.

A prayer time in the early afternoon and then we broke up into small groups for visiting people in their homes.  Then a gospel meeting at the Lok Hospital building and home.

Despite a very long day - we end it with grace and peace.  Night has fallen and all are asleep.  Except for yours truly.

One amazing thought from earlier in the day.  As we were worshipping God, I counted the people in the room who were HIV positive.  6 adults. 1 child.   Then I counted people who were linked with family members who had AIDS.  2 adults had lost their parents.  1 adult had lost her cousin. 1 of the children is adopted - the child's mother is an HIV positive lady who gave the child up at birth.  Another child is about to be put up for adoption by her mother.

The grass is not greener on the other side.  This is our church.  This is where we belong.

10 years ago there was no one.  Not a single person who had HIV in our church.  We were meeting in the same room.  We still have warts.  Lots of them.  But, we have come a long way.

All glory to God.

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