We are into the last week of the meetings. Tonight is number 10. Attendance has grown to about 400, and we have been having wonderful fellowship with the villagers. They love to sing the English action songs, and the kids are really into answering the Bible story questions. Our Pastors and Bible workers have done such a great job of keeping the crowd quiet and orderly! Brenda has been showing a slide show at night of the village visits we make during the day--they love seeing themselves on the screen! The sermons have been well received, and there will be some baptisms starting Tuesday.
The reality of the poverty and desperate needs of the people of rural India is again sinking in. In Dacharam today, an elderly man was sitting on a dirty cot with a leg cast to the hip. Outside, his wife squatted in despair--she is unable to walk, and he usually cares for her. The poor man cried, "There is no one to take care of us!" They are temporarily at their daughter-in-law's house. In another village, an old lady is homeless and lives off the goodwill of the villagers--she also cried. A woman follows a water buffalo, down the dirt road catching fresh poop in a basket to dry for fuel. Children play with old bike tires caked with dirt and manure. The children smile and wave, dressed in torn clothes held together with safety pins. The home of the Bible worker we had lunch in today has 2 tiny rooms and no windows, a dirt floor plastered with cow dung, and a little house sparrow that kept flying in to build a nest in a niche near the roof!
About this time you just want to sit down and cry, or get as far away as you can to try to forget. It's a helpless feeling--we have so much in America compared to most of the world. The Lord needs to come, so all this pain and misery can stop for those we have grown to love.