On a two-week mission to train deacons across southern India and launch a new global ministry, three laymen and a pastor encounter faith proven in the fire.
The warm February afternoon passed peacefully at the front of the little church, even as the current of Indian life swirled around my plastic lawn chair.
Looking over the heads of the gathered congregation to the open door, I watched village women pass on the gravel road with waterpots stacked atop their heads as securely as Legos snapped into place. The breeze curled the curtains, providing glimpses of sacred cows—which are no cliché here—browsing the churchyard for snacks amid the litter. And in the first row of audience members with chairs, just beyond the people sitting on tarps, played a small boy.
As we guest speakers took our turns at the mic, the boy passed the time at his parents’ feet, taking snacks from his mother and listening to her read Scripture loudly in a language I couldn’t understand as speakers called out passages. Eventually the boy dozed off, nestled into the elbow of his father, a pastor from some nearby village.