India_thumbBy Donald A. Shirk

For years my friend and my church’s ministry partner H. C. Stephen has asked me to visit him in Manipur, India. He has been at my church, Grace Baptist in Batavia, N.Y., and been a guest in my home many times, but India had never touched the bottom of my shoes. In response to his persistent requests to visit, I always had viable “spiritual” reasons for declining that I could hide behind. Yet H. C. continued to press, and I am very glad he did.

Feb. 18—March 1 were 10 days that changed my life and the lives of the three men who traveled with me. Our trip to India was filled with drama: we missed our flight due to a weather and mechanical delay in Buffalo, and when we finally did get to India, our luggage did not; our luggage arrived five days later. Yet none of these obstacles ultimately changed a thing. (Besides, we all packed at least one extra pair of underwear in our carry-on bags.)