Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 2 - Part 1 - faith in the slum church

A light warm breeze was blowing as we pulled up to a very poor slum here in Chennai this morning around 9:00 am. We could hear the singing getting louder as we made our way deep into the heart of the slum. The tiny church was nestled in among lots of small huts, and we joined a group of about 40-50 sitting on the floor on grass mats.

What a beautiful time joining this congregation in worship. They are incredibly sincere in their heartfelt praise. Several from our group were asked to speak, and many hearts were touched and tears were shed. At the end of the service both men & women, young and old, searched the team out and asked for prayer.

An older man approached me and asked if I would pray for his eye sight. If I understood correctly, his job is the main source of provision for his entire family and he is losing his sight little by little. As a security guard, loss of vision means he would eventually lose his job, and not be able to provide for his family. Tears poured down his face as we prayed together. He sobbed. On one hand my heart broke for his pain, but on the other hand his child-like faith was incredibly honest, real, and beautiful. As my prayer ended he wiped his eyes, smiled with gratefulness, and headed out the door.

One thing stands out to me after visiting this particular area several times in the last few days--the people's lives in this slum are being transformed from the inside out. This church is growing, men are turning away from a violence & crime, and families are being changed. Their hope and trust in God is growing day by day. They don't wear shoes, they don't use diapers, but they are rich. Rich beyond measure in faith.

Check back for Day 2 - Rescue and Restore Shelter in the afternoon!

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