Grand Gospel Tour
One of the things we did in India, that I especially enjoyed was a tremendous trip with my brother-in-law Binoy Thomas, to visit, encourage and share in various cities in India. In 5 days, we had the chance to visit three large cities, with a combined population of over 30 million people, covering almost 4000 miles, preaching a combined 7 times, sharing many Bible discussions, meeting many brethren and both encouraging and being encouraged over and over.
We took 4 different flights (3 different airlines). India has an excellent domestic air network at great prices.
Our first stop on the trip was the city of Mumbai (Bombay) which has over 20 million people, in other words, there are about the same number of people in this city as in the entire country of Cameroon! You can imagine the traffic was pretty heavy.
We enjoyed being able to meet with brethren, and discuss scripture with people from all over. Our goal was to be an encouragement and a spark, but we were also encouraged ourselves. We were shown tremendous hospitality.
Mumbai was such an enormous city!
The "Gateway of India," a landmark of Mumbai.
Our next stop was the lovely city of Chandigarh, in the north of India. This city of over 1 million is very well laid out, as you can see in the picture above.
Our goal in Chandigarh was to attend a Preachers' Seminar and to make connections and build faith. It was great getting to meet many brethren, and we both had an opportunity to preach as well. Binoy made such an impression, he was asked to speak again at their graduation ceremony following the seminar. I enjoyed tag-teaming with Binoy.
We made sure to only eat in the very best restaurants. :D The whole trip was planned at the last minute (due to my medical checkups), so we had to rough it a little.
We stayed in dorms with others who were attending. Interesting Note: In India, lights and noise are not considered an impediment to sleep, so turning on all the lights and singing at 3 AM is not considered rude at all.
We made the journey for the sake of connecting with brethren we had never met. In this regard, it was a huge success, as we were able to make friends and build relationships with many brethren.
From Chandigarh, we flew out to the city of Bangalore (Bengaluru) which has a population of around 9 million people.
We arrived in Bangalore on Saturday, and the next day, we both had the opportunity to preach twice, visiting three congregations between us. It was encouraging to see the faith of these people, sometimes in the face of opposition and persecution.
Once again our goal was not only to speak and preach, but also to connect with people personally and establish and strengthen the bonds through which we can encourage them. We had some very encouraging conversations and hope to build faith.
Late Sunday Night, we flew back in to Cochin, and returned home. It was a great trip, and I really appreciated the opportunity to see more of India and to meet so many people. Binoy is very zealous for God and striving to be used by him to impact a huge country. It was good to see.
Well, this post is running pretty long and I STILL have more to share, so I will go ahead and share this with you all, and Lord-willing, get one more post about India out before we are out of Internet range on Thursday! Thanks again to all!