Three years ago, Laura Voight and I moved into a newly constructed building that would serve as G.O.D. India’s headquarters, office, and living quarters for us and any other team members traveling to serve in India. Other than our few suitcases of our belongings, the building was empty with seemingly endless echoing rooms and blank walls.
Renting this property was a move of faith, and anyone who was a part of the move could testify to that. Despite visible signs or markers, we believed that the Lord was directing us to this place and that he would provide the personnel we needed to advance his kingdom. We could only dream and hope with God of how he would use this location and the people that would be developed and ministered to within its walls.
I was reminded of this moment as I walking downstairs this weekend and instead of hearing a buzzing silence, I heard the resounding voices of people passionately singing, “Tu Bade Main Ghatu” which translates “You Increase, I Decrease.”
This weekend we hosted our first Bible conference for Reflections participants. Reflections is our Friday night gathering of believers. Institute graduate and Academy for G.O.D. Bible Teacher Rebekah Davis led Bible studies this weekend surrounding the topic of “Living in A Community of Christ.” She taught on the need for authentic human relationships, the work of a community of Christ, and the need to keep God’s Word at the center of all we do.
In addition to these teaching times, participants were given the task to illustrate one of these biblical points creatively through acting, song, or dance. Groups created skits to illustrate how these theological truths practically play out in their own lives. These skits not only solidified theological concepts, but also gave us a time to work together and learn one another’s strengths.
One participant was inspired to begin reading the Bible for the first time to learn more about how God wants us to live in the world. Another said she felt she received a “friendly slap on the face” by the Word as she learned that technology should not replace human relationships. She was inspired to put down her cell phone in order to invest into the relationships that God has given right in front of her. One even said that this was the best weekend of her entire year! Many Reflections participants shared throughout the weekend that they look forward to the fellowship that they experience on Friday nights all week long.
Several times throughout the weekend, my eyes brimmed with tears, because these are the moments that we have had in our hearts for so many years, prayers that preceded even my own involvement with the India team. To offer a refuge for people where they can experience the presence of the Lord and the fellowship of believers in the midst of a harsh, lonely city. Though this group of believers is small, we are believing with faith that they will grow into a strong community that becomes a resting place for the watching world.
Jesus put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”