Hello Fellow Americans!
This is Mike "GUI" Gurath from BELC Team #1 finally contributing to the communal blog. It has been fun reading all the different perspectives thus far.
Before we left for this trip there were some that asked me what to expect while here in India. As you can tell from the many stories all you can really do is expect the unexpected, go with the flow, and know that God is good. Other than that the only preparation advice is to bring plenty of Pepto, Immodium, and TP for the duration of the trip. And you can expect to learn a little bit of the foreign languages as well. For instance, Lee Klammer asked an English speaking passer by what a "cow pie" was. The student replied "Ca-oo Patt-ee." It didn't take Lee long to realize that the fellow had just said "cow patty" a term he was already all too familiar with.
All joking aside I am thankful for the opportunities to fellowship with our many brothers and sisters over here. We get to see first hand children hearing about their Savior for the first time, men of all ages taking the time to deepen their understanding and advance their training in God's word, and to work side by side with our pastors and district leaders.
It's great to be able to go and share stories about the experiences here so that as a church body we know a little more and have a clearer picture of the overseas churches. Then our fellow pastors here go from being unreadable names in the bulletin to real people with names and faces, faithfully carrying out the work of the Kingdom. Those numbers on the member stat sheet are turned into actual faces in real places who have shared a song of praise, a "cool drink", or even a simple folding of the hands and a "Praise the Lord."
It is truly a blessing for brothers to dwell together in unity and even more of a blessing to extend that sense of unity to everyone back home. I appreciate you all who have lifted us up in prayer over the course of this trip.