Travel expands us. We take in new sights, sounds and smells. We meet new people and make new friends. We see what the Spirit is doing in other parts of the world. But travel also makes us feel smaller. It is hard to be puffed up when you meet people more honorable than yourself and find that your cultural forms are not the only or right ones. These two features of travel were evident during a trip that Mike Emlet and I made, on behalf of CCEF, to partner with friends in India.
India certainly expanded us. Our senses will never be the same. The sheer number of people in Delhi, the heat, the nonstop horns of automobiles engaged in an endless game of chicken, the array of spices (they render American food bland and remind us that we need fat and sugar to make our food remotely interesting)—all these can be summoned in a moment’s reflection.
Even better than these experiences are the people. Who would have known that we have so many like-minded friends and partners, on the other side of the world, who share our enthusiasm to bring Scripture and the gospel of Jesus into the details of life? Among these friends and partners, the longest partnership has been with the Biblical Counseling Trust of India.
Then Mike and I began to see some of the larger strokes of the Spirit. In short, we watched the church in action. When I went to India 17 years ago, I found it remarkable how it seemed I had entered the Old Testament. Idols were everywhere. It seemed as though there were only a few lone prophets speaking the truth. Now, in 2014, we entered the New Testament with its healings, sufferings, hospitality, love and great personal sacrifices. This is when we started to feel quite small and unworthy.
We hope that people were encouraged by our visit. We know that we left with a number of people who are now on our hearts.
Thank you to those of you who supported the trip.