One day as I was riding in a train a couple of mice scurried under the seat and down through the rest of the car. It was dark outside and the little creatures were foraging for crumbs. The two ladies traveling with me immediately wanted to find higher ground. I tossed a couple of peanut butter crackers down a hole in the flooring assuring the ladies that would keep the mice busy until the porters could pull down the beds. They choose the top bunks. Everyone slept well on that rocking train that night. It was a 14-hour ride from Calcutta to Sambalpur in the state of Orissa, India. Our three-member team met up with missionary Ed Sanders, who had organized our time in Sambalpur. After six days teaching the ways of Christ in four or five very rural villages, we boarded our train back to Calcutta. There were tender moments of prayer, faith and spiritual victory in the lives of many people.
We flew from Tulsa to Houston to Orland to New York City. From New York we flew to London where we had a two-hour layover. It was then on to New Delhi followed by Mumbai (the old Bombay). In Mumbai we boarded buses; there were about 100 of us on that plane headed to various parts of India. We were taken to a hotel where they gave us rooms to shower and rest, followed by an orientation luncheon. A couple of hours later our team was back on a plane flying to Calcutta. The plane arrived late so our taxi drove at breakneck speed through the city to the train station. We raced to our train, boarded with our luggage in hand. Before we could find our seat, the train was moving out of the station.
When we returned from Sambalpur, we joined hundreds of Baptists gathered to celebrate the bicentennial of William Carey’s arrival as the first of the modern missionaries. Our team spoke in Calcutta churches and ministered with the people at The Mother Teresa of Calcutta Center. Lives were changed, believers were encouraged and churches were strengthened throughout India. That happens today where we live. Down the street there is a family in despair. Two blocks away there is a pregnant teen about to be turned out on the street. There is a hungry grandmother raising two grandchildren all by herself in a rent house to the south. How far do we have to travel to do missions?
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Meet a new neighbor. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.