Saturday, October 27, 2012

Compassion vs Judgement

Since being in India, I met a man who has become a great friend.  We were travelling back from Uttarakhashi and while we were stopped admiring the mountains across the valley he said "Look at all those villages over there...", I, without counting I could see at least 11-12 villages scattered over the mountain side along a stretch of about 5-6 kilometres.  he then proceeded to say "...all those villages need to hear about Jesus Christ."  This thought so simple yet so profound; in that moment stunned me in a pool of thoughts awash with cross-currents of materialism including my own dreams and plans.


I understood immediately that my own heart required extreme further change.  This statement of the need for Jesus Christ to be known in the nation of India highlighted the enormity of such a challenge along with other sentiments, yet what flowed most intently from this man's heart was compassion for the people of India.  What he said was not uttered in judgement, but with a compassionate heart yearning for this nation to know their creator.

Psalms 97:6-7 says:
   The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
        and all the peoples see his glory.
   All worshipers of images are put to shame,
        who make their boast in worthless idols;
        worship him, all you gods!

There are many in this marvelous nation who are everyday witnesses to loud proclamations of God's glory yet continue to worship idols and images.  Many are the reasons though mainly traditions, ignorance, education and pride - the people continue worship false God's.  

In the past my heart had read such verses with scoffing and mocking.  David in the psalms often speaks of the wicked, idolaters and rebellious ones receiving the reward for sin, and my heart read this with the attitude of 'thats what they deserve'.  Though the Lord recently gave my heart an overhaul and as I read Ps 97 v7, I realised that who dare I smugly read that idolaters would be put to shame.  All of a sudden I felt the emotions of shame and guilt that I had experienced in times of humbling, and realised how could I ever be happy for others to feel these things as they stand in judgement on the last day with no chance of doing it differently again.  

All of a sudden an urgency quickened in my heart that no one should have to stand before God in the day of judgement and be put to shame.  Indeed v7 is true, though let us make that number as few as possible!

This change was pivotal in my life, though the point i am making is judgement vs compassion.  just as on and off are equal opposites, so are judgement and compassion.  It is impossible for compassion to harbour judgement.  As we survey the life of Jesus some of His greatest teachings and miracles came as he looked upon the crowds with compassion.  As we align our hearts with His compassion we start to walk in His footsteps no matter where we are on this earth. 

In the kingdom there are no sides. It is not us and them, it is not christian vs non-christian.  No all have been purchased by the blood of Jesus, yet many need the invitation, the revelation, the call into the cleansing Jesus' blood offers so that they can also participate in mankind's greatest redemption - intimacy with the REAL God!

As we work here in Rajpur, we are being transformed more and more into His likeness.  We are growing in seeing this world with His compassion for that is when the will of God is made perfect through His power.  God is moving here in India.  It is exciting, so pray that our hearts will continually be filled with compassion.  It is through compassionate hearts that the redemptive power of Jesus flows most easily. 

John 10:10  "
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Prayer Update!

We are here enjoying the fact that monsoon is ending, soon we will say goodbye to rain, mould, slippery driveways and constant humidity.

It is such a beautiful place to live here in Rajpur, the people are so lovely and the countryside is always gorgeous.

I thought i'd check in with everybody and put out a request for a it of prayer and thanksgiving on our behalf:

  • Please pray for Deklin and Mohini's applications to Woodstock School in Mussoorie, we are really excited about them attending this school, though will only be possible with a scholarship.  The children have had their interviews and tests and now we wait until mid to late November for answers on that matter.  Please pray with us and declare favor their applications!
  • Its very exciting Chhaya is launching a business to aid our living expenses here in Rajpur.  She is launching a line of eco-friendly children's clothing.  All the fabric is hand woven and printed, it is simply amazing.  Please declare with us the favor of the Lord and supernatural wisdom over Chhaya as she makes many decisions.
  • Chhaya will be flying to Australia for approx. 3 weeks in October.  please pray for this time that it will be productive for her, and even though busy, will be refreshing!
  • We have many around us here who do not know the Lord Jesus personally but get to see Him through our lives and sometimes through our words.  Pray for wisdom, integrity and presence to share the gospel and see people respond to how much He loves them.
  • Pray for our personal walks with Jesus!  We are doing well but India and a different culture can confront you with things that want to shake ones' faith.   Please pray for us that the Lord will daily strengthen our hearts and draw us closer to Him!
  • Declare with us the provision of the Lord over our lives for everything that we need to live and minister His love. 
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Friday, September 7, 2012

Long time no type!


Dear Friends and Supporters,

Hi to all. I am trying to get better at writing letters more often to the people we love and know. I am wanting to share with you a few of the wonderful happenings that the Lord has been orchestrating here in Rajpur.

We have been privileged to share in the lives of so many around the worlds and now we are starting to know some of the locals here in Rajpur on a deeper level. Rajpur is a community made up of Tibetan's and Indians with the odd foreigner thrown in. In this area there are many Yoga centres which draw international people to come and study Yoga. There are Tibetan monasteries and Hindu temples. And amongst all this we get to live and worship the true and living God.

Each week Chhaya, myself the children and some wonderful friends of ours meet to worship at our place. As a weekly fellowship we minister to the Lord in worship and watch as Holy Spirit speaks to all our hearts. This week in particular he drew us all simultaneously to the importance of our minds being aligned with the mind of Christ. That in the midst of anything our thoughts need to be captured and aligned with what He says about us, His dearly loved children. God is so good.

Very soon (October) Chhaya will be visiting Australia to launch a new business for childrens all natural Eco-friendly clothing. This is very exciting as the Father has been leading the way in this. Please pray for its success and continued favour. This business we are hoping, will help support our work here in Rajpur, while employing locals and providing opportunity to those with little.

Deklin(12) besides schooling has been actively earning money for himself by baking cakes, cookies and slices to sell to local families around. He has been very successful at this and been doing quite well for himself. Mohini(11) has developed a lovely friend who is from an American family living nearby. This has been wonderful for her to have a good close friend we really thank God.

Monika(13) has been doing well improving in her literacy skills. The Lord has provided a person for the moment to assist with her schooling. Monika is also very talented at hair styling and constantly practices on the other girls. She has become a valuable and very loved part of our family. Natarnia(8), is constantly dancing beautifully and singing and writing songs. We love her energy and exuberance for life! Natarnia, Monika and Mohini are also starting to teach dancing to a local preschool so that the little girls can dance in their end of year performance. They are so excited.

Amiya(3) has been attending a really good preschool here in Rajpur and has been enjoying it very much. Our littlest is growing up really fast and developing some good friends. Her friend Levi is probably the best friend she has. Amiya's artistic ability is very good and cute as her dancing also.

Dan as you may know is working at a Dehradun Guitar Company, with a close friend David Murray. He is helping manage the operations and workings of the worskshop as there are 6 young men employed there learning the art of lutherie (guitar making). These guitars are custom guitars of really high quality. Also Dan will be starting an internship with Sounds of the Nations, a ministry which is raising up worshipers and worship songs in around 400 languages. This is a very exciting opportunity to study and worship.

Additionally as always our family has enjoyed young people, mostly singles who have gathered around us. We see this as a wonderful part of our ministry as a family. To bring family to those around us who have none. We love being connected with friends such as David and Melody Murray, who having been here longer than us also have significant ministry in bringing family to the lonely. Psalm 68:6 '...he set the lonely in families...'

Overall living here is enjoyable, Rajpur is a very charming community and we are becoming more acquainted with the locals. We enjoy going grocery shopping locally as we now know the local retailers well. Among the locals here we are finding our place to love and cherish those around us.

Such a lovely little place can sadly still be full of third world realities which accentuates disparity and injustice. There is injustice and inequity in the western cultures yet the same issues can be seen here only to an extreme. This constantly challenges our thinking, our prejudices and our thinking towards ourselves and others. We are continually learning how to love people unconditionally regardless of their religious ideals, theologies, world perspectives. In short our love is required to become more extreme here if we really desire to live as Jesus did. Only from Him can the grace for this be drawn. This can be a challenge, though one we really enjoy living out!

Finally we would love to communicate to the community and friends we have left behind, that we are here to love India. To show this amazing country the love, acceptance and joy of the kingdom of heaven that is available through Jesus. Our goal is to never condemn, judge or compare 'religions' but to see all that are in our view only the way that God sees them and from this understanding love and live accordingly.

Love to all... Daniel, Chhaya, Deklin, Mohini, Monika, Natarnia and Amiya.


To assist us is our venture to bless the nation of India please consider supporting us, both in prayer and financially.  Below are two options of how to go about this, you can either commit to support us on an ongoing basis or a onetime donation:


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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hello....we are still here!!!

Hi all,

Yes I know it has been such a long time since i blogged last.  My apologies!

This photo was taken when we took a trip to Mussoorie in March.  It was a beautiful spot to visit.!
 Since coming here:

  • Chia, for a while had been volunteering at a Cafe with the same name.
  • I (Daniel) have worked with a local custom guitar maker here in Dehradun.  
  • We have been teaching the children every week day.  
  • Deklin has found a couple of jobs to earns some pocket money. 
  • The kids have been making friends with some of the other families around our neighborhood. 
  • Chia has been working with a local textiles company and with her mother to start a business exporting quality fashion items to Australia. 
  • Amiya has started pre-school. 
  • Our family has been making friends and growing relationships with those round us.
So Yes!  We have been busy but we have been learning in this process what it looks like to live and worship.  I recently heard the quote "Worship is when everything in your life is aimed at Jesus!"  And this is what we are seeking to live out.

Before arriving here we were encouraged by a friend that Holy Spirit would graciously bring people to us who would be seeking to live a life surrendered to God, and this he has been doing.  Recently we have had 'aquantances' approach us in various ways and show us that they were interested in christianity and had noticed that we were chrisitans.  This has been encouraging and we continue to ask the Lord for more opportunities like this!

Friends

Amiya and one of her 'best friends' Levi!
We have been so blessed to have come into contact with two families in particular who, from the states, have become close to our family and good friends.

Living in a different country is so much easier when you have friends that understand you and your own culture!

Our children and some friends from the street we live in.  The other white ones are some good friends from the states!
On this day we were celebrating Holi, a festival of colours, if you want to knwo the meaining of the celebration, the eplanation is quite gruesome and about mythical Hindu gods, but anyway, we enjoyed fun with the locals in a colour and water fight!!  Lots of fun!!!

Prem, our local taxi driver, we have been getting to know him and some of his family well!!
Prem drives and old 'ambassador' taxi and has the largest smile in India.  This man knows how to have joy in the midst of trial!!  He is one of two or three in His family who have come to know Jesus!!  Thankyou Lord!



There will be more..... promise.....













Thursday, December 22, 2011

A new place, a larger family!

On Sunday 27th November we arrived in Rajpur, about 6km north of Dehradun.  We turn up at a house that is the property of the Moravian Church and it was much nicer than any expectations we had.  We had booked it blindly for two weeks in case it would not be suitable long term,  however we arrived and were wowed by a lovely large 4 bedroom house with many western features like…..doorways that I (Daniel) fit through, western toilets and…Hot water!!

A main reason for coming to Dehradun was to be closer to Monika and be family for her.  As it has turned out, Monika asked if she could leave her boarding arrangements at the school and be a part of our family and live with us.  All our kids were so excited and Chia and I were delighted to include this precious little one into our fold. 

IMG_0601

Thanks to Chia’s Mum and her husband Peter, we have had the opportunity to Holiday in Goa for Christmas!  On the beach!! Yess!!  This is a great time for our family to solidify our relationship with Monika and be ready to face a new year in 2012.  Monika is fitting in wonderfully and is enjoying her brother and sisters.  We love you Monika!

DSC_0239

Here is Goa, all the locals count as we walk past and exclaim ‘1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Wow so many children!!’  We proudly say ‘Yes they are all ours!’

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Narayan Ashram



We all took a trip up to Narayan ashram, a 2.5 hr drive up the mountains. Our family and the pastor and his family enjoyed a day of fellowship in God's glorious creation.

Yep!!  That was our road cut into the side of the mountain!

These three pictures show a flour mill set up on a creek where they have diverted some of the water to run this mill!  It is so 'old world'  I love it!!



We went in to the Ashram (holy temple) and listened to the history in Hindi which gave those that couldn't understand a chance to pray and releasing the presence of God. We went back outside and Natarnia declared out loud " one day this will be a temple of worship to the one true God " from the mouths of babes! Wow! Amiya was also outside singing "God is speaking to you " over and over, she made this song up and walked around the gardens singing it out.

We thought we should go picnic on the hill overlooking the mountains that surrounded us. We lunched and the kids enjoyed running around the grounds playing together. We finished and as we walked back we noticed everyone was covered in sparkly gold dust. We went into the museum and found some of Gandhi 's ashes and idols of other gods, but the first and last pictures on the walls were interestingly of Jesus and in the middle of the room in a shrine were many idols all black in colour, but a white Jesus on the cross stood out amongst it all! The truth was in hidden all through the Ashram.
It was interesting to see Jesus in this shrine!

We then visited Sosa a village Daniel and I both love, a small place with many old houses with carved wooden doors and windows. We met some relatives and were invited in for our 4th cup of tea that day. We sat in a small room while tea was made and enjoyed a mini concert the kids did singing " my god is so big". We enjoyed our tea and climbed back into the waiting taxi. Gold dust continued to fall in the taxi, signs that make you wonder?.. What a fun and mighty God we serve!


This is the village Sosa!  It is charming, with so much character and history!


Chia's 'Ha Lala'  (great Aunty)

Amiya and Jonathan - best of mates!!


The perfect picnic spot with Pastor Manoj and Rebecca and their family!


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Last days in Dharchula

I, Chia followed an old lady home that is completely bent over and can not stand straight, she begs for money or food from the locals, and they give her a small amount that they can spare on their small wages. I had brought her a bag of essential fruit and veg for an Indian diet, I followed closely behind because I knew she could not carry the bag herself and in the hopes I could visit her another day by finding out where she lived. We reached her house and I was invited inside, I held out the bag towards them, the ladies faces beamed, there were 4 of them in the 6x6 foot room we sat together, this was their whole life in this room! Quickly one of them left and the others and I conversed in our limited grasp of each others languages. Deklin was with me and we were both totally humbled when the younger lady returned with two large glasses full of cold coke and the rest of the bottle she had just bought, one for me and one for Deklin, wow what hospitality and generosity! Give until it hurts without thought but in happiness and love is something we are still not familiar with, how wonderful to learn from those that truly treasure each day as it may be their last! I have visited again and taken different things with me and have been met with the same hospitality every time. We have prayed for this beautiful woman that is bent over we have not yet seen the miracle we know God wants for her but we know she has been loved and now smiles her toothless smile from ear to ear knowing that He cares for her!

I, Daniel had also seen this lady often as we walked around Dharchula and being challenged would stop with the kids to say hello, love on her and pray for her.  Even though we have a language barrier there are no barriers for love.  As I write this the commandment to love one another came to mind.  In the gospel of John, Jesus repeats this 3 times in the space of 3 chapters (John 13-15).  In John 13:34-35, Jesus then went on to add “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

I think St Francis of Assissi was right when he said “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”