Monday, October 22, 2018

The India Trip - Learning to Trust God - Part 3

For more context about my India trip and why it was such a big lesson in learning to trust for me, read these posts first:
The India Trip - Learning to Trust God - Part 1
The India Trip - Learning to Trust God - Part 2

Returning from Pakistan by plane, the three of us continued on our odyssey.  After landing in Delhi, the next 5 weeks saw us travel by train and spend time encouraging missionaries and churches in Agra, Kanpur, Bhopal, Hyderabad, and Pune.  We took all manner of transportation to get to train stations in each city, but didn't miss a single train.  (Again, see the related posts above for why not missing a train was important to me)

I'm traveling to the Kanpur train station in a rickshaw.
I'm traveling to the Kanpur train station in a rickshaw.
All during this time, religious tension had been building between then Hindus and the Muslims and had actually broken out into riots in some cities.  The day we left Pune for Mumbai this tension erupted into a full scale riot at the Mumbai train station.  We were oblivious to this, totally enjoying the beautiful train trip until our train stopped in the middle of nowhere 100 kilometres outside of the city.  We finally got word that the engineer was refusing to take the train into the station, fearing for the passengers' safety.  All of us waited in the train for what seemed like several hours until a decision was finally made to take the train back to Pune.
Joanne and David doing laundry in Pune
Joanne and David doing laundry in Pune
Arriving back in Pune, we discovered that the American and Canadian consulates had issued travel advisories recommended that their citizens leave India as soon as possible because of the civil/religious unrest.  After some phoning we managed to reschedule our flights back to Texas to the next day, cutting our trip 4 days short.  This meant we had to fly into the Mumbai airport from Pune.   This flight turned out to be super pleasant, as short as it was.  We were given refreshments and warm face cloths for our faces - it was like a spa!  I sat next to Joanne, and David made friends with the young Indian fellow he sat next to.

We arrived in Mumbai early in the evening, and discovered that the city was under curfew.  We couldn't catch a taxi or rickshaw from the domestic airport to the international airport - a rather large problem for us as our flight to London was leaving in a couple of hours later from the international airport that night.  The young fellow that David had chatted with on the flight to Pune noticed our concern and asked if he could help.  We explained the situation and he offered to give us a ride in his car.  We gladly accepted... and then surprise!  God showed us just how in control He was of the whole situation.  It turned out that this fellow was the son of a famous Indian movie director.  His car was a chauffeur driven stretch Mercedes limousine!  Of all the ways to wrap up my lesson of trust and travel with God in India.  I didn't know until recently that Mercedes means mercy, reward, and/or favour.  We put our packs in the trunk and gingerly hopped in the back of that roomy limo, marvelling at God's provision and protection over us.  On the way to the international airport, we drove passed full armoured troop carriers, but no one stopped us.  Our flight from Mumbai left on time with us on board.  We arrived safely home in Dallas 26 hours later.

I'm playing the guitar, singing Sunday school songs  for kids in Vidisha (close to Bhopal)
I'm playing the guitar, singing Sunday school songs
for kids in Vidisha (close to Bhopal)

God's message to me:  Matthew 6:30-30 "If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met."

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