I am still thinking of going on that day trip to Agra on the 28th - I don't know when I'm going to get to India again.
I'm in a free Internet cafe that is provided by Hotel Ajanta... the keyboard is bad, but it is free...
I didn't have Indian food yesterday but stayed in my room with slimfast bars and bottled water. I needed a break from the airline food the day before.
The flight was very full - there was no stretching out at all, but terminal 1 in Toronto was quite nice....
Please have people pray that there is no problem seeing my friends Faizal and Bobby - since Faizal may have extra speaking times for me and I'd like to meet Bobby and his wife too. I still haven't heard anything more from
It is quite cold here at night. That would be ok, but there is no insulation, dust and cool air blow through the windows, and I slept with my winter coat on the first night. Then I discovered the heater which I used last night....
I miss both of you very much. Sorry I didn't get to say goodbye Lorna, I was packing pretty late on Thursday... until past 1 am Friday morning.
by the way, I saw a bit of Indian Idol yesterday... it was all in Hindi, but it was similar to Canadian Idol. Otherwise it was cricket, politics or Bollywood, all in Hindi except the cricket...
PS Lorna, let Fr John know that I'm ok - they have good bottled water here, although I brought 14 bottles of my own... and please pass on message to the ladies in the 4th day group...
Monday 16 January
Laurie-Ann phoned from Lahore to say she had arrived safely, and that all is well.
[Our prayers answered]
Tuesday 17 January
Greetings from Lahore! I've just arrived and already I will be speaking in the morning at the morning prayer service - 15 minutes, then with 15 minutes translation. All my talks are longer than that so I will have to improvise with something.... perhaps some testimony from my Marsabit days that was 15 minutes. (A short talk on Wisdom and the Corinthians). I did tell them that the healing meeting is on Christian unity.
Many of the buses here are painted in dazzling colours... like driving paintings. It is more open then Delhi - that was really crowded, and quite dark spiritually. I haven't had a sense of Lahore yet, but that will come as I sleep here.
Health wise I am fine at this point, although most of my meals have been slimfast bars and I had my first Indian meal at lunch. I just may lose weight while I am here, depending on how much chai I drink!!!
Fr John, the Fazal family send you greetings and they have asked about you. An hour ago, the oldest, who is pastor, just decided to calmly dial my home number, which reached Lynn and Tony. What a special gift that was. Last week shortly after the fundraising dinner, I was asked about bicycles for pastors (apparently they need them here too), but I was asked too late. If it was only a few days before that I would have been able to mention something at the dinner. I think I have enough for two bicycles...
Blessings, love and hugs to you all
PS Tony - forgot to tell you that I'm going to be on the local cable tv - taped onto a video cd -- would like to bring back a copy... it may work in a karaoke machine like the Chinese video cds...
PPS I think I'm going to be stretched further... pray as the Holy Spirit leads you!!!
Next morning –
The Holy Spirit woke me up with a dream that I had at Bethesda while doing soaking prayer – the same dream/vision. I shared this in a completely new talk this morning and it went well. It turns out that I will be doing more speaking at different meetings (they didn’t tell me that earlier and I don’t think it may work out to work with my friend Faisal at all.
Also I was asked to sponsor 10 bicycles… and sending money after the fact could be feasible… I think they were shocked that I didn’t have a ‘budget’ for this… but the request was given very late, I had no time to let my supporters know, and as far as I knew I only had to cover the airfare…
We will see what God will do…Tony, I remember you said that wiring money is an option… esp. after I do a presentation about the Paki stan
mission. I took a short video during worship. Low light level but
otherwise representative. The worship is almost as demonstrative as Kenya. And my shawl kept falling off my head… otherwise it went well at the morning prayer…
Keep praying as the Holy Spirit leads… tendonitis is bad right now though from doing all the ARM tax receipts and typing all at once.
Love to all
Thursday 19 January
I'm finding it a real stretch of faith and journey here - it is more difficult than Africa, but I know it gets easier the longer you stay. I am ever mindful of representing St Paul's. By the way, I gave $650 US towards pastor's bicycles and we will have to wire more at a later time.
There are quite a few people who consider themselves both Muslim and Christian (perhaps they stay Muslim to get the benefits?) I have to think on this one.
It was amazing what God did in my heart at the first big meeting.
The morning prayer meetings
are times I have been teaching many days and I did one huge meeting so far on Wednesday night. I was extremely nervous at first but found that the Lord did a miracle in me - when I walked near the big tent where the meeting was the faith level of the people was very high and it gave me such joy.
Despite it being so cold last night there were 20 thousand people there, and it went very, very well. Pastor asked me last minute to speak only 25 minutes (not including translation) and I was surprised - and said he should have told me earlier. I managed to cut as much as I could from the talk but still be good spiritual food for the people. It was amazing what the Lord did, even with translation troubles from time to time. It was recorded and I hope to bring home a CD and DVD of the service (and hopefully next week's service as well).
Sometimes I don't always see my hosts - they are extremely busy with ministry and often have the cell phones away from the house.
Sunday they have a meeting all morning which I will be expected to go to. They go day by day, minute by minute, 'flying by the seat of their pants' in ministry. All day they go visiting, praying for people for healing, pastoral care and evangelism, and many of the other pastors work in Karachi and other places, so its not just in Lahore. This is a bigger ministry than I had thought.
I went to the home of a dear lady named Aisha, who is broken but very open to the Lord. I have been put into healing/prophetic ministry here because they recognize my gifts as more than a teacher (although they call me a preacher). But at other times they can't take me with them.
Saturday 21 January
Hi Tony, Lorna and Fr. John
It's been a real roller coaster ride here. The gifts of healing and prophecy have been recognized and the prayers requested of me are quite challenging, but it is God who is the healer. Leaning on God is a good place to be.
Culture shock ebbs and flows, esp. with differences in how things are done and the almost continual reference to my weight. Sometimes I think if I hear "you have a big stomach" or why are you so fat one more time I will scream. They don't know that it's offensive to say it that way. Anyway I mostly laugh it off and say something funny, or I say that if they want me to 'slim down' that they shouldn't feed me so much food! Actually I have been eating very little since I have an almost constant slight tummy ache from the pollution dust. It's not major, but it does affect me in a way that I don't know if I'm hungry or not, and would rather not eat.
I am meeting Bobby (an internet friend) today at 4 pm, and spending the entire day with Faisal on Sunday, so I am happy that I am seeing my other friends. Misunderstandings are forgiven and thank you for praying about that.
Today the power went off in the middle of my talk about the glorious appearing and I had to shout (which they wanted me to do in the first place, but you know that's not my style). I also had to cut the talk down (as I have before) and it is again challenging. I don't have anyone local to share stuff with because these dear people just don't understand... but that is where my other Pakistani friends come in.
I had a full body massage yesterday to take away pain in my back and arm - I will likely not do that again, but it was for over an hour and approx. $120 US (2,000 Pakistani rupees). The woman who did this is very poor, but excellent at what she does.
Tony, again people want to meet you and I've been asked if we can sponsor Rizwan to come for 15 days to do ministry and meet Canadian people. He is such a sweet boy with the heart of a pastor. I told him that since Peter Kebaso wants to come from Kenya for something similar that the timing would likely be later rather than earlier. I said I would pray about it.
I am still sleeping under 7 hours at night... when you sleep in someone's living room, which is in use during the day, you can't easily take naps inbetween. Anyway I'm doing well otherwise, and I hope that I will be losing some weight.... and Pastor's wife Nida has offered to cut my hair (when I told her I hadn't had my hair cut in over three years since I would use the money for it towards something else (like mission trips...)
Love to you all
PS Fr John - the next Wednesday big meeting will be led by the heads of the Pakistani Anglican church - so my holiness talk may not happen as planned... Pastor is seeing about me still giving testimony and that prophecy I was given about Pakistan and holiness. And... since they are Anglican, I can officially greet them from St Paul's, Ottawa diocese, ACC.
I am happy that I will meet the Anglicans too!
Sunday 22 January
I had a lovely day with my internet friend Bobby and his wife in Lahore yesterday - an afternoon to be myself and receive from them. You know what it is like when a connection is so strong that you want to stay connected a long, long time? It was like that. Bobby's wife Shumaila was sick and she got better after I prayed for her.
This morning I was taken to near the Indian border by my friend Faisal (who works for the social outreach of the United Methodist Church of Pakistan), and I spoke at two congregations and toured neighbourhoods built for refugees. They undertake nearly every social outreach - they were even in Muzzafarabad,
where there are 15 Christian families... They need engineers (to do
drainage systems to combat cholera - like conditions) and
nurses for the medical outreach. I loved working with the local pastors and am in the bishop's office right now.
He is a wonderful man who loves missions - kind of reminds me of Bishop Malcolm at ARM.
Anyway, I have an invitation for next year - this one is better than coming back to the present ministry with the Fazal family... but I told them about my plans for school and leaving my job at least partially when I go to school. This ministry does not expect pastors bikes etc and is blessing me.
It has been amazing here, although I still prefer one-on one ministry like we do in St Paul's healing team....
I have been asked to visit some more centres tomorrow and said I would only have part of the afternoon free, and I will have three and a half hours (12:30 to 4 pm). That way it will not be in the way of my talks at ELMI...
Tuesday 24 January
I will be sending another email if I can - this system is extremely slow.
I am staying with Esther's fiance Daimond and his family. Daimond is like a brother - very funny and always trying to keep me smiling.
I spoke at the big meeting again, wearing the yellow shalwar kameez, and spoke on holiness and the return of Christ- that the bride would be ready for her husband (Jesus). What is a God thing is that the yellow outfit is something a Pakistani bride wears the day before her wedding. And the vision of Jesus in a white shalwar kameez and turban was of the wedding!
I spoke to Faisal - his mom is making me another shalwar kameez, and they got you a kurta (shirt). Even the bishop wants to give me a gift.
An auto rickshaw
I am hoping to see Bobby and Shumaila tomorrow. Nida wants to take me to a salon, but apparently Pakistani hair cuts for curly hair are non existent and they would straighten it. I don't think I'd like that...
Got to go. More later.
Friday 27 January
Dear Tony (copied to Lorna and Fr John)
woooooooo!!!! (re election).
That is very good news. I have bad news now. Someone broke into my bags while I was staying at the Fazal home and stole money from me. Now this means there will be no Taj Mahal. The Fazals are very upset for me, and Esther emptied out her own account to give me the equivalent of $100 US to tide me over and gave me back $200 US that I had given her.
I am in shock, but have a strange peace. That person who stole the money will be dealt with by God and I've asked for a 3 fold restoration of what was taken from me. I suppose I can see the Taj mahal another time. Also I've developed a nasty cold and bought joshanda tea for it... I finally sucumbed to the Lahore dust and the late nights, early mornings. Most of this is spirtual warfare because of the many healings and deliverances.
Faisal also is enlisting some Pakistanis to help tide me over as well, although I told him that they have less than I do....
There have been countless healings where ever I have prayed, encouragement and deep teaching. Now they know the difference between preaching and teaching.
Faisal came this morning with a shalwar kameez for me, a white shirt for you, and other gifts. I have bought very little apart from herbal tea and the massages, which were cheaper than I calculated - 50 Cdn each. My arm is a bit better and the massage did my body good, although I do have bruises.
I stayed in Pastor Daimond's home for two nights - it was much quieter...
Unfortunately I have not seen Bobby again since he works nights in a call centre so the timing during the week is not good for him.
I will email you again from India.
Saturday 28 January
I don't know if you've been receiving news from Tony about the mission, but he has posted my emails online off the prayer letter. Mission was extremely successful in terms of healing ministry and teaching. But at great cost to me, including days of constant remarks about my weight (until God helped me put a stop to it) and I was robbed, so I had less to gift with in ministry and shop with. I've not bought anything for myself other than joshanda (herbal tea for colds), 2 full body massages, and basics like food and taxi in Delhi. I have been loaded down with gifts from my friend-brother Faisal who has a ministry connected with a major Pakistani church. I worked with him and the bishop for two days... and it was great. I also got to spend one afternoon with my American Pakistani friend Bobby.
I am going to the Taj Mahal this morning - by taxi, and I may have time to see a few other things on the way... I had thought that I would forgo this orginally but then thought, well, otherwise I'd be waiting in Delhi at th e airport all day, so this is better. I fly out very, very late tonight.
Don't worry about lifting my bags. I will do that, and I trust that they are no more than 23 kg.
I'm off to check out and put my bags in left luggage (I almost typed lost
luggage!) BTW, I have the first big healing meeting on cd-dvd. - three discs. It was before I wore the yellow shalwar kameez, which by the way IS bridal - the bride wears yellow the day before the wedding - which was absolutely perfect because my talk on holiness (rewritten) included about the Bridegroom's return and a lot about weddings and end times...
Sunday 29 January
Taj Mahal was terrific. Photos don't do it justice. The marble inlay work is amazing... very painstaking. I bought your mum her birthday gift in Agra - a lovely black dressing robe.
I have a bad case of the sniffles...
Monday 30 January
L-A called after touch-down in Toronto. Tiring flight - 3 hours on the tarmac in Zurich - but safe now in Canada! Praise God! So good to hear her voice.
L-A's guide in Agra, Paddam Sharm