Madurai 1st Anniversary Conference

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June 27th 2009
Published: June 27th 2009
Edit Blog Post's been a crazy couple of days. Yesterday was our last day in Coimbatore and we got to hang out with Saji, Sheeba, and the boys at their place until it was time to go to the single's meeting. Debbie and I preached about fear and it went very well. It was a long day that was supposed to end with an overnight train ride. We left the meeting hall and scooped up some dinner on the way to the station only to discover that our train already left. Staying in Coimbatore wasn't really an option since we were all on the schedule to preach today at the Madurai 1st Anniversary Conference. This church was planted 1 year ago with 18 people from Coimbatore and Chennai and 1 year later they have 56 disciples! It would be attended by 3 other churches in that region and Felix and Smiley. Saji called for a long-distance cab service to drive us and we left at midnight. We had a 4-hour drive to work on our lessons. Luckily we were very close to God because we were pretty sure we were going to see him any minute! I would take days of city traffic over 10 more minutes on those roads. It wasn't really the roads that were the problem, they were great. It was when the roads vanished at the exact same time our driver was going 110km/hr while passing a bus into oncoming traffic. No one slept at all and we got into Madurai around 4am. We tried to get a little sleep and went to join the conference. Phil delivered his lesson on the "Journey of a Missionary" right when we got there and everybody was very inspired by his life, family, travels, and convictions on evangelism. We had a fun time playing a game somewhat like musical chairs before Madhan delivered his message on Change. Madhan and his wife lead the Madurai church. It was a great message that warned the disciples how uncomfortable yet necessary change is. We then had a communion message by a brother named Graham who will be moving to Washington DC soon followed by lunch. Immediately after lunch is when I did my lesson to the men and Laurel/Debbie spoke to the women. Our lesson was entitled "Change Thy Ways" and was about what needed to change in our characters if the new churches were going to succeed. Laurel spoke from a married's perspective and Debbie spoke to the singles. I talked about the need for leadership and humility and both lessons were well received. Felix closed out the afternoon portion of the conference with an awesome lesson about standing strong in the face of fear and adversity. We decided to try and get some rest so we came back to the hotel and I've been writing this while trying to communicate with my wife since my cell phone does not seem to be working. Any minute Felix is supposed to call so we can go meet up with some of the brothers and sisters. So that is the blow-by-blow but we will try to post again with some of the deeper lessons we are learning and some of the inspiring stories we keep hearing from our amazing family! For now I will leave you with two small pearls of wisdom: It's a good thing our faith doesn't depend on trains and God loves every single one of his children!
Love you all, I miss my family,


27th June 2009

Hey again- Glad you made it to Madurai! I'm sure that cab ride was one where you were all silently praying to see the light of day....!! We are OK here. Ben, your car is dead. Really. Undrivable. Unsafe. I can't believe you've been using it until now! Yikes! We need to talk about that. Other than that, no real drama. Freddie might be teething. He hasn't been sleeping well since you left. Ev is funny as usual. Had a great time yesterday playing "Mama, Daddy and baby" where Ev was Daddy and pooh bear was baby. He has it down. He even said "I'm Daddy. Here's my coffee!" And something about going to work. He's really imitating you! Well that's about it. I'm so jealous about that pic of Laurel on the motorcycle. I can imagine it so well, even down to the smells and the dirty warm air hitting my face... Love you all Jen

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