After over 30 hours of travel that included four planes our team reached our destination on Saturday afternoon. We were greeted at the small airport by PL and some of his team. PL and his family provided lunch in their home and we had the opportunity to meet some other teams from America that are also working in the area. At the end of the day we were all ready to get some rest to prepare for our first full day in India.
Today we left just after breakfast to visit and worship with a tribal people group in their village. Our drivers dodged cars, motorcycles, buses, bikes, people and even cows as we made our way out of town. As we got close to the village we saw their bamboo stilt houses they have built that can protect them from the floods during the rainy season. We arrived at the church and were greeted with music as they sang songs in their language. Even though we could not understand most of the words (except an occasional Hallelujah and Hosanna) we knew they were worshiping God with joyful and grateful hearts. At one point we had the opportunity to sing "How Great Thou Art" together with them singing in their language and us in English - this was pretty awesome!
Bryan and Dustin provided leadership training during the service. The theme passage was Titus 1:5-9 and they were able to share their insights on the characteristics of Godly leadership. During the lunch break we had the chance to eat and talk with each other. Although only a few of the tribal people spoke English, we were able to learn about each other. We learned many things including that most of the women's clothes are made from fabrics they weave. We also were able to find out how they had shared stories about Jesus with others the first team taught in January.
After worship was over we were invited into the home of one of the church leaders. We saw the amazing construction of the bamboo stilt houses, learned about his family and successfully manuevered up and down the pole ladder for the house.
We will be back in this village on Wednesday and then another team will visit with them on Thursday and Friday. Tomorrow we will begin our training with each team of two working with different groups. Pray for us to be filled with the Holy Spirit during our teaching so we can be effective in any situation. We also ask that you pray for the believers that will be coming to learn - for their safety during travel, their hearts to the open, their minds to be focused, and for them to be eager learners.