The year was 2014. I had graduated college a few months before and was now working as an intern for the Dallas Baptist Association. Life seemed to be progressing well. Until one Monday afternoon...
The other interns and I were invited to the weekly pastor's luncheon that the DBA put on. The intention was to introduce us as the interns and to allow us to meet other area pastors. The meeting itself went well and I got to network a bit. Then, one of the last items on the agenda was an announcement about a possible missions opportunity in India. My desire was to go to Japan so I wasn't that interested. However, the Spirit would not let it leave my mind. So I gave my contact info saying I wanted to know more.
Fast forward two months. My internship is almost over and I am working part time at Jimmy Johns. I get a call from an unknown number. It's a man named Dr. Chatla from India. He says that the DBA had given him my info. I was extremely cautious. I didn't remember giving the DBA permission...oh! The mission opportunity! Wait, was he actually calling me? I tried explaining that I wasn't a pastor but an intern and he would probably want someone on staff. He said that I was the only one who put my name forward. Wh...really?
So, we met at his hotel in the lobby a few days later. His association was having an end of the year meeting and conference. He wanted me to preach at it. I refused. Said that he never even saw me preach. This man, whom I had known for less than 30 mins, looked me in the eye and said, "I know you can preach. You will come. I believe this."
I was blown away. This kind of stuff happens outside the movies? I kind of felt like Luke Skywalker being handed the lightsaber for the first time. I told him I would pray about it. He responded, almost nonchalantly, "My plane leaves tomorrow evening. Call around lunch." After a night of little sleep and much prayer, I called him and said I would do it the next morning.
Two and a half months later, I was boarding a plane on Christmas Eve. I had a small inkling that this trip would change me. There was no way I could have known how much.
Stay tune for the second part of my India adventure!
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May he make his face shine upon you and give you peace!
That's all for now travelers. See ya next time!