Greetings From India

2015-01-08 image-1This picture captures one of the most beautiful sights in the whole world.

After two long flights, a tense encounter with an overly zealous Indian immigration official, and a few anxious moments as my bag was one of the last ones down the carousel, we finally walked out the secure door into the chaotic waiting area that screams, "Welcome to Hyderabad! You're not in Atlanta anymore, Dorothy!"

As I scanned the amazingly diverse crowd, I heard Ellen shout, "There he is!" Right at the same instant my eyes and Sathyabal's eyes connected. His grin spread across his face as we moved to hug each other. Not some polite cross-culturally-sensitive hug, but a sincere embrace shared by two brothers who have grown up as leaders together.

And there was our old friend, Samson, ready to welcome us with beautiful flowers. Ellen isn't just viewed as my wife here, she is loved and respected as "Madam President" -- a title she has never encouraged nor fully embraced!

It's been a day since that scene unfolded, but my mind has already replayed it several times during more than a few interruptions in my first night of sleep.

Greetings like that are precious. And we are blessed to be welcomed that way all over the world. The global network of Walk Thru the Bible is amazing, and it should never be taken for granted.

When William Carey came to India in 1793 I doubt he received such a welcome. And centuries before that, the Apostle Thomas risked his life when he brought the gospel here.

Even today, there are thousands who cross oceans, languages, and cultures to build bridges to unreached people groups. Our ministry builds on the foundations these faithful pioneers establish.

And so, it's good as we celebrate Sathyabal's warm embrace, to pause and remember those who are willing to journey where nobody is waiting for them. There are no hugs. No flowers.

Today there are still 4,000 languages that don't have the Bible. And 3,100 people groups without any Gospel witness.

God's heart is that every person come to know Him. And our calling is to create encounters with the truth that make that possible.

Some plant, some cultivate, some water, but only God makes things grow and brings the harvest.

And after the harvest arrives, the hugs soon follow. Especially between those who never forget that somebody took a risk to bring them the life changing news of Jesus' birth, life, death, and resurrection.

And that's true whether they're from Hyderabad, India or Normal, Illinois.

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