Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lakhimpur prayer encounters

Our first awesome leg of our PFC global encounter with Greg Von Tobel, Don Szolomayer, Scott Minter, and me was in Lakhimpur in the Khiri U.P.  We trekked three hours from Lucknow into the countryside of India for the North India Prayer Leadership Conference from February 18-23.

We met a broad spectrum of international missionaries who were invited by Roderick Gilbert, the host, who opened his 20-acre sugar cane and what farm for 3500 worshipers.

While Katharine delivered me to Sea-Tac Airport, I was incredibly blessed by Travis Allen as we shared prayer and encouragement around my trip.  Just before leaving Greg Von Tobel received an uplifting email from Howie Pollock from Steel Lake Presbyterian Church in Federal Way and now in Boise, Idaho on my behalf.  I was almost blessed to tears.

As many as received Him
Throughout the lengthy flights from Seattle to Amsterrdam, New Dehli, along with taxi rides to our ministry destinations, the Lord brought me back to a mind and spirit for Scripture memory review in the Gospel of John 1:11-18, 3:16-19 and 36; and  5:24.  I was struck by the stunning promise of John 1:12, "as many as received him..."

Wilson and Sheela George
Scott playing his mandolin
We met Pastor Wilson and Sheela George, from Chandigarh.  Wilson writes worship music and has recorded 26 albums.  Sheela preaches and teaches through Assembly of God and other churches. Scott Minter shared and played for Wilson and was privileged to play in a worship service at his invitation Friday morning.

Greg gave message to large tent on Thursday about 11.  Around 150 came forward for first time decisions and maybe three times that many came forward for healing prayer.  I participated in laying hands on and praying for those who came forward.

On several occasions throughout our time, Scott was blessed to play his mandolin.

Don, Scott, and I made a 30 minute presentation exhorting women to visit women and juvenile youth in India.  I spoke for ten minutes from Matt. 28:19-20 urging the women hearers to making disciples of all nations in the prisons and jails when they returned home..

Restricted to missions headquarters
Among the missions teams active at the prayer conference was a contingent from the Seattle area.  As two members of that team left for home Thursday, we learned their pictures were taken in a newspaper with an accompanying article accusing the conference of forced conversions by foreigners based on second and third hand quotes.  Nobody was quoted by name. 

A group of police interviewed or investigated Roderick about the multiple foreigners proselytizing around the conference on his private farm site.  As a result, the foreign missionaries were restricted to the conference headquarters house.  We could move around outside as long as we had no perceived contact with Indians nor their contact with us even to greet us.

It appeared our public ministry with still 3500 participants eager to have us touch them, take their pictures, and pray over them by touching their heads would be restricted heavily if not outright prohibited.

First conference presentation
We finally were allowed to carry out our two-hour PFC teaching conference session.  I spoke on working with staff, the code of conduct, and networking to build teams.  I seemed to relax and feel confident and free in speaking 

The drama with the outside photographers and police continued.  Roderick showed us a 16-inch knife in a bag was discovered on the grounds in the mid-afternoon. 

Police blue and red lights again
In the evening, four paparazzi-type photographers came back on the grounds and were detained by Roderick's team.  One photographer somehow jumped off a balcony and escaped.  The cameras were confiscated and the three accused were encircled by women until the police arrived.  The foreign missionaries again were restricted to the headquarters site.

We left on Saturday the 23rd encouraged and ready for our Lucknow phase which would call us to even deeper focused prayer as we watched the Lord do awesome things and the enemy work to tear down.

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