So, this really incredible thing happened while we were in India. It happened there, and it was happening here. My husband shared the following post on Facebook and I couldn't say it better myself. So, friends, I give you a post from Wade.God sent me to India for a second time in January 2013. My first trip to India was with a medical team and I (pharmacist) was in a small room most of trip - dishing out medications and information. During this most recent trip, I was out walking the tea gardens and telling people about my Jesus. And I loved the change of scenery! God showed me many things on this trip, but the one that I am most eager to share with everyone is the story of "Lance". See, technically Lance was not even in India with us, but in a very real way...he was.
Lance will, in my mind, be forever linked with India. A year ago, It was because of our church's upcoming trip to India that Lance and I met for lunch one day to discuss it. He was interested in going and since I had been before, he wanted to ask some questions. We were instant friends and continued to meet every other week for lunch and accountability. During these lunches, we shared our hearts and our friendship continued to grow. (A side note to this story -if you're not meeting with other Christians for accountability, you should be.) During these lunches, we talked about our struggles and our passions. We also discovered that both of our families struggled with the difficulty to have children. One day, Lance confirmed that he was headed to India, and I was happy he was going.
Our small team from Lifepoint was finally assembled. All of us had gathered gear and some of us had physically trained for this particular journey that was a half a world away. About 7 or 8 months before the trip, Lance shared the great news with me that his wife was pregnant! He then let me know she was due the week after our trip to India....ooh. Incredibly, with much prayer and faith, Lance chose to go to India...with the risk of missing the birth of his firstborn. I was truly inspired by his faith and as a group, we prayed for their "bun" to stay in the "oven" till we got back from India.
The day before we left for India had arrived and we were ready. And that's when tragedy struck. Lance's mom had a severe aneurysm and was rushed to the hospital . Doctors said things look grim and chances are, she will not recover. Lance was instantly thrown into a decision he didn't want to make. He had felt like he was supposed to go to India and be a part of our team, but his mom lay on her death bed...and his family was hurting. I was hurting too. I had become invested in Lance as a friend and teammate and my heart hurt for his. With his mom critically ill, God called Lance to stay home and be a pillar of strength to his family in their time of need.
I was heart broken over Lance's situation. Why had God revealed a need for him to travel to India and a day before the trip, then wreck his world? As the hours ticked down to our departure, I continued to be deeply hurt. I prayed some of the most tearful and earnest prayers of my life. During those prayers, I was compelled to take Lance's story to India. See, I knew in India , there was a small gathering of God's children whose faith had been sharpened by a lifetime of persecution. A people who had been disowned by their earthly family, b/c of their choice to be adopted into an eternal family. That's the kind of people I would want praying for me, and that's the kind of people I would want praying for Lance.
So we traveled to India as Lance stayed back with his family. But we also carried Lance with us...in our hearts and prayers. Upon arrival, I had asked Jiwan (the local pastor and modern day Paul) if when we gathered with the local believers, if they would pray for Lance. Already at this time, a small amount of doubt had creeped into my head. I was asking for specific prayers for Lance and not his mom , b/c I had already believed his mom was " too far gone". I know how ridiculous that statement is..."too far gone" from God...never! But isn't Satan good at using that ole' trick. Many believe their souls are "too far gone"...forgetting or not knowing that God's reach is infinitely long. But I had stopped praying for Lance's mom healing and instead focused my prayers for Lance. It was a day later, at the local church, that I became aware and ashamed of my weak faith.
At the local church, Jiwan translated from (another team member) Jeff's words the story of Lance's mom to the local believers. Jeff and Jiwan asked a specific prayer for the healing of Lance's mom and the powerful prayers began to resonate off the walls of the church immediately. I was broken and joined the chorus of prayers. Looking back on that prayer, my mind conjures images of a small flicker of light in a vast darkness (believers in a evil land) and as the praying begins, the flicker of light becomes a radiant beam of light. Something happened...and it was powerful.
Throughout the rest of the trip, prayer became my biggest weapon. Wherever we went I prayed... for the believers, the lost, the confused, and I continued to pray for Lance. Many incredible things took place on the trip, and when the time came to leave, I was saddened. However, within minutes of getting off the plane in America, joy penetrated my heart.
While in India, I was unable to connect to the internet or social media. The best I could do was pass short messages to my brother and he would post updates of our trip for me. So after we landed, I pulled up Lance's Facebook page and discovered his mom had awaken! She recognized her family. She was eating. She was healing! Tears began to creep into my eyes and joy into my heart. Shortly after, I called Lance and we praised God together. I told him of how he really never left our group. I told him how I had been weak in faith, but others were not. He told me how the doctors couldn't explain it and that every additional moment with his mom is a gift. Prayer is powerful and it was proven. God was given great glory!
See, it was then I began to realize a fraction of God's plan. If Lance had never had the plan to go to India, then I never would have built the strong connection with him. If Lance had not of risked missing the birth of his firstborn, he would have never became a part of "the group". If the group and I had not already been personally invested in Lance, we would not have taken Lance's story to India with us. If we had not taken his story with us, then a people of incredible faith in India would never had prayed for his mom. But because this all happened, Lance's mom is healing, Lance's faith has grown, his family's faith has grown, my faith has grown, the group's faith has grown, and hopefully whoever hears this story -their faith will grow. And most importantly, God was given much glory.