Onward Christian Soldiers: Days 2 & 3 of Mission Aurangabad
Day 2: Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!
If Day 1 was anything to go by, the young team was geared up and ready for another day full of the Holy Spirit. And with the Word for devotion being ‘Be ready for God’s surprises and to surprise the devil’, the anticipation just rose to another level. It went further high when we were told that we would be visiting places where there are no churches yet!
Excitement kept building through the journey as people of God danced and worshipped even in the bus, thus quelling all fears of tired bodies! Even as we waited for police permission at Fullambari to conduct our first street evangelism for the day, youngsters who couldn’t control the fire burning inside them began with the customary song, worship and dance, next to a compound, which incidentally hosted the police station! The gospel skit brought it with the customary laughter and the message behind it, while other young men and women distributed the gospel literature to the audience.
That wasn’t all! Fullambari’s Main Chowk witnessed another round of worship, choreography and skit, followed by a message. So much was its impact that a man invited us to his own village! The village was so desperate in need of God that the entire population – children and elders alike – were addicted to alcohol, because there was no water available. The local pastors took down his number and assured him that his village will be visited by them soon.
Not too far away from the hustle-bustle of Fullambari was Bilda – a quiet village, where one could hear a child crying within a square kilometre radius. The ‘Aika Aika Aika’ strategy adopted at Ranjangoan was repeated at Bilda. Gram Panchayat’s office verandah became our crusade ground, after we did a whole circumference of the small village. It was almost like Joshua’s army marching around the city, as the walls of Jericho came tumbling down! Street play, dances, songs preceded the evangelistic message. Villagers started flocking for prayer – regardless of their caste, religion, language. They needed deliverence. We gave them Jesus! And our Deliverer did not disappoint. Demons were released, sick were healed, and lost were found. And God signed off perfectly when a crippled man (who needed to be supported on either side to take even one step) started walking without anybody’s help. Youngsters’ joy knew no bounds. Shouts of praise reverberated across the Panchayat as we jumped high like there’s no tomorrow. We may soon see a congregation in the area.
We moved on. Lunch was the perfect energizer at Chauka. It gave us enough energy to shout out or scheduled programme in the evening at 6 at the local school ground. That’s when the devil decided to play his dirty games. Opposition. Threat of harm and disruption. All this, even as some local kids were being taught some action songs and another team dedicated itself to a time of prayer and intercession. Even though we did get permission from the local Sarpanch to go ahead with the programme, the local pastors deemed it fit to conduct the programme at the front yard of the only believer in the area.
When God is upto something, no tricks of the devil can even come close to His plans. The front yard may have been smaller the school ground, but the Lord had arranged for one big party! The Word on the ‘Miracle at Cana’ was an ideal background as localites – from children to youngsters to old people – all came forward to experience the touch that would fill the emptiness in their lives. Jesus filled their lack. Kids started coming forward for prayers for themselves, and for their parents. With tears filling their eyes, it was evident that they found their Daddy in Jesus! If the devil stopped the kids’ meeting to continue at the ground, he couldn’t stop the Lord from displaying ‘Who’s the boss’ for children all around were finding The One they could call their own.
Youngsters thronged wanting to experience the peace of God. And wanted the prayer meeting to happen “everyday!” Folks who had never even heard about Jesus properly were now talking words of faith. They were talking about God’s plans and purposes for the soon-to-start congregation. There was a new army being raised. An army who previously had no idea where they were heading, but now had Jesus as their Commander-in-Chief! Indeed, a church was born in a believer’s front-yard!
There was so much joy in the bus while we were on our way back to the hostel that we did not want to leave that place. Sadly though, some youngsters had to be back in Mumbai for the Sunday morning worship in their respective home churches. With a heavy heart, some of us, including this writer, bid adieu to Aurangabad.
Day 3: Strengthening the Body of Christ
The remaining warriors attended a combined worship service on Sunday with the churches in Aurangabad. They strengthened the Body of Christ with inspirational Word and Worship and a beautiful time of ministering, which went on till 4 PM! An altar call for ministry yielded a lot of future labourers coming forward. Yet, there were sick who wanted to be prayed for. Deaf could hear, arthritis disappeared – healings continued in the church as well.
The team then visited a rehabilitation centre dedicated for children with HIV, where the youngsters ministered to the children with stories, skits, action songs, etc. A personal interaction made the children feel loved as the team talked, joked, played around and distributed fruits to the kids. It was an experience that was a perfect ending to a missions’ trip that was completely God-ordained.
We started with zero in our accounts when we started planning for this mission. That was a big enough cue for us to step out in faith and believe in God’s providence. And He did provide, and how! Youngsters took the onus upon themselves to raise money for the trip – not just for their own expense, but even aiming for a surplus so as to provide for the ministers and ministry in Aurangabad. With some serious faith and prayer, they went beyond expectations. To cut a long story short, Jehovah Jireh! As if that was some sort of a surprise.
As we stretched our legs and lied down in our beds at home for a well-deserved rest, all we could do was thank God for His faithfulness, and pray for the pastors who worked tirelessly in the Lord’s vineyard – not just in Aurangabad, but across this great nation. We came to realise how the Body of Christ, when united under the banner of Christ, can touch the very heart of God, making Him melt even the stone-like hearts in this country!
Here are some more pictures for you to enjoy! Love seeing more pics? Check out our Mission Aurangabad album on the Rebuilders page.
Also, we hope you did check out our report of Day 1 of Mission Aurangabad.