There I was in the wilderness riding my elephant when all of a sudden we came upon a tiger. There was nothing between me and the tiger except my elephant. No leash, no fence, no cage, nothing. I survived. Ask me about the details.
I was in the Kanha National Forest in India in March. In their forest, we saw peacocks in the wild, monkeys, elephants, tigers and other exotic animals.
Of course that is not the reason I went to India. I went to work with some of India's special children. In India, if you are different as a child, you are abandoned and neglected.
One example is that seven of the 125 children who we working with were albinos. We would look at them and say there is nothing really wrong with them except they look different. In India, albinos are left to become beggars.
About 50 percent of the children were blind. There were the lame and children with birth defects. But the ones that really touched my heart were the deaf. About 15 were not able to hear.
I wear two hearing aids and some people accuse me of not being able to hear with them. I have on many occasions tried to learn sign language. But I never really got a handle on it. Why? I have never really needed to communicate to a deaf person.
But not in India. Within 24 hours I had the alphabet memorized. They teach them a different alphabet than American Sign. But it still is English. About half of the population speak some English because of British rule of India as a colony.
Also the Hindi (their national language) alphabet has 90 letters. What a hassle that would be.
So in 24 hours, I was able to communicate with children half way around the world. One of the fun times that I had with the deaf children was when they had them all sitting on the floor, all lined up, and the teachers and caretakers were trying to keep 125 children quiet. Quite a task as it would be with any group of 125 children.
The deaf boys were signing to the girls on the other side of the room. I finally got their attention and signed to them no talking. They all put their hands over their mouths and laughed silently. What a joy.
When I talk to people about India, I always start with the story about the elephant and the tiger. But it was the children and the people of India that I fell in love with.
I had the distinct privilege to speak to the children and some adult assemblies about Jesus. It has to be done carefully to avoid offending the Hindus, Moslems and other religions. The Christians are only a small minority.
But still I had to preach the truth. And I did.
I was reminded that all children belong to our great God. I plan on going back to India in 2011 if the Lord tarries. If you would like to go with me, contact me.
Also, if you would be interested in supporting one of the children, that also can be arranged. May we all find ways in which we can serve Jesus. Especially his children.
(The opinions of this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Inter-Mountain, the Randolph County Ministerial Association or the author's church affiliation.)