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Impact India 360

What an amazing day. God has really blessed this trip and I am in awe of what an incredible team he has put together. It’s been very hard being here without my father, Craig Mayes. This is his first year not coming to India, and his first time watching someone in the family go without him. I think of him every moment because this place is filled with memories. They are memories of the battle we fought together in order to build a kingdom for God. It feels weird to not have him here. It was nine years ago, I was eleven, the first time we came. Since then I have really watched a kingdom grow in Jesus’ name. What an encouragement.

This morning I had the opportunity of teaching at chapel. I was told the night before and was worried about what to teach. I am not great with the last minute thing. As I was laying in bed last night I suddenly knew exactly what to say. I gave them the message that my family, as one team, has been learning this past year. I believe my uncle Jim has as well. In John 9 there is a story about how Jesus healed a blind man. This is a beautiful and complex passage that has manifested into something very different for my family lately. The key is not in the middle or end of the passage, but in the beginning. It says: “As Jesus went along he SAW”. The idea is that as we go through life we have the opportunity to really follow Jesus by SEEING people. Truly seeing something requires us to be looking for it in the first place. Jaya and his extended family already do that so well, and it has been a huge catalyst for what my family is now doing in NYC, and for what I believe a lot of great people are now doing in their lives. We are so blessed to have witnessed CEM grow.

After Chapel I went into town with Lakshmi, Jaya’s wife, and Dave Droste. We went to run what I thought would be a few “quick” errands. To our surprise we returned at 1:00 pm. Dave and I laughed every time Lakshmi would stop the jeep at yet another store or tailor. Like…”Are you kidding me?” It was hilarious. However, going into town with her was a great experience. Standing in the street in the city of Rahjumundry is overwhelming. The flood of people that surrounded drenched me with emotion. How could there be this many people all surviving, feeling loved and cared for? The answer: they’re not. Although their faces are painted with smiles, the density of this city is too much to bear at heart. The encouragement came from watching Lakshmi walk down the street and wave to people she knew working in the shops. She conversed in the stores she is a regular at. I began to think: If Lakshmi can intervene in lives like this, and the growing body of Christ here can as well, then this city becomes smaller. Our God is the God of the impossible.

This evening was the MTS graduation. I have attended a number of these in the past but none of them have measured up to this one. Bottom line: My uncle Jim was dressed in a sequence-like purple gown and had to sit on stage during the whole ceremony. To Jaya’s dismay our team had a bit of hard laughter tonight. Many comments were said to the effect of:”Only in India”. Bugs were flying in our noses and out our ears, the speakers were buzzing and deafening and yet they expect us not to laugh. This, my friends, is India. A million noises can be coming from every direction and no Indian will blink. They have cows in the middle of their highways.

They asked us to sing a song at the end of graduation and we obliged. Jeff led us in: “How Great is Our God”, a song that only half of us knew the lyrics to. As we stood in front of the microphone and began, every musical note known to mankind poured out of our mouths. The sound was atrocious. Jeff Petherick and I began to shake with laughter. As our laughter grew our singing became broken and soon the only ones left singing and not laughing were the ones who didn’t know the words. Figures.

Amidst all of the laughter, there was a serious joy. I was invited to stand on stage and help hand out the diploma stuff. As the MTS graduates passed me by, I thought of what is to come for them. I thought of the battle they have to face. They are going to a serious war. There were at least ten women who graduated. WOO HOO. They are all precious and I got an opportunity to hang with them in class the other day. They have great hearts, and some of them are my age! There faces and names are imprinted in my mind and I will be praying that God will bless their ministry.

Ever since we landed here I can’t stop smiling.

-Megan Mayes

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