By Jon & Shelley George
It’s our second trip to Mumbai as part of a medical missions team from Seven Mile Road Church partnering with Bombay Teen Challenge (BTC). Although this has only been our first full day since our arrival, we can already appreciate some unique perspectives to this trip. We left Philadelphia on Good Friday, in a week that most of Christianity upholds as a “Holy week”, marking the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior. It just so happened that this week was also the Hindu holiday known as “Holi–the Festival of Colors”? While this part of the world indulged in throwing bright, vibrant colored powders at each other heralding the onset of spring, we realized that much of this world was ignorant of the true “holy” meaning of this week–that the very Son of God took upon flesh to carry on his crucified body the burden of sins of all mankind.
So, it was only appropriate that despite the jet lag, lack of sleep, and fatigue from the transcontinental flight, that all of us readily woke up for the 6 am Easter Service at our very own Jessy Nadar’s home church in Mumbai. And despite being lost in Tamil translation through some parts of the service, the tie that binds the body of believers could not be suppressed but was rather emphasized via the inter-racial and inter-cultural unified celebration of Christ’s resurrection. Jessy’s parents were more than wonderful hosts along with the gracious members of their church. While one could not deny the Spirit of Christ within the body of the church (the people), one could also not deny the beauty of the physical structure of this church (the building), built by the British in 1833–it survived the test of time and stood as a testament of God’s grace. Our excitement did not end with the people and the architecture. At the conclusion of the service we had a wonderful time of fellowship as Jessy’s parents demonstrated their love to 7MR for supporting their daughter, and catered a delicious breakfast of vada and idli along with sambar and chutney in honor of their guests–us!!!
And then fatigue and food coma caught up to us, and we crashed upon return to our rooms at the YMCA. But not for long…..we were up within a couple of hours for lunch, shopping, sights, vistas, sounds, and scents of Mumbai. Yet through all of this, the undeniable dichotomy of social class in this city was all too evident. But thanks be to God for His indescribable gift (II Cor 9:15). We go to bed tonight in excitement to travel to Navi Mumbai tomorrow morning to convey that message of hope through our medical service to a community that has not yet received it.