Wednesday, July 22, 2009

From Pastor Todd Ohlmann

Yesterday we met one of the other teams to take a short diversion from the teaching to witness one of the reasons why we come to India. We met in the city of Tirumala which is found at the top of one of the seven holy hills of Hinduism in South India. This temple is home to the idol of Sri Venkateswara also known as Krishna or Ballagi. This idol is one of the three main gods of Hinduism and is worshiped as the god of salvation. The other two gods are Brahma (the god of creation) and Shiva (the god of death and destruction).

I try to make a point of bringing the mission helpers to this site because it shows the utter darkness that hangs over this nation. Literally millions of Hindu devotees and pilgrims make their way to this temple each year. The entire complex of parks, gardens, hotels, shops, and worship points that are dedicated to the worship of these false gods covers several hunderds of acres of land. Every time I come to this place, and especially as I look over the 1,000's of people gathered in the vast court yard in front of the temple, I have a hard time keeping my emotions in check as I realize that these very individuals, who are so dedicated and zealous in their worship, are also the very souls for whom Christ sufferd, died and rose again. God's gracious promise of forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life in Christ Jesus is also for them. I am overwhelmed by the grace and love of our Savior that I have been called out of darkness and into the marvelous light of Christ, and at the same time overwhelmed by the ache that is forever burning within my heart for the masses in India who do not trust in Christ alone for their salvation. There is so much work to be done here and we have only just begun to seize the opportunities and open doors that the Lord has set before us.

What a privilege to be about our Savior's work! I am so thankful for the Mission Helpers along with their families and sponsors who have given of their time, talents, and resources to share in this joyous work of spreading the Gospel here in India.

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