Control Tower: Kolkotta India

This control tower in India-I can’t remember if it was Bagdogra or Kolkotta-shows how they do things over there.  Big coils of wires and pipe draped up the side in a huge cluster just sort of laying there.  I talked with a man on the train and he said they do everything like that.  They build cities without a plan.  They just keep expanding and expanding until there are 20 million people living all sprawled out without proper sewage and power.  No wonder power outages are so regular.  There are generators outside most shops because of it.

To get from Kalimpong, which was the last stop on our 10 week outreach assignment, we started in a place in North India called Darjeeling.  The girls and I started about 1000am with a 20 minute walk from our guesthouse through the morning fog to a taxi stand where we caught a jeep taxi to Bagdogra.  4 hours later, we were deposited at the Bagdogra airport where we caught a Kingfisher (local Indian airline) flight down to Kolkotta.  It was a shortcut around the 12 hr train we took to get there weeks before.

Usual scene at the airport..

We waited for our 1am flight to Tel Aviv, Israel via Frankfurt, which got delayed by 4 hrs.  Of course our connection had long sice left by the time we got to Germany.  We waited there for 11 hrs before setting sail at 10 pm.  Once in Israel, it was a short train, a city van, a hostel overnight in Tel Aviv, a walk, a medium bus to Jerusalem, and a short walk to the Imperial Hotel, where we now reside.  Finally.  The girls on my team are fabulous and rarely complain.

What a great feeling it is to finish and to finish well.  We arrived here August 1st and things have just now settled enough to sit down and catch my breath.  Someone asked me, “So how does it feel to be in Israel again?”  I said, “Great!  It feels great to be here!” I had to ask myself if it is great to be here or if it is just great to be done with outreach.  I think both.  Outreach is great with all the fruit and ministry, but at the same time, it’s a ton of work.  We set a schedule, I arrange all the transportation, and we throw ourselves into it the whole way.  It’s a long stretch to be out there all that time.  It’s 4 countries, not including Israel, many more contacts than that, and a rainbow of people in totally different sets of circumstances, and we do our best to keep some sort of continuity to it all.

Here is Jerusalem, it’s back to the lecture phase of DTS with a complete tour of sites in the Holy Land and lectures to match.

Riding in comfort-nothing like India.

All this week, we have walked the “Old City” getting an overview of where the Lord walked and did his ministry.  We traveled south by bus to En Gedi where David hid from Saul, hiked to the top of Herod’s old mountain top palace called Masada, toured Capernum where Jesus  called the 12 disciples, and countless other sites of Biblical significance.  It’s amazing and such a privilege to actually see all this first hand.

Our students graduate August 12th to go out into the world to put the things they have see and heard into practice.  We, as staff, have a 3 day debrief back in Tel Aviv before going our separate ways.

I am so excited to visit Hans, Katy, and the kids over in Macclesfield, England on the way back to “sweet home” Chicago.

Seeing all these Biblical sites in Israel is really special to me because I’ve applied and been accepted to a YWAM School of Biblical Studies that starts September 19th, 2011.  It’s one of the most intense studies of the entire Bible I know of and I’m very excited (and a little nervous) to get started on that.  It’s been a while since I’ve been in school and I hope the ole brain can fire up for it.

I am grateful to be sitting here writing after such a successful outreach and time of ministry.  God is so faithful to provide everything we need to carry out what He has given us to do.  I am thankful to everyone who made it possible…

Dome of the Rock Mosque on the Temple Mound, Jerusalem.