A Letter to My Wife as She Embarks to Serve the Women of India

Sweetie!

I am proud of you for taking this step of faith to serve Christ and His people in India. You are following in the footsteps of many great men and women of God.

William Carey is called the Father of modern missions, and, while in India, he translated the Bible into three languages, supervised the translation for 30 more languages, and planted many churches. He reminds us how we should always live in one of his well-known sayings: “Expect great things from God and attempt great things for God.” May that be the mantra for your team as well.

Henry Martyn went to serve Christ in India. His desire to see Jesus Christ glorified in a manner worthy of Him is inspiring. Listen to his words: “I could not endure existence if Jesus was not glorified; it would be hell to me if He were to be always dishonored.”

I appreciate his candor and honesty in this short entry in his journal that might be helpful to you and your team when you arrive:
April 30 [1806] Shortly after arrival in India
Walked by moonlight, reflecting on the Mission. My soul was at first sore tried by desponding thoughts; but God wonderfully assisted me to trust him for the wisdom of his dispensations. Truly, therefore, will I say again, ‘Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain.’ How easy for God to do it; and it shall be done in good time: and even if I never should see a native converted, God may design by my patience and continuance in the work to encourage future missionaries. But what surprises me is the change of views I have here from what I had in England. There my heart expanded with hope and joy at the prospect of the speedy conversion of the heathen! But here the sight of the apparent impossibility requires a strong faith to support the spirits.

C.T. Studd served for a season in India and you know how inspirational his life was. He said, “if Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then there is no sacrifice too great for me to make for Him.” You and your group are heeding his own desire: “Some want to live
 within the sound 
of church or chapel bell; I want to run
 a rescue shop 
within a yard of hell.” May heaven one day be filled with many Indian women who come to faith through the lives of the women whom you teach and serve.

Lastly, Amy Carmichael served the Lord in a long missionary career in India. One person comments that “her life was the most fragrant, the most joyfully sacrificial that I have ever known.”

May the Lord make you and your team His fuel to burn with a passionate love and zeal for Him. You’ve heard her well-known poem that is so challenging to us in our comfort-oriented culture:

“Towards Jerusalem”
From prayer that asks that I may be
Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee,
From fearing when I should aspire,
From faltering when I should climb higher,
From silken self, O Captain free
Thy soldier who would follow Thee.

From subtle love of softening things,
From easy choices, weakenings,
Not thus are spirits fortified,
Not this way went the Crucified,
From all that dims Thy Calvary,
O Lamb of God, deliver me.

Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay,
The hope no disappointments tire,
The passion that will burn like fire,
Let me not sink to be a clod,
Make me Thy fuel, O Flame of God.

Lastly, one tool that I have used on occasion when sensing spiritual attack is “The Breastplate of St. Patrick.” In the 5th century, he was kidnapped as a boy and taken to what is now present-day Ireland. He escaped after six years in captivity, but eventually God called him back to share Christ with those who were his captors. His tale is fascinating. Here is part of his lorica (a prayer used to arm yourself for spiritual attack and warfare):

I arise today through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me from snares of demons, from temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill, far and near,
Alone and in a multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today through a mighty strength: The invocation of the Trinity…
For the Father purposed my salvation, the Son secured my salvation, and the Holy Spirit applief salvation to my heart! Therefore, greater is HE who is in me than he that is in the world, AMEN.

I love you bunches and will pray for you daily.

Yours’ always

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