FOCUS ARTICLE: YOU CAN GO TO INDIA IF HE WANTS (SABBATH RECORDER, MAY 2018)
I have written before about how God had amazingly diverted my path a few years ago to make things happen in India though Seventh Day Baptists that I could not have anticipated. I was frustrated because my path was blocked, but His plan was so much better than mine. What I did not mention in that account was how He miraculously opened the doors when the time was right for me to go visit our brothers and sisters in India.
I had read about how God had closed the eyes of hostile forces so Bibles could be smuggled into communist countries, or provided resources when they were needed to get ministers out of troubles—but I guess I did not think I would get the privilege of things like that happening to me. Of course, it was not really about me, so why should I have been surprised? It was God who was due the credit and I should be amazed, but not surprised.
When the time was right, I was finally able to arrange flights to India. I found the arduous process of the bureaucracy was no longer the system—an easy online application was now available to enter. This most people could attribute to coincidence, but that is not really the amazing part of my being able to enter. Because entry was now going to be so easy, I got the visa needed to enter India, mapped out my travel itinerary, and purchased the flights needed. It was not until later that I realized that the last leg of my trip was going to be in a state of India not typically open to foreign visitors.
From what I could find online, the state I was trying to enter was one of several that required an additional entry visa only issued in India for visits to restricted regions. By this time, I had no way to schedule a trip within India to gain one of these special permits. Since it was beyond my ability to make provision for entry to that state I would just have to leave it up to God. I prayed that I would do all I could, but if He wanted me to go into that area then He would have to provide the inspiration or way to enter.
With that in mind, I visited the other two areas of SDB work in southern India and made my way to the airport where I would have to be issued the ticket to my final stop. Approaching the counter, I had a hand in one pocket ready to pull out my passport, and in the other pocket I held some rupees in case a “fine” would allow my ticket to be processed. Then something happened that I had never seen in all the airport ticket counters I have approached in dozens of countries. Instead of asking for my identification, the lady asked for my flight itinerary print out. She took the piece of paper I pulled from my bag and found my ticket number. Briskly she punched in the code, gave me the ticket, and pointed to the gate where I needed to go. Not once did she ask for my passport. Perhaps she was just not a good ticket agent and did not understand the importance of making sure passengers provide valid identification and travel documents. Or perhaps God had determined He was going to take care of this challenge for me and remind me that if He wants me to go somewhere then nothing can stop me.
Pray with me that we continue to be willing to go where He wants us to go and confident that He will make a way for us to be where He wants us to be.
This is what the LORD says: “I will go before you, and level the mountains. I will smash down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.” —Isaiah 45:2
By Clint Brown – Executive Director
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