Now that we have recovered physically from our journey to SE India, we are still trying to recover emotionally.  It is difficult for an American to process some of the things we have seen.  For openers, India is one of the most unsanitary countries on earth.  Basic hygiene is virtually ignored.  The men urinate on the side of public roads all the time.  In many of these small towns, there is no drainage system.  Rain water sits there and hatches more malaria infested mosquitoes.  Then there are the power cuts.  The power grid is faulty in many parts of India, and they must learn to live without power for hours at a time, especially in the summer.  In the town of Machilipatnam, where we visited, water buffalo walk aimlessly, clogging the streets.  And the white cows are sacred.  They have the run of the streets because they are revered in a religious sense.  Idols – physical idols – both large & small abound.  There are shrines on the roadside where devotees can worship the cobra, the rat, or the god with an elephant’s head that sits on a human body.  He is very popular.
The Christians in India are becoming more & more oppressed by both the local Hindus and the Hindu nationalist government.  The government makes unreasonable demands on Christian operations, which are designed to bankrupt them.  But the saints in India hold firm and are not moved.  Despite the physical and economic oppression, Christianity is growing.  As Paul says, the Word of God is not bound.
As Christians in America we should never take for granted what God has given to us.  Every Christian should visit a third world country just once in his or her lifetime.  That will cure what ails you spiritually and get you thanking God every day for what we have over here.  If nothing else, you will find it more difficult to complain – about anything.
Rick McGovern
Pastor, Brandywine Christian Fellowship