Jan 15, 2012

What Flavoring Shall I Use for the Gospel Here In India?

Shortly after arriving in Mumbai, India yesterday in transit to my next destination of Hyderabad, I decided to get something to eat.  I was hungry and, wanting to stay on the side of caution, looked for something familiar.  Guess my delight when I saw a KFC joint in the domestic flights food court.  I went over to the counter and requested for chicken, and wanting to adapt slowly, some rice on the side. 

I cannot claim to have eaten a lot from KFC in the United States.  Perhaps 4 or 5 times that I remember.  I always try to avoid fast foods.  But being here in India, hey, it looked pretty good given the unfamiliar alternatives. I knew exactly what to expect once I bit into the crunchy exterior of the chicken that looked just like the KFC chicken back in the United States States, right? Wrong!  

To my surprise, the Indian KFC had a bit of Indian flavor to it.  It was spicy, though of course not to Indian standards.  I got a more rude shock when I bit into the side that came with the chicken.  Very attractive looking side of rice.  But when I bit into it, I immediately started perspiring (I am a wimp when it comes to hot foods).  I qucikly learned that here in India, KFC, although bearing the same brand logo and look, has contextualized its' food to fit Indian taste buds.

In 1 Corinthians 9:20-22, Paul shares with us his missionary approach in the course of proclaiming the gospel of Christ.  He states, "20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under [a]the Law, as under [b]the Law though not being myself under [c]the Law, so that I might win those who are under [d]the Law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some."

In a weeks time, our SWIM ministry team will be conducting outreach events in the South India State of Tamil Nadu.  Starting Sunday, I will be preaching, first at Peace Assembly of God church, Chennai, a leading congregation in the city. 

Thereafter, the rest of our team from the United States will join me on Monday January 23 in Tirunalveli to commense the week-long evangelistic campaign that that will see us share the gospel of Christ on at least five different University Campuses, several colleges, High Schools and Primary Schools that will reach as many as 10,000 students wth the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Then on Thursday January 26 we will minister at a revival prayer gathering with about 4000 believers in attendance.  This will be followed conduct a pastor's conference with about 200 leaders as well as commense the 3-day festival events.  The climax of the festival is on Saturday when anywhere from 50,000- 100,000 people are expected.  We will conclude the campaign with ministry in churches on Sunday the 29th.  All in all, before next week is over we could well have ministered to over 100,000 people in various settings.

In light of Paul's effective approach and given the example that KFC provides above, one of my biggest tasks this week of prayer and preparation is determining how to best communicate the gospel of Christ so that it can touch and flourish within Indian souls.  It is to find the right spices that waft the Indian aroma and draw in the hungry multitudes to the Truth that is Jesus Christ. Pray for me.

Thanks be to the Lord Jesus Christ and to the Holy Spirit of God who, more than cultural anthropologists or sociologists, have an intimate knowledge of the longings and desires that reside in Indian hearts.  These, Christ has met through His incarnational birth, life, death, and resurrection.  Pray for the Gospel of Christ to flourish this coming week and that thousands will run to Christ as their Master.

By His Power and for His Glory!!

P.S. consider financially supporting what God is doing here in India.  Click on the donate burton to your right.