International Ministries

What Time Is It?

October 12, 2012 Journal
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That can be a tricky question!  Each room in my home presents a different answer.  The timepiece in the bathroom is set 10 minutes fast.  The battery is diminishing in the clock in our bedroom so it’s about 5 minutes slow.  Clocks in the kitchen and dining room only add to the confusion.  When I really need the accurate time, I resort to a source that hasn’t been tampered with, skewed to suit my purpose or incorrect due to lack of power…my cell phone or computer.

When we were recently in Jaigaon at the Bhutan border for ministry I encountered a similar dilemma finding these clocks on the wall of our hotel.  You see, one block away the nation of Bhutan was ½ hour ahead of our time and some distance further the time zone of the nation of Nepal would put me between the two times!  With just a 15 minute gap between each of these three time zones the clocks resembled mine at home.   I ran into problems when I turned to my trusty source of accuracy to keep myself on schedule.  Imagine the confusion when I discovered that the time presented on our electronic devices differed.  Taku’s phone received its signal from India but mine picked up the time from Bhutan.  I’m not sure how that works, but I was never sure if I was running 15 minutes early or late.

That trip to Jaigaon coincided with a Hindu festival, Vishwakarma Puja.  Vishwakarma is believed by the Hindus to be the presiding deity of all craftsman, architects, engineers, “the divine draftsman”. When we arrived I noticed artisans busily putting the finishing touches on dozens of clay images they’d constructed, carefully painting their expressions, dressing and adorning them with jewelry in preparation to be sold. The night before the Puja, families gathered at automotive workshops, electronic, construction, ironworks and any mechanical or metal related businesses to clean and decorate their premises.   They then went idol shopping, perusing the various sizes and degrees of ornamentation to find the god that fit their budget and building, then bundled it onto a truck to deposit it in the shrine they’d created.  Interestingly, once purchased, the face of the god was covered with newspaper, blinding him until the priest arrived the next day to present offerings and prayer.  Only then the face was again revealed.

These occasions cause my heart to grieve.   I cannot begin to imagine the grief of our living God, the Creator of heaven and earth, who created each person praying to those brightly painted, richly adorned pieces of clay.   Likewise, I only sample a tiny bit of His joy as I worship with those who have heard and responded to the Gospel and now experience the love of God our Father, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the power and presence of the Holy Spirit living within. These believers, now comprising 39 churches, have formed an association as they grow in the Spirit and continue to extend the Good News of our Living God to their friends and families.  We are so privileged to be in India and play a small role in the great work God is doing.

Seeing all of this brings clarity to my question, "What time is it?”  It is time to give ourselves to the fulfillment of the purposes of God, that all may hear the Gospel of Christ.    THANK YOU for giving of yourselves in partnership with us in ministry.  Together we are a team.  We could not be here without your prayers and financial support.    Please continue to unite with us in prayer and uphold us through your gifts.  Let us trust that God has greater yet in store for us all as do all for His glory.

God Bless You!

Taku & Katie Longkumer