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Allison's Experience

It’s amazing how God takes moments that seem inconsiderable and magnifies them to reveal His majesty. I saw God do that countless times on my visit to Mumbai. However just a few weeks before leaving the states, this idea hadn't seemed as clear in what I had been encountering daily. I was tired of apathetic responses from postmodern peers when I shared the Gospel, sore from being overworked in music school, and heavy from piles of work and deadlines that seemed to be knocking incessantly. I only found relief when I could shut my door and just be with God in His word and in prayer I sought to be with Him in our secret place. It soon began to feel like "my" secret place and though I knew God heard every one of my cries, I wondered if He was really listening. I would talk to people who would keep telling me how they were just "sinking in His love" and talking about "how they could feel the presence of His love so strongly."  I wondered if God had forgotten me, why it was so dry and I had nothing to drown in. With that kind of emotional and spiritual oppression trying to hold me, I could hardly wait to leave and just be somewhere different, hoping that maybe I'd hear something new and different though God had been teaching me that His mission for me stayed the same whether I was in Richmond or Mumbai. 

So our team left together, united by similar struggles and anticipations, but more than that, covered by the blood of Christ. We talked to people, we asked questions, we shared the gospel. I loved visiting the slums because it was so easy to be engaged with people, and though we may not have shared cultural backgrounds, social status, or geographical homes, we had the same hungers and pains -- the need for a savior.

God showed me something amazing on one of our visits as a team to a slum. A few team members had encountered a demon-possessed woman and as they prayed and called on the Lord while the demon acted out, people from the community had gathered around to witness it. Meanwhile on the other side of the slum, Julian and I working to the distract the kids with some songs and camp games. While we were hanging out with some down time, I watched a sweet little boy wandering next to me undisturbed. He couldn't have been any older than 4. Suddenly a kid who was a little bigger and not too much older came up to him, slapped him in the face leaving a mark on his cheek, proceeded to push him to the ground, and then left him in the hot sand. He sat there on the ground, crying miserably. I was shocked to see people look at him and at just pass him or not do a thing about it. I was broken for this kid and I thought to myself 'are you kidding me? Somebody's got to love this kid!'

 So I ran to him and I scooped him up into my arms. He cried into my shirt and I thought to myself, 'great, I don't know his name and we've got language barriers, what can I do for this kid.' And I heard the Spirit of the Lord saying, 'Pray to me for him'. And so I began to pray out aloud, for the the children in the slums who might not ever have someone pick them up or tell them that they love them. I prayed that they would know that there is a father who loves them. By the time I had stopped praying, the kid was silently looking at me and I at him, there was this peace between us. It was at that moment that God had shown me this "...though you often feel oppressed, heavy, and beaten to the ground, I hear your cries and run to you. I hold you in my arms and my compassion for you is so great. You have been interceded for, you are mine."

 It was in that simple encounter with that little boy that we both experienced the compassion of the Lord and that I had seen the Gospel displayed again. And so His promises ring true, and whenever I remember this story i think back to Lamentations 3:22 : "Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail."