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As we landed in Madras, they announced that a killer cyclone was about to hit 60 miles north of Madras. We were to travel by train through that area on our way to Razole, where our renewal meetings were scheduled to happen. We were to spend the day shopping in Madras (we needed to purchase India clothing called 'pajarmis' to wear in the rural part of India we were going to.) Then we were to spend the night in Madras and have a training session the next afternoon and then take a 12.5 hour train ride North from Madras to Razole. We thought the cyclone would blow through before we had to leave. But the storm posponed, hovering over the coast just miles from where the train would pass through. We were supposed to leave for the train station at 4:00 PM... at 2:30 we gathered together in a group to pray about it. (Earlier that day, during the training session, we had sung the vineyard song 'The Spirit and the Bride say Come') We stood in a circle with our hands joined to pray. We had been informed that it could potentially be life threatening to try and take this train... there was a real chance that we could be killed if we embarked on this trip. We prayed in Jesus name and rebuked the storm, commanding it to go back out to the sea. As we prayed, that song, "The Spirit and the Bride, the Spirit and the Bride, the Spirit and the Bride say 'Come Lord Jesus'..." kept running through my mind. I tried to block it out and concentrate on the prayer, but could not block it out. I even apologized silently to the Lord for being so distracted with this song as we prayed. We asked the Lord to give us guidance, should we get on this train, as originally scheduled, or should we wait? And I kept hearing 'The Spirit and the bride say come...' over and over again. I was starting to get really frustrated with myself.. why was I singing that silly bouncy little song to myself over and over when I should be praying? But I could not get that song out of my mind.
After we finished praying, Scott told us to all spend quiet time individually seeking the Lord for guidance. (I guess we had about an hour before we had to leave -- if we decided to proceed with our plans.) Scott did not want to take the team into a potentially life threatening situation unless we heard clearly from the Lord.
As I lay on my bed waiting on the Lord, I kept hearing that same song over and over again. I finally asked the Lord to help me stop singing it so that I could concentrate on waiting on Him and hearing His guidance for me. The Lord replied that He had been trying to speak to me ever since we first started praying, but that I was not listening.
He asked me who the Spirit was in the song.
"The Holy Spirit", I replied.
"And who is the bride." He asked.
"I guess the Bride is the Church..."
"And, is there a church at Razole that invited your team to come and hold some meetings there?"
"And what is the Holy Spirit saying in this song?"
"He's saying to come."
"Well, there is your answer, Teresa. Proceed with your original plans and I will protect you and watch over you. Have faith in me and come."
So, I told Scott what I had heard. Apparently, I was the only person who'd heard specificly from God regarding direction for this portion of the trip. However, the Lord had filled the rest of the team with a deep peace and assurance in His ability to take care of them. So the entire team (5 Americans and two Indians) got on the train for what could very well be a fatal trip if we'd heard wrong.
As we approached where the storm was, it blew back out to sea until the train had passed it. Then it came back inland, now behind our train, and started following the train up the coast... chewing up and destroying the tracks behind us. But the storm never quite caught up with our train. We made it safely to our destination... a train station that was a 2 hour drive from Razole. Then, we loaded into two taxi cabs, and started the drive to Razole, which was partly inland and partly back south. The storm was heading right towards Razole and was very close to it. We drove right into the storm to get to Razole. As we would drive towards the storm, the grey clouds overhead kept rolling back to reveal blue sky overheard. It was incredible and we all realized we were living a miracle.
When we got to Razole, there was an active cyclone warning ... people were being evacuated from their grass shacks and told to seek shelter in brick buildings or they would be killed. However, Sharith, sort of an Indian equivalent of John Wimber for the GFI (Gospel Fellowship of India) denomination, told the authorities that our God would not allow the cyclone to hit Razole because we needed to have our meetings there. The officials remained unconvinced. But the storm turned away from Razole and everyone in town began talking how the Christian's God had turned the storm so that they could have their meetings. As a result, lots of local hindus came to the meetings to find out about this powerful God and many of them believed in Jesus.
Anyhow, the Lord certainly did a miraculous and wonderful job of protecting us! And He managed to glorify His name in the process. He is so awesome!
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