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Urban Concerns

 

Here I am at last on the airplane heading to New Delhi, India. What would I encounter when I disembarked from this flight? How would the ladies that I was going to teach receive me? Would I be able to connect with them on a personal level? These were some of the thoughts that were crowding my mind as I flew over the clouds to this new land.

Our Faithful Heavenly Father 

The Lord has always been faithful to me throughout the 41 years of my Christian journey; I knew He would continue to do so. Still, there were fears welling up in me that only the Lord could remove. I would just have to “trust” Him to accomplish whatever He wanted me to do and not let my fears take over. I would have to let Proverbs 3:5 really take over in this situation.

The flight had been long and tedious, but the ride to our hostess’ home was to me wild and even more frightening. I had to ask the Lord to calm my fears and allow make me trust Him to get us there in one piece. It was in the middle of the night, but we were hungry, so we stopped at a local restaurant to get some refreshments. I breathed a sigh of relief—Praise the Lord—no more riding in the car for now. When we entered the restaurant, I felt like most of the people were staring at me, but it could have been all in my mind. However, it was not. My hubby remarked to me that I was getting a lot of people watching me. I could feel eyes on me, but they seemed to be friendly, so I did not let it bother me too much.

Finally, we arrived at the Pastor’s home and his family was so welcoming and friendly. They also got out of their beds so we would have a place to sleep. They showed such a love for the Lord and for complete strangers! I had not seen this type of hospitality since our early days as missionaries in northeast New York. Already the Lord was proving Himself to be faithful, and the entire trip was played out like this.

The next day was the Lord’s Day, and as usual, we went to church. There also I noticed the stares, but they, too, were friendly. Many of the ladies came to me after the service to ask me questions. It was the same as here in the US: did I have children, how many, how old were they, and what did they do? I was becoming more comfortable, and now I had to depend on the Lord to let my lesson for the ladies on the next day be a blessing and to meet a need in their lives.

Sharing Windows of My Life 

The Holy Spirit gave me an idea to help share my life with the ladies by showing them pictures. I searched my laptop for pictures and started my first lesson sharing a small window of my life with them through pictures. They were overjoyed to see my family, grandchildren and all!

During that lesson, which centered on God’s great love for us, I shared even more of my life’s story. The theme could have been “though my mother and father forsake me, the Lord will receive me” (Psalm 27:10). Immediately there was a connection, because in the caste system culture, there are many people who will reject you. I shared with the ladies that since I had faced rejection by my biological father, I had a Heavenly Father who loved me and had given His only Son for me. I encouraged them to “cast all their cares upon Him” because He would truly be a Faithful Father!

When this lesson was over, there were hugs, tears, and complete acceptance from the ladies. They realized that we all have the same struggles, and it does not matter if we live in the US or in India. The same Heavenly Father supplies all of our needs!

The rest of the lessons I shared with the ladies were received and welcomed by them. They constantly thanked me for coming and for being so transparent! God is so good and always true to His promises.

Transparency 

Throughout my visit, I continued to notice the friendly stares, and so finally I asked someone about it. I was told that the Indians liked the color and texture of my hair. What a great surprise to me! My hair is curly and has dark brown and reddish hues throughout it. Everyone in their culture had totally dark brown hair or black. People in India love bright colors and had not seen in person what I had going on with my hair. They really loved it, and thus the friendly stares. It was a wonderful trip, and I made friends that I would be able to keep for many years.

Yes, the Lord allowed me to connect with the ladies, and it was mainly because I did not mind being transparent with them. They realized that even though I lived in a country that had wealth, beauty, and power, I still had to depend on the Lord to supply my every need. To God be the glory!

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Phyllis Dodson is the Senior Director of Financial Aid at Crossroads Bible College. She is also a 2007 CBC graduate with a B.S. in Management and Ethics. Phyllis has served the Lord for over 40 years in ministry with her husband as a pastor’s wife and missionary. When she is not in her office, she may be in Africa or India helping her husband to equip pastors and leaders for Christ. Phyllis was saved on January 31, 1974 and was discipled by the three individuals who led her and her husband to the Lord. She has been happily married to her husband, Dr. Erskine Dodson, for over 45 years. They have three adult children, Erskine 2nd, Felicia Russell, and Angelita. And they have three granddaughters, Tamia, Tierra, Persia and one grandson Erskine 3rd. Phyllis’ motto is “Just Pray” and her life verse is Philippians 1:6.

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