Monday, May 26, 2008

Dharavi - Mumbai, Asia's Largest Slum

A friend of mine, and brother in Christ, recently visited Mumbai, India on a business trip. He returned with eyes wide open to the need for the Gospel in that part of the world. I am looking forward to seeing pictures and hearing more stories. (hint-hint!)

My friend spoke of the unbelievable poverty and--what is worse--the utter darkness to Christ. The chaotic break-neck pace of the cars and bikes and rickshaws in the big city of Mumbai stops for no one. Drivers would think nothing of hitting children, but traffic slams to a halt to avoid harming one of their "sacred" cows!

80% of the population are Hindus, 12 1/2% Muslims, and less than 2 1/2% are in "Christian" denominations.

My friend told me to google the Dharavi slum in the middle of Mumbai, India, where 1 million people are crammed into roughly one square mile of real estate! Here is a video from the BBC about the "architecture" of this place.

Is it me, or is the host a little too "geeked out" about the architectural innovation, while completely blind to the plight of these suffering Indians?

Please pray for this needy country. As Operation Word points out, "India has more (and larger) people groups with no Christians, churches or workers than any other part of the world."

The need is great. Pray for India!

I can't get John Piper's powerful message--given at the recent T4G conference--out of my mind!

Challies summarizes the message well:
Piper looked to six passages from the book of Hebrews. He said that we would need to ask and answer correctly, what is the great reward? What is the joy set before us? What is the city to come? He looked to Hebrews 10:32-35, 11:6, 11:24-26, 11:35, 12:2, 13:12-14.

... Every glory of the Savior, every facet of His majesty, is poured into the little word “him” in 13:13. “Let us go to him outside the camp.” Jesus is not standing back and saying, “Go back!” He is saying, “I am out here! You are in there where it is so safe. But I am out here. Come to me…” The sweetest fellowship with your Savior and your treasure that you will ever know is the fellowship of His sufferings. It doesn’t get sweeter. The supremacy of Christ is not just His perfect fitness to bear our sins and not just the supremely valuable reward He will be at the end, but it is also present, personal, precious treasure. “Come to me, I’m out here,” he says. He won’t ask us to go where He won’t be with us. We will know Him in depths and ways in radical Christian sacrifice where we would never have known Him any other place.
Listen to this message today. Perhaps Christ is calling you to "go to Him" in India, outside the camp!

Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the LORD made the heavens.
Psalm 96:3-5
For more reading:
National Geographic feature on Dharavi
Operation World page on India
Let the Nations Be Glad!

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Here is my testimony: mike