India Trip recap ...
Posted on 08.20.2012
Well, friends of EHSS, get ready for a letter that will never be able to live up to the experience. Truly there are no words for the experience that we just had, I will try my best to find them. This is all about the marvelous outpouring of God’s love through and into EHSS last week as we toured the mostly-Hindu country of India. God enlightened us in a new and mighty way and I want to share it with you.
YOU all are the ones who have supported us with your prayers, love, purchases and attendance down through the years. You are invested in us and all this I’m about to share is credited to your accounts. You should be proud.
We arrived to one of the loudest and most crowded places I have ever seen. Color and smells abounded. People were everywhere. They were beautiful people who never seemed bothered by the traffic or the inconvenience of life. They were happy to be there in the early morning hours to meet us at the airport with banners, gifts and well wishes. Sweat was dripping off of them, but they wanted us to enter their country knowing that we were welcomed and loved. We were half a world away and a little apprehensive; they totally set us at complete ease.
After we entered the hotel and tried to catch up from the more than 20 hours of travel, we had a chance to see some of the city. St. Thomas is buried there and we visited his tomb and paid our respects to one of the 12 disciples who gave his life for the cause of Christ in India. I confess: I did not know this.
Seeing sight of poverty next door to opulence really had us all scratching our heads. The “haves” and the “have nots” could not be more noticeable anywhere than in India. We all felt horrible for any complaining we had ever voiced and vowed to never do it again. However, we had only just begun to see poverty.
The last day of our trip, we took a tour of the slums. I really don’t know what to say. To see this first hand and then to talk to these people was the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do. I usually do not have a hard time saying something for the moment I am in. But to these people who have absolutely nothing, I was at a lost. I told them the story of Jesus and how He would not let the disciples send the kids away. I told them how He said “this is the kingdom of God.” All I could say, as I looked at those dirty little faces, was “YOU are the Kingdom of God; He loves you and He knows your name. You’re not forgotten to Him.”
We walked away and vowed to help. Eliminate? No, that will never ever happen on such a level as I see it. But I do know that to whom much is given, much is required. I have been given much and now that I know about this extreme poverty, I have to do something to eliminate as much HELL as I can this side of eternity and bring HEAVEN down to earth.
The wonderful people of Help a Child of India sponsored this trip. Without their efforts, we would not have been able to do the concerts. They are doing a great work. (more about them in a second.)
The actual concerts were AMAZING!Back
We did two wonderful shows that were basically sold out. Approximately 1,400 each night actually paid to hear us sing. And to be honest, that was one of my concerns in the beginning when we were invited by Samuel Nirmal of Help a Child of India. I asked him if he thought anyone would show up. He promised me there were many who knew our music because of YouTube and the Gaither videos.
So, it was a pleasure to perform for our brothers and sisters in the cities of Chennai and Bangalore. However, we received WAY MORE than we gave.
Our promoter, Samuel Nirmal of Help a Child of India, had this to say about our concerts and our time in India:
For most of us, this was the best concert we have ever been to in our life time and it is likely to remain that way – till you guys come back! Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, the giants of Southern Gospel music singing in aid of Help A Child of India has humbled me. I said this at the end of each concert and I will say it again. “What did we do to deserve this kind of blessing Lord? All I can say is, Thank You Jesus”.
One of the objectives of the concerts was to increase the awareness among the people of Chennai and Bangalore about the work of Help A Child of India. The concerts and the media coverage gave us excellent visibility.
On the financial front, by God’s grace, several sponsors came forward to support the two concerts. The ticket sale was good. In India, the organizers of most Gospel music concerts in the last decade have ended up with a financial deficit. It will be another week before we put all our numbers together. But our current estimate shows that we will have a modest surplus. That surplus will be used for children living in poverty and in difficult circumstances.
Hundreds of thousands of children in India need help - to be educated and to lead a life of dignity. 4,000 such children are waiting to be supported through Help A Child of India this year alone. If we do not step in at the right time, at least one generation of 4,000 families will lose its opportunity to come out of poverty. It only costs 500 Indian rupees (less than $10) a month or 6,000 Indian rupees (about $110) a year, to sponsor one child. If each fan of EHSS pledges to sponsor one child, the need for the year will be fully met now. Online payment using credit cards, may be made at www.ehss.haci.in
Here is their website home page http://www.helpachildofindia.org/ Check them out – and help them as they continue to help the children of India. They do amazing work!
I know there are hurting people in our country and I know times are tough all around, but people, listen up: America has not seen ANYTHING like this. I pray it never does.
So, where do I leave this e-mail? I leave it with asking you to pray for your brothers and sisters in India. Pray for Help A Child Of India. Pray that God would provide for them. Ask our Father, “What can we do?”
If you want to see more pictures of our concerts and all our travels, and you have a Facebook account, make sure to “LIKE” our Fan page which you’ll find HERE. The whole tour is well-documented and pictures, video and press clips abound. Even the Hindu newspaper did a feature review of our show and gave it a stellar review.
Like I said, these words do not even touch what we saw and what we felt by the Spirit of God. Jesus walks in those lowly places. I felt pity and yet I saw love for the sweetest people I have ever met. I leave you with these words from Isaiah 61:1 –
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.”
I do not know where this will lead us my friends, but EHSS will never be the same. We must use what we have to bring heaven down to earth more and more and let the business get out of the way for a new level of heavenly business. Pray for me as I lead and listen to what is being birthed in my heart.
Oh What A Savior He Is,