An Open Letter to Supporters (and Others)

Thank you so much for supporting our upcoming trip to India.  What began as a “Perspectives” Trip has turned into a perspectives trip with mission and purpose and some eye opening opportunities and challenges.

I want you to know our itinerary so you can be praying for us all along the way if you want to.   Specific prayers that I can think of right now would be

  • for these next few days to be full of peace both internally and in our home and marriage.   The stress of the trip is starting to get to me (Debra) and we are trying to tie up loose ends and be gracious all at the same time.
  • for the ability to actually rest on the trip.  You’ll see that we have several overnight and early morning travel times and we need to get off the plane/train and be “on” immediately.
  • for my ability to stay engaged.  The foreignness of it all will make me want to withdraw in order to cope.   But I want to be bold and confident.
  • for attentiveness to what God wants us to see.
  • for safety and freedom from illness. Hydration will be an issue as we’re going to 90 – 100 degree heat during monsoon season.
  • for wisdom to know what the Spirit of God wants us to say during all of our opportunities to share.
  • for our teammate, Dan, pray all these things over him as well and remember him especially as he is going to be preaching for his very first time with us in Varanasi.
  • for our kids who are blessed to have grandparents who will care for them for nearly two weeks while we are gone.  Pray for their cooperative spirits and for my parent’s endurance and creativity.  Every single one of them is special to us and we want them to have a great time together.

I could go on but let me share what we’re headed into:

Thursday, July 19th
We take off from DIA at 11:30 a.m.  and land in Chicago at 2:51.  We switch planes and get back in the air at 3:40.  The connection here sounds like it could be tight.

Friday, July 20
We land in Frankfurt at 6:50 a.m. and don’t take off again until 1:45 p.m.  Sounds like a little excursion might be in order.

Saturday, July 21
We land in Delhi at 12:35 a.m.  We’ll go to the flat to rest, see the area during the day, find out what Ryan and Dannah do, get a little acculturated, and might hit one tourist spot in town.  We then get on a train at 9:25 p.m. and sleep our way to Varanasi, India.

Sunday, July 22
We arrive at 6:45 a.m. and drive to the village (and hour and a half away I think) where we will be training church planters (100 – 150 we’re told).  This is a ministry that derives out of a wholistic hospital there (We’ll be lodging at the hospital).  We’ll be teaching the morning worship service!   In the evening the church planter training will begin and we’ll teach the session.

Monday, July 23
We’ll teach three training sessions for the church planters.  At this point we are all busy about preparing the content for these sessions from Philippians.  It’s NOT ready yet because we just confirmed that this is happening.   I’m (Debra) still waiting to hear if I get to speak to the pastor’s wives (waiting to hear if they’re coming).   In between sessions we’ll see the works that EMI does in the village (which I’m not going to name so that there isn’t any persecution) and spend some time with a fantastic man who has some amazing insights to share with us about Hinduism.

Tuesday, July 24
We will leave the village and spend some time in Varanasi, THE Hindu holy city as old as the city of Nineveh where they do ritual washing in the Ganges river.  We’ll fly back to Delhi at 7:40 p.m. and arrive at 9:00 p.m.

Wednesday, July 25
We get up at 5:00 a.m. and depart by train to Agra.  This is our tourist day and a day of partial rest.   We are going to see the Taj Mahal and other sites in Agra.  We’ll also have a chance to rest and swim.  That will be nice after going so hard right after arriving.  We take the train back to Delhi around 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, July 26
In the a.m. we will go to the Sewa Ashram which is essentially a facility for the destitute and dying that have been taken from the streets.  I don’t know what to expect this day and I suspect it will be the hardest day for me.  We may be able to pray with the people there, but in general it will just be our exposure to how this kind of care happens in Delhi.   In the afternoon we will be able to do a little shopping at Dilli Haat.

Friday, July 27
We will get our hands dirty today painting the new learning space for low income and street kids.  In the afternoon we’ll be talking with anti-trafikers at Courage Homes.

Saturday, July 28
We will take a walking tour of Old Delhi led by a former street child.  He/she gets to practice his/her English and earn a living by leading these tours and we see where he or she used to sleep on the street among other things.  We’ll also visit the Jama Masjid, the largest Mosque in India as well as the largest spice market.
In the evening we will be running the youth outreach program for Fusion church, teaching and probably dusting off our old youth ministry ideas.

Sunday, July 29
We will attend Fusion Church, may say a few words, enjoy lunch and conversation with that community, rest up and head to the airport ready to take off in the wee hours of Monday morning.

Monday, July 30
Chip and I celebrate 18 years of marriage today.  As we leave India we are taking a short excursion to Zurich, Switzerland for just the two of us.  As a layover city, it provides us with a chance to tack two nights onto the trip to decompress from all we’ve just experienced.  We don’t plan to be very touristy, just enjoy the cooler temperatures and the local lake and rivers will provide a good backdrop for talking through India.  We’ll prepare to parent again and to tell our stories to you all.

Wednesday, August 1st
We leave Zurich at 12:50 p.m. and arrive in Toronto at 3:40 p.m.  Depart Toronto at 5:44 p.m. and arrive in Denver at 7:48 p.m.  I love how you can squeeze 13 hours of flying into one day and still get back in time to squeeze your kids and kiss them goodnight.

Just for your point of reference Delhi is 11.5 hours ahead of Denver and I think Varanasi is a straight up 12 hours ahead.

Thank you again for your support of us as we take this adventure!

Debra and Chip Anderson
The Next Level Church


One thought on “An Open Letter to Supporters (and Others)

  1. You guys are the epitome of the church lesson yesterday (my church): using our gifts to change the world. Have a great trip!

    The Power to Change

    who am i to make any change?
    what role is it that i play?
    through living sacrifice and prayer
    i will make a difference today.

    to edify and serve the world
    i accept the grace of salvation
    i freely use my gifts given
    to make a transformation.

    the power to change the world
    lies not in what man can do
    it lies inside the gifts of God
    that He has given to you.


    When we depend upon organizations, we get what organizations can do; when we depend upon education, we get what education can do; when we depend upon man, we get what man can do; but when we depend upon prayer, we get what God can do.

    -A.C. Dixon

    Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

    -Leo Tolstoy

    It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.

    -C. S. Lewis

    I Peter 4:7-11 …take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything

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