The Fire Burns in India
Natasha and Manisha came to Toronto from India tired and burnt out...then their lives were completely changed by God!
Toronto came as a spontaneous thought one morning. We had been dry and weary for many days. I was carrying some wounds in my heart due to the loss of my dad a few months back. Though he is with Jesus I had a hard time accepting the fact that he is no longer here with me. Natasha was also tired carrying her burdens and bruises and just not knowing the direction any minstry in the future. Renewal and refreshing of the Spirit was the cry of our hearts! Even as the idea of Toronto seeped into our hearts, we reluctantly saw the website of Catch The Fire and were surprised to see the front page of the Leaders School of Ministry (LSoM) highlighting these words - Are you tired? Burnt out by ministry? And within days we were at Catch The Fire, Toronto to personally witness a life transforming experience.
"We felt rejected, alone and displaced, somewhere along the journey having misplaced our own identities."
We were tired and exhausted in ministry. Nine years of serving the Lord in India had taken its toll on us. We had been wounded and hurt, full of grief and remorse owing to personal losses and unfulfilled desires. We felt rejected, alone and displaced, somewhere along the journey having misplaced our own identities. We were living in bondage and oppression under a form of Christianity that was religious and dead. We were being pressed on every side, suffering embarrassments and being perplexed and unable to find a way out, but in the words of the Apostle Paul, "not driven to despair" (2 Cor. 4:8 NLT). All this was leading to greater hunger and desperation for God. Our intimate relationships with the Lord were the only sustaining grace in these times of pain and uncertainty. We probably didn’t even realize until we did the LSoM, that we were hurting and trying hard not to hurt others! At the LSoM, the mold of religiosity was broken and we found freedom in the Lord and discovered our true identities in Christ. We learnt that love is not a feeling or emotion; it is a person with a face and a name – Jesus. We are now experiencing freedom, joy, love, peace, fire and much more! We are not just talking love; we are living it daily.
At Catch The Fire we were under the gentle yet powerful breeze of the Holy Spirit, having undergone a kind of spiritual heart surgery. Catch The Fire was the doorway to being transformed into the likeness of Christ. We were truly able to experience ‘The Father’s Blessings’ by way of his unchanging, unconditional and everlasting love for us. The Father’s Love reminded us that we are no longer orphans but heirs. Since our return to India, we have found God's overwhelming presence with us at all times and there has been a greater surge to walk in his love at all times. There has been a greater hunger for holiness and righteousness. We realize that walking in love is not just limited to having your quiet time with the Lord and reading the Word, rather it involves bringing all your senses to such God consciousness that your words, attitude, lifestyle and behavioral patterns start reflecting the One who is the author of divine love. We are to become the carriers of his presence, for only then will his glory be seen on us in the midst of dense darkness that Isaiah 60:2 talks about. We thank Carol Arnott for her inspiring words on the worship buzzer, which is a constant reminder of walking in the Father's love. The 'love timer', as we call it, works even in India!
"The revelation of God's love makes us jump and dance over our pain and over our turmoil."
Catch The Fire has been the door to our destinies. Each of our desires for the Lord, which we both started journaling some 6 years back, are coming to fruition. What joy to see his faithfulness in answering our prayers for more of him.
The ‘fire’ that has been flamed by the Father’s love comes straight from his bosom where Jesus lives and it burns us each day and thrusts us forward into the purposes and plans he has for us. In his presence there is fullness of joy - Such joy that stumps the darts of the enemy, who is forever defeated. The revelation of God's love makes us jump and dance over our pain and over our turmoil. For all has been dealt with in the bosom of the Father, through one act of obedience by the Son on the cross. Pain is now crushed forever. Hope arises; new horizons; new dreams; bigger and larger than life itself. We are now ready to tread paths we have never walked before. Ready to wear shoes that we thought were never ours, fearlessly picking up weapons which are not carnal and standing steadfast waging victory behind the Captain of the Army. For his call many heed but few become His choice; the few who are willing to pay the price. And as he counts us amongst the choicest, we will show him off until our last breath till the day we meet him face to face whispering lovingly, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Song of Solomon 6:3 NASB).
We will close with our very interesting meeting with John and Carol Arnott. We had never met them before and had only heard about them, but one evening when we saw them in the main sanctuary, we went to say ‘hello’. We simply asked, ‘please Pastor John, come to India and bring the fire to India’. He turned around and got hold of our hands and said, ‘you take the fire to India’. The fire burns in India, and we say more Lord…more!
Manisha and Natasha
Spread The Word Ministries, Chandigarh, INDIA