Five times before departure when I asked God to instruct me for the work ahead, my books and Bible fell open to the story of Cornelius. I studied it thoroughly and puzzled over the meaning in it for me on my journey. I wondered who the Cornelius would be.
Brother M. had thanked me for work done the previous year and offered to feed us while we were in Tenali. He promised to do this for we were coming in the name of the Lord. God impressed on his and his wife's heart to do this kindness to us. He worked hard to get items we could eat. He prayed for God to help him find items that would interest the taste buds of the children. It was a very challenging project.
After the valley of the shadow of death, he invited us to the home of Cornelius, his father. His father was dead and his mother had congestive heart failure. I prayed for her. While visiting in the home of his dear sister, we had many requests to share our testimony. We did it all day long to different relatives all gathered there during his mother's expected final hours. We also were scheduled into speaking in the local churches. God moved to turn on the power for us as needed. People loved hearing the miracles and we shared about the message of the final hours of earth's history. We spoke on "As it was in the days of Lot, and Noah and Jonah".
The sanctuary message thrilled the hearts of the relatives of brother M. They are very godly people and know their Bibles well. It was a delight to be in the homes of the Cornelius family. We prayed with them, sang with them, ate with them and visited.
During this time with his relatives, we studied Mathew 10 more deeply and understood that we were with the friends of Jesus. I also studied the story of the sower putting seeds everywhere even on the hard path when he knew birds would get the seeds. I discovered that the birds getting seeds were people who enjoyed the message for a little while but allowed criticism in their own hearts to destroy the effect of those seeds. I was comforted to see that in Christ Object lessons, God says that the soil does not have to stay full of rocks or as a hard path. Heaven's love can change the condition of the soil. It is the responsibility of the listener to determine what kind of soil his heart is. Our responsibility was to continue loving and putting out heaven's seeds. We prayed daily for wisdom how to be His sheep among wolves. We prayed for how to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Also we studied the beautiful statement that God has many sheep in other folds. They know His voice and when He calls them, they respond.
We had a delightful time in this village near the shores of the Bay of Bengal. Sabbath was spent walking 7 KM along the shores dipping toes in the warm salty water till we saw a poisonous sea serpent. Many precious shells were gathered and pictures taken to fix this memory in our souls. This was like Psalms 23, He took us by the waters and our souls were restored.
The story of Cornelius is on our web. Credits for graphics go to Kyle.