Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Blind Date...experience

I've been married for 30 amazing years, but then again, I'm an AMAZING guy (more like Sue is near sainthood). So I've been off the dating circuit for quite some time. However, as a pastor I have heard stories through the years of numerous folks as they've express their blind date experiences, some good and some horrible.

Just the words, "blind date", conjures up all kinds of emotions, apprehensions and "what ifs". What if they don't like me? What if I don't like them? What if I say the wrong thing? What if we disagree on some key life issues? What if my vision for living is different from theirs? What if they don't call again for another date?

You can easily sabotage any semblance of a potential relationship just by fretting, stewing and spewing, about the what ifs of this hopeful relationship.

As I flew to India roughly 10 days ago, many "what ifs" raced through my mind. You see, we were coming here to meet our prearranged Indian church "partner". This "marriage" was arranged through Compassion International as the result of a pilot program that The Crossing has been selected to be a participant.

After a 2 hour flight to Bagdogra Airport (smack between Nepal and Bangladesh), then driving 4 hours south to Katihar, we met and then spent time with our church partner on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. What a FANTASTIC time we had!

The Senior Pastor has been at this church for over 40 years. He's led a substantive and extensive ministry in the Katihar region of the state of Bihar, India. He's a humble man of prayer with a huge heart for his community. They partner significantly with Compassion International in leading a Child Development Center by the name of Bethel Church Association Child Development Center (In fact, you can sponsor children this weekend from this partnership).

This Child Development Center has led to increased respect and impact with the people in the various tribal villages of this particular slice of the State of Bihar.

I AM STOKED as to what God has in store for this new developing relationship. Together our church, The Crossing, and Pastor Samuel and the Bethel Church Association have the opportunity to see increased impact in the lives of families and children.

I, for one, look forward to the days ahead where many from our church will go to India and meet our friends there. Your life will be changed just as mine has!

Thanks for praying, thanks for reading,

Tim Celek
Lead Pastor
The Crossing

P.S. By the time, you read this I might have actually begun the flight across the Atlantic Ocean to the good ole, US of A. Make sure you're at The Crossing this weekend, I'll be sharing more about this trip. Don't forget, if you're coming on Sunday, this is TIME CHANGE weekend (Spring Forward).