10 May 2015
by John Murray

India is a country rich in history and culture and for the next two weeks David Giles, Gaz Rose and I are going to travel across this wonderful land to document the vast and varied ministry of The Salvation Army.

My journey to India has been a long time in planning – and it’s really only now that I understand that because of the gift of reflection. Mission experiences in Cuba, Pakistan and Africa have shaped my understanding of integrated mission and I value the opportunity to build community by engaging and conversation and fellowship. So my India experience has been years in the making.

I arrived in India at 03:30 local time Sunday after flying from London via Dubai. A two-hour car journey on dark, narrow roads - which included a quick rest stop to see an elephant walking down the roadway en route to the river for his early morning bath - and we arrived in Nagercoil.


I managed to get two hours sleep and then it was time to head to the Booth Tucker Memorial Church – the largest congregation in South Asia boasting more than 1,500 soldiers. The magnificent hall holds more than 1200 worshippers and on this Mother’s Day the hall was crowded.

It was a joy to share in worship together, even though the language was different and I didn’t know all of the songs, I could sense the joyful spirit of fellow Salvationists and their sensitive hearts and minds as well. I was able to share in testimony and also had the privilege of preaching from God’s word. 

Following the morning service I enjoyed fellowship with several of the corps leaders and also participate in the VBS programme. I even managed to encourage the kids to sign the #UpforSchool petition – which they did enthusiastically.

Up For School

I closed out my first day in India with a visit to Kanyakumari – the southernmost point in India. The waterfront area was jammed with families and tourists enjoying the ocean view, the holiday atmosphere complete with vendors and the 35+ degree weather. My colleague Benny told me that this area was devastated by the 2004 tsunami, however in this region thankfully no lives were lost, but it did take local officials two years to rebuild the area.

I’ll close for now. Tomorrow is a new day and it’s an early start with a two-hour drive to THQ for meetings. Thanks for reading and sharing in our adventure.



Tags: India, South Eastern
NO_PROPERTY_FOUND ('translate')