I’m back a week early due to bronchitis which is near phenomena. I am actually DEEPLY grateful for getting sick since it got me home sooner. Just imagine traveling 43 hours non-stop with a fever and bronchitis AND being grateful!!! That includes two train stations, four airports, a tempo ride, a car ride and 20k miles. It was literally that bad.
I have a zillion photos which I’ll post shortly. You will not believe them. For now here are just a couple.
Never could I have prepared myself for this experience. The sheer audacity of evil was mind-blowing. Kanpur is the result of evil running rampant and fully in the open. There are 50k Christians in a city of 5.2 million people. Of those 50k, perhaps 10k attends church regularly. All churches were split – many fighting against each other. Our trip’s mission was to pull them together – it worked! I have never seen God work so strongly before.
Prayer in Kanpur has an urgent and intense meaning; it is like the soldier’s gun that is fighting daily to stay alive. These pastors LOVE to pray! They are the true “Jesus Freaks” you read about. They all have driven out countless demons, have healed the blind to see, the lame to walk, the cancer to leave, the lungs to heal, and on and on. They have prayed for crazy things to happen and they do daily! I have never felt so close to God as I did in Kanpur, but I have also never felt Satan’s presence of pure evil so strongly. My dreams were constantly attacked and each day brought a renewed spiritual attack. For three days I could not stop crying. Brokenness has a new meaning to me.
We were the guest speakers for a Pastor’s Conference (myself, Marty Meyer (YWAM Idaho Director), Rod (Pastor in Idaho) and Rick (Business man and Elder in Idaho). The conference was in a small basement in the middle of Kanpur. The wall around the building was covered in little flat round patties of hand molded cow manure – pasted on the walls to dry – they burn it for cooking. This is common all throughout Kanpur – see what I mean!
Prayer and worship took a whole new life to me. What a huge blessing to have the opportunity to meet, pray and worship with these Men and Warriors of God. These guys are putting their very lives at risk and do so with joy! They have lost jobs, houses, family members, and acceptance of their peers by being Christians. There is physical abuse to Christians and there are strong anti-conversion laws. While we were there, three Christians were forced from their church (several blocks away) by Hindus and told not to come back or they would be killed. Their church was then destroyed. Near the YWAM base is a Muslim slum. A few people from the base went to the slum and were told to leave. If they came back they would be killed. If someone converted, that converted person would be killed. A teenager near the base wanted to accept Jesus in his life, but was terrified of the consequences. If he became a Christian, his parents would throw him out of the house and he’d be homeless. So many people in the USA try to portray Muslims and Hindus as religions of peace – they are sadly wrong. The Media keeps this from us intentionally. I was there and know what Hindus and Muslims preach and practice – it is NOT what we see on TV. These are NOT extremists; they are everyday Hindus and Muslims. This is a true war of good versus evil, darkness versus light, Jesus versus Satan. It’s not politically correct, but it is the truth.
By the end of the conference, the pastor’s agreed to a covenant (which is attached-jpeg). PRAISE GOD!!!! They are going to meet weekly to pray, they’ll travel throughout the city and pray over certain areas, they’ll coordinate with groups and have their families meet! This is huge and something Satan did not want. United, the church in Kanpur can flourish. Through unity, prayer and the blood of Jesus, this lost city has hope. Hope is something they do not understand. All throughout the conference while praying and worshiping, I felt we were this bright yet small beacon of light shining up to heaven surrounded by darkness. Many other people felt the same. Next I will describe the daily aspects of Kanpur.
Kanpur is geographically not very large, but has 5.2M people in a small place. I don’t know the size, but it is densely populated with, cars, bicycles, motorcycles, tempos (three wheeled taxis), trucks, buses, cows, dogs, pigs, goats, monkeys all on very narrow, deeply pot-holed streets. There is no law and order, just insane survival. The first thing you’ll notice is the symmetry of the chaos. Somehow only 10-12 people die A DAY in Kanpur due to the traffic, not a thousand. You’ll see families of four riding a small motor cycle (no helmets), weaving in and out of intense traffic. Every horn is blowing at once. Little children are in the street and nearly getting hit. Green and red lights are NOT observed. If traffic is too congested in your lane, people go against traffic in the other lane! I saw motorcycles go down the sidewalks in the city pushing people away.
The next thing you’ll notice is the pollution. In San Diego we had the firestorm 2 ½ years ago. The sun was a hazy blob, and the air was full of smoke. Add to that 2 stroke engine exhaust, industrial pollution, dust and other horrible smells such as garbage, human and animal excrement – that is Kanpur. It is the 7th most polluted city in the world and lives up to its reputation. That is why I got sick and had to leave – the air.
The next thing you’ll notice is the filth. There is no garbage pickup, so it is tossed on the side of the road. In the garbage are cows, dogs and people – all picking through the garbage to eat. Also in the garbage are people pulling down there pants and going to the bathroom. The men also pee against any wall anywhere in the city. Right next to the garbage are food carts and people sleeping. Across the street are many shrines to the 300,000 plus Gods the Hindus worship! They worship trees, cows, rats, monkeys, snakes ect. Just imagine worshipping all these Gods and the irony of the filth and destitution across the street – so much for their God’s blessing. I kept having this vision of Satan treating his people like a dog. He would kick, beat, whip and yell at the dog only to have it come back and lick his feet. That is what the people of Kanpur are to him, and how they are treated.
Pure evil is evident in the total corruption. The police force is entirely corrupt with the federal government threatening to bring in the military and take over the local government and police force. When an accident or crime happens, it does not get reported. This is because the person reporting it will most likely go to jail! Many of the accidents and crimes are the result of the police, or someone who is paying the police. If you wish to have a crime pursued, the cops need to be paid off. Hopefully the criminal has not paid the police off, otherwise you’ll be arrested. All government agencies are fully corrupt. Raju (who is the Kanpur YWAM Director) just got extorted $500 on building his house. For several months he has filed to get blueprints for his house. He never got them (which is common) and started building. When the home was 95% complete, an inspector came out and said pay him $500 or tear it down. He paid the money and still does not have the blueprints – meaning future extortion is a possibility. Not one person in his neighborhood has been able to get their blueprints approved – it is just the way things are.
The corruption in business is horrendous. Residents only have electricity and water about 8 hours a day. The electric plants make enough, but it is stolen by the factories and not paid for (other than bribes). Other electricity is sent out of Kanpur to capture higher rates. In the summer with temps in the 110-120’ range, it is very difficult. Worse is the water – it is irreversibly polluted. There is chromium, lead, arsenic, mercury (along with many other poisonous metals), bacteria and viruses. Raju had the water filtered on the base, but it did not remove the metals. Therefore he had a huge cyst form on his back which was just removed. He’s only been in Kanpur 3 years! Currently they just purchased a reverse osmosis water system which is the only way to get pure water to drink. The pollutants come from the factories – specifically the tanneries (leather companies). The chemicals they use to process the leather is toxic and pumped into the ground and river. From there it leeches into the groundwater, making it a toxic waste – this is what 99% of the population drinks daily! The ground is also polluted which effects the vegetables.
Business is simply horrible. For years I’ve worked with Indians and was always perplexed. As a people, they are giving, kind and trustworthy. However in business they are not and cannot be trusted. The vast majority of Indian resumes I receive are false with most of their skills being a lie. This primarily comes from their religious upbringing. One of their primary Gods as a child loved butter. He would go into houses at night and steal butter since he loved it so much. He would also steal other minor things, but the basis of their religious beliefs stems from it being accepted to lie and steal if it was for the ‘greater good’. With this in mind, you see Indians all trying to take advantage of each other. There is no, “this is fair for both of us, therefore a good deal”. A “good deal” is when you’ve taken advantage of the other person. To give a few more examples, is spice. Spice sells by its weight. To lower the cost, they add ‘filler’ to the spice. Some of the filler is gross and deadly. Dry paint is one of the fillers and HORSE MANURE is another! Yes, horse poop is a filler – YUCK!!!! BTW, I did not eat any more Indian food after I heard that – can you blame me?
I also know what it is like being a celebrity. Everywhere we walked, people stopped and stared. Many would follow us around. If we stayed in one place for 5 minutes, 20-30 people would gather around us! Most have never seen a white person before. They wanted to shake our hand, get their picture taken or just say “hi”. They are truly a wonderful, kind, and pleasant people – just horribly lost and desperately in need of Jesus. They have never heard of Jesus and don’t understand the basics of the Bible. One of the most asked questions was “would you like to make friendship with me”? See what I mean, really great people! But they need our help!!!
On the way home I was sitting next to a lady describing the trip. She said “what right do we have forcing our views and beliefs on this old, ancient and honorable society”? Like so many people, she was repeating what the media tells us. However, she had no idea what life over there is truly like. When I spoke to the pastors, I spoke about morality, the Bible and business. I explained how Biblical principals must be followed in church, the family AND in business. This is hard for them to grasp and very opposite how they are raised. However, it is a strong Biblical foundation of everything. If people are fair to each other, the corruption diminishes and quality of life goes up. This is something which will NOT happen without us and the church. For several millennium it has been this way and it is killing them. Down in Southern India, Christianity has taken root and positive changes are taking place. Wherever Christianity is strongest, that is where the quality of life is higher! It is through the precepts the Bible teaches that allowed our society to become blessed and healthy. That does not mean there are not bad Christians, but it does mean Christianity is desperately needed! Satan does not want this to happen. The dark hates the light and that is why Christians are killed and persecuted. The media only shows how Mosques or temples are violated, but rarely will they show the anger and torture against Christians. I’ve seen it firsthand and can say their arguments are lies.
Indians want to live free, prosperous, healthy happy lives. However they cannot and will not if we do not help them. Right now YWAM is one of maybe two missionary groups in all of Kanpur. This part of India has the least amount of Christians, therefore it is darkest needs the most help. YWAM stands for “Youth with a Mission”. I believe they are the largest non-denominational missionary organization in the world, founded by Dr. Loren Cunningham. They take youths (ages 18-20’s), train them and send them as missionaries throughout the world. The training is intense and God’s word has spread and reached all corners of the world due to this wonderful organization.
Raju is the Director of YWAM Kanpur and one of the most amazing men I’ve ever met. He and his family are from the more prosperous south. However, God called him and his family to Kanpur to save Christ’s lost children. Just imagine the sacrifice this man is making! He is putting his and his family’s life on the line to serve our Lord. He prayed about the danger and God told him sacrifice is necessary for good to reign. He steadfastly took up the yoke! A true Jesus Freak! Their home is very humble, yet the doors (very few rooms even have doors or windows) are wide open for anyone! He had over 25 people/missionaries living with him when we were there. The missionaries stay for 2-3 months, with some staying fulltime. The kitchen is small with no hot water. Only a few weeks ago did they get hot water which they put in a bucket and take sponge baths (no shower). Electricity is sporadic; therefore they do not have a refrigerator. Almost all their food is rice, beans and flour products, with much spice. To get around, Raju has a motorcycle which he, his wife, daughter and son ride on together (and only one helmet). We really would like them to get a small car which can also be used to shuttle Christians and Pastors around, but they don’t have the money for any of this.
For the Pastor’s conference, Raju needed a place which was central – that turned out to be the basement surrounded by a cow-poop wall. That place, along with equipment cost several hundred dollars, along with $100/mo rent. He also added two floors to his house to sleep missionaries. Currently he has paid the laborers, but not for the materials, he needs $3,000. Before the building, the missionaries were spread around the neighborhood in dangerous conditions. To be blunt, the house they are in is NOT safe! However, compared to the alternatives it is a huge step up. Just to get to the house, you have to drop down into a stream, cross over rocks to the other side. Don’t fall in!!!! It is an open sewer, like all streams and rivers in Kanpur.
Therefore this is being posted for several reasons. I wanted to let you all know how blessed and grateful we are and should be. I wanted to also give you a glimpse of what it’s like when Satan and pure evil reigns. I wanted you know about this desperate city in need of desperate help. You can help in several ways. First, please keep Raju, YWAM and all the Pastors and Christians and non-Christians of Kanpur in your daily prayers. Many pastors gave me their card and asked me to pray for him, their family and church. Second, is money. One of the guys I went with stated “YWAM can make a Nickel look like a Manhole Cover”. Every little penny helps. You have kids giving up 6-12 months of their lives to bring God’s Good news to places like Kanpur. None are on a salary, all are sponsored. Raju does not get a salary either – there are no salaries in YWAM – it’s all about sponsors! Raju is the focal point. It was his drive and commitment and three years of hard work that brought these pastors together. Right now he needs money to help bring more people and more change to Kanpur. He is incredibly humble and I never saw once where he spent money for himself. It was always about giving it to further Christ’s vision. Right now he is desperate and has no idea how to pay off the $3k it took in building materials, (plus another $1,500 in additional expenses). Therefore please pray about considering sponsoring him and YWAM in Kanpur.
I’ll be painfully honest and blunt – God Willing I’ll never go back. I am ashamed of this, but I’m too weak. Not only will my body not allow this, but my spirit is not strong enough. You all know me and how physically strong I am. You all know how mentally tough I can be. None of that mattered in Kanpur. When I left one week early, my heart and body were broken. It is people like Raju, missionaries in YWAM and the pastors of Kanpur that are the true warriors. What they lack and need is what we have – money. Consider sponsoring Raju on a monthly amount. If you don’t have much, commit $20 a month – we all have that. If you are more liquid, consider $100/month. If you truly want to bless him, send a nice size check to pay for the supplies he owes. Total combined outstanding expenses is roughly $4,500. You would make all your checks payable to YWAM and they are tax deductible. Once your check is received, you’ll get a receipt back in the mail. You would send them to my friend’s Idaho YWAM base and he would forward the money ‘converted’ to Rupees (Indian currency) to Raju. YWAM Idaho and YWAM Kanpur are sister bases and only your funds directed to Raju would be used by him. You can even state (if you want), what the funds are to be used for (such as helmets for his family). I personally send money and let them decide. However, I urge you all to do something. We can all send $20/month and never know it was gone. However, $20 in Kanpur is huge! That could literally be a week’s food for 10 people at the base. For those of us with ‘real money’, seriously think about a BIG one time check!
Right now you have an opportunity to hit the enemy in the heart of his territory. No one should have to live like this. I felt I was witnessing an historical event. I honestly felt Kanpur is getting ready for a big change and your help would be hugely instrumental. The Pastor’s uniting is the first and biggest step. However, money is desperately needed to allow the momentum to continue. I’ve never solicited money before, but now is the time. Below is the contact information for sending checks, along with Raju’s info. Feel free to call or email me if you have any questions.
Come on guys, let’s help this brother and family out while kicking Satan in the teeth.
God bless you guys,
Make checks payable to YWAM – (make sure you state WHO the check is for – Suvarna Raju).
YWAM Idaho Boise-Cascade
PO Box 70
Cascade, Idaho 83611
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
The Idaho Directors are Marty and Kelly Meyer and my closest friends. Marty is the reason I found the Lord. Feel free to contact them directly if you’d like.
International YWAM Website