Today is supposedly our last day at Chai. One of our team members, Valerie, has flown back and the rest of us are staying for 2 more days to explore bangalore a little.
During this trip, we made many friends from Chai and also a few from the visitors that we interacted with. We get to bless the people through conversations and praying for some of them, and at the same time we are being blessed by their stories of struggles and breakthroughs.
Most of them are Christians, while a small handful are not, but they enjoy coming here because this place brings them a sense of peace and they get to talk to people here.
Just by being here for a week, I’ve learnt much through Benny Prasad, his team, and the way they operate. Benny travelled to every country in the world within the shortest time, earning him a guiness world record yet to be broken since 2010. He performed before kings, royalties, and magistrates, to the tribal people groups, and anyone in between. He would practice 10-14hrs a day, for years. After he accomplished this God-given task of travelling to every country to preach the Gospel and share his testimony, the Lord told him to buy this plot of land in bangalore, not knowing what he would do with it. So after he received the plan from God on what to do with this ground, he poured all (literally 100%, to the cent) of his finances and the subsequent 14 months of income + blessings into building this place and running the cafe. Knowing it was the Lord who blessed him so much, making him successful in ways millions can’t even dream of, Benny was able to let go of these successes and readily give it up to the Lord for his next assignment.
His humble and genuine heart can be felt while interacting with him. There is no ‘air’ around him. He carries on a heart of compassion not many in this world has. When he speaks, wisdom flows out from his lips. Even though he is a strict man when it comes to standards (such as time and integrity, amongst many others), he is far from being religious. Often during our conversations, he would insert small jokes (that is actually pretty funny), keeping things lighthearted. It wouldn’t take long before one realises that every rule/standard he sets has a valid reason behind it. None of it is set blindly.
The staff in Chai are amazing too. Siffo, one of the staff who joined just two weeks before we arrived, gave up her job of two years as a college prof (her dream job) to serve full-time here. Her testimony is a powerful one. In her own words, after a visit to a local mental hospital, she realised if it was not for the relationship she had with the Lord, she would have been one of the mental patients because the trauma/experience these patients faced were not even half of what she experienced growing up.
Joel, one of the new visitors to Chai, came on the 3rd day of our stay. He had wanted to commit suicide the day before, but the Lord intervened through his dad who sent him a short clip about Benny, just hours before his suicide attempt. That led him to watch more videos of Benny and decide to come to Chai the following day. Siffo told us that on the first day, he wouldn’t open up, he just sat there not saying anything. When he came back a second time, I spoke with him, and he was visibly much better already. The third time he came, was 5 days after his first visit. He was at the stage of talking and even being able to open up about his life without difficulty. No more thoughts of committing suicide. Amazing. Just in the span of 5 days, he transformed into a bright, lovely man. He gave me his favorite pen as an act of friendship and remembering him. On this particular day when he was on his way to meet us, the Lord warned him twice (without knowing it was God initially) about an accident that he’s about to be in, so he rode slightly slower than his usual speed. He got into an accident with one of those three-wheeled tourist taxi, when it changed lane without warning. He crashed into the taxi, causing a big dent on the vehicle, but his bike was unscathed (only minor paint scratches) and he didnt fly off the bike. He wasn’t even injured. The Lord protected him.
Today, Bobby, another one of the guys who came this week, responded when a call was given during the saturday service.
Also, I met a lady by the name of Molly, a single mom taking care of her autistic child. She is a prayerful person, who spends much time with the Lord after giving birth to Sujit, her autistic child. Our team spoke with her, prayed, gave her words we heard from the Lord, and ministered to her. She was truly blessed. Just before she left, we prayed with her for healing of her neck pain and her left leg. She told us about her left leg, but the Lord spoke to Val about her neck pain. We are hoping to hear good news from her before we go back home.
These are just some of the stories I’ve encountered that left a mark on me. There are more, but too many for me to write down now. This trip indeed has been a blessing to me, maybe more than it is a blessing to the people here. I came without knowing what I could give, but I left receiving more than what I can imagine.