During the sermon the Gujrati preacher made a fairly racist statement. It was meant to be funny and I did find it entertaining but I also found it offensive in some ways. He said whenever he came to America he could tell when he was near Indians because he smelled the curry. He said all motels in the US were owned by Indians.Of course, he almost has a point. Indians do own many of the hotels here. Not all, but many.
Another fascinating point the missionary mentioned had me doing some research. I don't know if he was misinformed, if he purposely stated this to try and emphasize some point he was trying to make or if he mentioned it to foster support. What he stated was that after the fall of the British Raj that India had gotten rid of their missionary visa. He said that you had to get a tourist or some other kind of visa but that they didn't allow them in. You had to be Indian to be a missionary to India.
Now, my first thoughts on hearing this had me thinking that it made sense. After all, I've witnessed most Indians being very India centered. This shows up when teachers tell young children that they should only eat Indian food and that other foods are bad for them. It showed in the Indian retail market where Indian made goods dominated the markets. I simply had to look this up.
It was a lie. Here's the proof - Travisa Outsourcing: Missionary Visas. I was disappointed for many reasons. First was because it would seem that some of the horror stories of corrupt ministries in India were likely true. Second was because he might have felt the need to say this to an all white church for some less than ideal reasons. Third was because I couldn't believe he didn't know this. It's his job to know these things. It's his field of expertise. Granted, he wouldn't need a visa and his wife wouldn't either now but I'm certain he worked with other missionaries (because he talked about it) and should know these visa's are offered.
While I will never know what his reasoning was or why he said this to a crowd that never would have needed to know it, I just found it very disappointing.
After service I talked to them and found a few more things they said disturbing. They told stories of having windows broken out of the church that sounded very real. I had witnessed similar incidents (not directly to churches) in Amritsar. Then they told other stories of "testimony" nature that seemed rehearsed and not likely true. One was of a man getting shocked by electricity and having his clothes completely blown off his body while watering the church roof on a Sunday. While this man was saved while doing church work, another woman had tapped a power line with a wet sari and died instantly.
The story may have been true but just the way they told it reeked of the typical Christian propaganda. I think one thing that bothered me was that they said they had expressly forbid working on Sunday in the church but that this man was determined to water the roof and talked them into allowing him to. My next concern was that this occurred while the building was being built and specifically the day after the roof was attached to the building. I don't know Indian construction but why would the electricity be on and run to the house with live current flowing to a building that wasn't finished being built yet? When hubby and I turned on our electricity to be separate from the family, we had to apply and wait a while for the box to be installed. I can't imagine you would do this before the building ever had a roof on it.
There were a few more things that struck me as odd but I think you all get the point. I felt like they were worried I might point out something they didn't want their financial backers to know. They weren't preaching about how bad Indians have it or how poor the country was so I don't know why. But I just got the impression that I made them nervous.