When I was a young teenager I remember my first experience with Indian food. My pastor’s daughter got married to an Indian man. I remember their wedding reception very vividly. It was all Indian, with all Indian food. As a kid growing up in Cincinnati, I hadn’t had much experience with international food, outside of the Chinese restaurant my mom would take me to. I remember walking through the line, seeing all the Indian food that looked so much different than what I was used to. I made my way entirely through and managed not to get anything but a piece of bread.
Fast forward to my time in Bible college. Shortly after I got married, I began disciplining a young Indian man named James. As you can expect, James wanted me to try Indian food. I was surely hesitant and nervous, but I agreed to go to a restaurant with him. I had him order whatever he thought would be good for us, then I anxiously waited. The food came out, and I began to watch James as he ate. He used his hands. I was blown away, but I put my fork down and ate as he did. I was terrified for my first bite, but after I had it, I realized something. INDIAN FOOD IS AWESOME! From that day on I realized I loved Indian food.
Indian food is very unique. It is very flavorful and often times can be quite spicy. Indian people take great pride in their food, and after you eat it frequently, you realize how bland American food can be. When you go to KFC or McDonald’s in India you realize how they can put the “Indian” twist on American food, and honestly it is better because of it.
Many Americans don’t eat Indian food because they are afraid to, as I was before meeting James. Unfortunately, the food isn’t the only thing we don’t understand about Indians. Indian people have not only very rich food but a very rich culture.
Many Americans do not pay any attention to Indian culture and the many aspects of it. This is one of the reasons we often fail to reach the Indian people around us. Paul said In 1 Corinthians 9 that he would adapt to each culture so that he could reach different cultures. Paul had the heart to reach people that weren’t just like him, but people who were different than him.
I would ask you to pray and consider how God might use you to reach the Indian people around you. Maybe you could even take the step to invite one to get Indian food with you and teach you about Indian culture! God might be able to use you to reach people here in the states who have never heard the gospel before!