First of all, I can not believe it has almost been a full year since God blessed me so richly with our mission trip to India! I made life long friendships and my life was forever changed!
I had been on 2 other mission trips before, one to Belize when I was 16 and the other to Hondurous where I lived at an orphanage for a week just 2-3 months prior to going to India. I know that’s quick! I felt the same way but I truly believe the Hondurous mission was partly meant for me to get my feet wet before going to India… It’s a whole other world there!
What amazed me the most about this particular mission was that I felt God in India. I know that sounds silly, but It was a reassurance that He really is everywhere we are and at the time, I really needed to know that! I found that He really never leaves us. He really, truly, honestly never forsakes us!
Of course, it’s easy to believe that when your life is secure and you’re living life as usual in your daily rituals with lists and clocks and time frames and you have all the amenities we have where we are. But, when you’re on a plane ride for 19 hours, that being the 3rd plane, just to get where you’re going which is a 3rd world country in poverty, its a whole different ball game! You find yourself surrounded by strangers having landed in a country that’s on the other side of the world where nothing is the same accept the “made in India” tag on your toys and clothes and there’s no Chick-Fil-A on every corner, traffic is insane!!! And very few people speak the English language… You begin to feel very vulnerable.
We saw God’s awe inspiring Holy Spirit touch lives and bring people to tears including our team! We saw people who had never heard of Jesus come to tents to find out what we were talking about. We heard city elders say they were beginning to believe there was something to this man Jesus our church has talked about every year in their village since the tsunami destroyed everything they had. We fed the hungry warm fresh meals, ministered to children, prayed for woman to get pregnant, prayed for husbands to come home to their families, and assisted in a foot washing ceremony that left a village with all smiles and happy tears and left them in unity. We taught the Word of God all over a particular region in India spanning 8 hours in travel time and ate spicy Indian food for 2 weeks. We even learned how to use the restroom with nothing but a whole in the ground;) Through it all, though hundreds of lives were changed for the glory of God, we also left touched and changed!
I can speak for myself only and what God did in my life personally, although I know He worked in each of us! For me, He gave me a love for the people of India, a love that was not there before going. He showed me He is tangible, He is mighty and He really never leaves us! He was on the plane ride with us to and from India, He was in every tent meeting and outside homes, inside homes, inside churches. He was at the river baptisms, He was with us in traffic (thank you Jesus) and He was with us on the trains, in the villages, at the orphanages, and even with us while we slept. He is with the people of India. He is everywhere! He is faithful and constant and loving, gentle, and He is our protector, healer, and our heart changer! I also experienced a true holy reverence that I never had witnessed before and never knew existed.
Today, remember wherever you are and whatever you are going through, God loves you, His creation! He is with you every step of the way! He is constant and His love for you is never ending!