India Missions Trip Recap: Part 1
India has the second largest population in the world with 1.339 billion people. Yes, I said billion. According to ABWE’s latest report, India is the most unreached nation for the gospel on the earth. The primary religion is Hinduism with their 2.4 million gods that people worship. Most Hindu’s are recognized by the red dot on their foreheads. They are an incredibly warm and respectful people but with an emptiness in their soul.
This September, we sent a missions team to India to share the gospel of Jesus Christ in rural villages, love on orphans at the New Life Children’s Home, and provide training for village pastors. It was a life changing experience for many of us in spite of the unusually hot and humid weather we experienced there. Our team of nine consisted of: Barry, Candy, Tony, Ron, Nancy, Jenn, Steve, Dennis, and Adam. I asked the team members several questions on how the trip impacted them and their answers are below. This was my second trip to India but this year my wife, Candy, was able to come with me. I will share our experience in Part 2 of our India Trip recap.
In what ways did you see God work while in India?
- Jennifer: For me, the ways I saw God work while in India was just in the details. For example, one of the days a couple of us were like feeling the need to be on guard and pray especially when we were going out into the villages that a lot of people don’t go to. The second time was the morning I woke up and the water was not working in my room. The thought of not being able to get cleaned up before the day was daunting. I prayed to God and He promised me He was going to bring me water. He answered by bringing water in abundance. First, it started to rain outside, then the water suddenly started working in my room and then I laughed when Candy was splashed with water at the breakfast table. Lol!
- Adam: I experienced God in a much more intimate way than ever before. I sensed His presence with me throughout the trip, and I also relied on His direct guidance more than ever. He saw more in me than I saw in myself, and asked me to do things that stretched me just enough to be effective with intercessory prayers for healing and witnessing people come to faith through my story. I’m still amazed! He also gave me guidance in what exactly to pray for people when I didn’t have an interpreter near me.
- Ron: The Indian pastors that we met who are shepherding their small congregation showed such great passion for sharing the gospel. God is raising up workers for the harvest.
- Steven: I saw God’s work when I was laying hands on people needing prayer. Many times I saw the Holy Spirit moving people to tears while we prayed together. You could clearly see these Brothers and Sisters in Christ where genuinely moved by Gods infinite love.
- Tony: God called people to Himself, he healed people, and he caused team members to get out of their comfort zones and blessed them because they obeyed His calling.
- Nancy: I found myself dependent on God throughout the week. He was my strength in weariness and each packed day. I prayed to have trust and confidence to share my testimony and the gospel. My prayers for a ministry to widows blossomed as I shared my testimony and women lined up to be prayed for.
- Dennis: By men, women and children committing their lives to Jesus, through the hope two men received in prayer as tears flowed from their eyes, and through the blind man who saw for the first time in 10 years.
Yes, you read that last part correctly. There was a man who was blind for the last 10 years. After several prayers for his healing, he began to look directly into the eyes of other people, even turning to see someone and smiled back. He then began to cry as he was rejoicing and thanking the Lord for giving him back his sight!
What was the most challenging aspect of the trip for you?
- Tony: Leaving. India is such a spiritually rich environment: people wanted to hear the gospel, people desired prayer, pastors wanted to learn more. And God powerfully moved amongst us.
- Jennifer: The most challenging was just feeling a little rushed during the trip especially when we couldn’t spend a lot of time with the people we prayed over because we had to go to the next village right away. Not being able to spend a lot of time with the kids at the Children’s Home as well.
- Dennis: Staying focused when hot and tired.
- Ron: While we were praying for the people gathered to hear our testimony I found it challenging to be aware of the real needs of these people. Often we would pray without knowing what the results would be.
- Nancy: Holding and crying with a young widow with a two year old daughter whose husband was burned to death 6 months earlier.
- Steven: The heat and humidity. I suffered a little bit of heat stroke on the first day in country, but the hospitality of our Indian hosts was excellent, After I was sick I was rushed off to a Air Conditioned bedroom in a remote village to recover. Thanks to our host Neelima, I felt much better.
- Adam: One of my biggest challenges was being in a group of extroverts when I’m an introvert. After giving so much of myself at a meeting, I struggled to participate in the post meeting conversations in the car. I think the biggest challenge though was in preparation for the trip. I know that I could have prepared better especially if I knew exactly what it was going to be like. I let other things take me away from practicing more, but boy did God still help me out on the spot when I was out in the villages.
What brought you the most joy while in India?
- Nancy: I found hope, joy, praising, and affirmations of hallelujahs. My church family expanded to more brothers and sisters in India. I was loved by so many of the children and privileged to meet my sponsor child. I have many more children now who call me ‘grandma!’
- Steven: The people. I have never met such a warm and welcoming culture to strangers. Because of this the Gospel can connect and flourishes there. They seemed to be very loving people. They just needed Jesus to be complete.
- Ron: I found such joy shaking the hand of a local pastor realizing I had a partnership with leaders around the world.
- Tony: Seeing God restore the sight of a blind man. This had a rippling effect on our team and the entire community of believers in this village.
- Adam: I experienced so much joy by how much I felt loved and accepted by the Indian people, the children, and of course my teammates. I haven’t felt so loved in a long time, and I felt like my heart grew two sizes larger because of that. God used this to soften me up, become more vulnerable, and truly feel like a human again.
- Jennifer: Loving on the people and seeing their joy when we were loving on them and encouraging them through prayer.
- Dennis: It was a joy watching other team members grow in their faith and seeing the tears and laughter of joy from the blind man as he realized he could see for the first time in 10 years.
How was your life impacted by this experience?
- Steven: I came back humbled and thankful. To see the love of God in them while living a much harder life than mine was awe inspiring and moves me to make the most out God’s life for me. I will continue to pray for all the wonderful friends I made in India and pray they will win more souls.
- Jennifer: One of the things I was telling people is I thought I was kind, and I feel like I have to step up my game since we came back. I’ve never met any people so kind, compassionate, loving, and welcoming than the people of India. I was really in awe and overwhelmed about how much they wanted to honor us, feed us, and welcome us. It was so humbling to be honored and spoiled like this. It made me want to have more of a servants heart.
- Nancy: I was impacted by the desire for and the depth of prayers. It was an honor to touch and pray for the healing of so many in India. The Lord is helping me process all He wanted to show me in India. I am so appreciative of the teams love and support in prayer. I am walking with the Lord with more confidence! Hallelujah!
- Dennis: I always leave India not wanting to leave because there is such a sense of family that I am leaving behind. As in the past trips, there are new members added. I am always impacted through the closeness that I see and feel in the Holy Spirit at work.
- Tony: I was deeply moved by how God used each team member and the amount of growth that happens because of it. The team encouraged one another along the journey, and thousands of lives were impacted because each team member answered the call of God and never shrank back from the work God set before us.
- Ron: I have learned to pray more diligently and fervently for God‘s kingdom to go forward. To bring encouragement to others more often, especially those who shepherd others.
- Adam: Along with being softer in my heart, I realized even more clearly that I’ve still been trying to find joy in the wrong things. I have a desire now to try and continue some kind of mission-like work here and definitely continue to go on these trips as I’m able. I’m more open now than ever to doing whatever God wants me to do. There were times where I was afraid of what He might ask, but this just confirms that His will for me is going to be the place where I find the most purpose and meaning. I want that now more than ever! I’m still just so thankful that we all got to experience this together and get to know each other more. I also still have a lot of processing to do, but I know that this is just the beginning of another chapter in my life!
The first video will give you a glimpse of how God moved our hearts as we shared the gospel, were loved and touched by the orphan children at the New Life Children’s Home, and the joy it was to train and encourage so many village pastors. It was quite the challenge to capture on video what God did in and through our team for the eight long days we were in India.
The second video is a taste of the New Life Children’s Home and an opportunity to sponsor some of the most adorable children you’d ever meet.
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen!” (Ephesians 3:20-21)