Monday, December 7, 2009
Thanks to those of you who have followed my blog about the recent mission trip to India. Life certainly came fast when we got back so I am a little later than I'd like finishing this up. Here are some FAQ's about the trip:
1. How many people went?
9 from AMRBC and a total of 30 (others were from Birmingham, Montgomery, and smaller towns in Alabama)
2. Who did you go with?
TREC is an organization run out of Montgomery, AL with a focus on mobilizing ordinary Christians to get their "faith dirty." They support and partner with the minsitry of Jiwan, a Nepali pastor. (www.trecmud.com)
3. Where did you go?
We were in the West Bengal state of India in a small village named Pacheng. It's not google-able, trust me! A large city nearby (but 3 hours by jeep!) was Darjeeling. Many of these people are Indian but have Nepali (from Nepal)heritage which makes them somewhat Asian in a appearance.
4. Where did you stay?
Well, there were three nights in hotels (India style). During the medical camp, however, we slept 4 nights on the floor in the school. The school was a wooden building with cut out holes for windows. No running water, no electricity except for a couple of overhead lightbulbs that were less than dependable. It was about 40 degrees at night. We actually drew a larger crowd on the last two days because the Nepali people heard that we were sleeping in their village.
5. What did you do?
The trip was designed around a four day medical camp which was advertised before we arrived. People walked long distances to see our doctors, receive medicine or glasses, and were then offered the chance to go to the prayer room. In the prayer room we presented the gospel and prayed with them.
6. Would you do it again?
In a heartbeat. Tomorrow. Anytime.
One last thought:
In India, they openly name their Gods. I heard the names Shivah, Muhammed, Allah, and others quite ofen. Many would tell me, "I believe in Jesus Christ but I will not walk away from my other gods." Some said, "I like this Jesus but my husband is Hindu. I cannot leave my family for Jesus." I began to appreciate their candor when I thought about our lives here in the States. We worship many gods delude ourselves in taking a religious title like "Christian" when there is no evidence in our lives that we have forsaken all else for the cause of Christ! It challenged me to think of what I treasure more highly than Christ and what I serve and where I seek my satisfaction. Along those lines, would you be willing to walk away from the convenience of your life for one week a year to share the gospel with someone halfway around the world? I hope these stories have shown you that I believe the return was MUCH greater than the cost.
Still with me? Okay one last story!
There were these 2 younger people with us on the trip, Megan and Liz. Megan was 25 and about to spend A YEAR in India working in the children's home supervised by Jiwan and his wife. Liz was 19 and about to spend SIX MONTHS helping also. Liz had this awesome Mother Teresa quality about her. She is beautiful and she drew children everywhere we went. She and Megan did a great job entertaining the kids waiting at the medical camp. When we went to the Chetna Leprosy colony just before leaving to come home, I looked behind me and saw a familiar scene...Liz with a kid on each hip and two on each leg. I thought, "Wow. Some people just have that quality. Some people can do that. Some people were born to be missionaries." I looked at Megan and said, "How does Liz do that?" She looked at me the way only a 25 year old who "gets it" can look at you and said, "Uhm, I think she just picks up a kid wherever we go."
Oh, my. How profound was that moment for me! That is ALL God was calling me to do in that moment! Go pick up a kid. Do what I do every day but in a new culture and a new setting where he needed to be made known. There is nothing special about Liz and nothing special about Sarah Beth. There is something special about JESUS CHRIST! So, yes! You can do it. God's just asking you to pick up a kid. To do something practical in the name of Christ.
Okay, I'm really done. :)