On Monday July 19, I made my way to India with a mission’s team from People’s church. There were 6 of us and we were all so excited to be going to India for 3 weeks with the organization Partner’s International. Our main mission was to preach the gospel in a school in Kerala, but before we went down south we visited ministries in Delhi who were also supported by Partner’s International. This included meeting 2 previously Sikh believers who had converted to Christianity. They were such an inspiration to me. They were both so driven to tell people about God – no matter what the cost. Even if they had to travel for days on their bikes before they reached their destination, they were happy to do it. They had GOOD news to share and wanted to share it with as many people as possible.
We also had the opportunity to visit a home church. It was hands down my favourite part of my trip. The group that we visited didn’t have a church building because of lack of funding. Also, many of the believers were facing severe poverty, battling sickness, and had problems in their families with alcoholism, suicide and depression. I still remember that night, like it was yesterday. Here we were in a small room crammed with so many people that part of the congregation had overflowed into in the bedrooms that surrounded the main room… they had all these hardships.. I was so surprised to look around the room and see such joyful people. There were so passionate and excited to be worshipping God. They were in love, in love with Jesus and everyone around them could tell.
During most of our stay in India, we worked with a ministry called Bible Faith Mission. This ministry focused on reaching the lowest caste in India – a caste that was alienated from the rest of society, called Dalits. We worked at their school and stayed at the president’s house – also called the Bishop (as this title gives more prestige in community that has Catholic history). This house was right across the street from the school. The Bishop was a dalit himself and told us many stories about how God has worked in his life. In fact, his life was a miracle in itself. His heart was at the right side of his body, and the doctors had continually told his mom that he wouldn’t live. Now, 60 odd years later, he is overseeing 250 church plants, the school and other community services around India. The school that we worked at was an English school that went from preschool until grade 10. We went into the classrooms and taught Bible stories and English. We also had the opportunity to teach kids about our salvation in Christ in our community groups which took place after school every day. One of my favourite parts of the trip was getting into the Bible with these kids. They were always so happy to look up verses in the Bible. It was also so amazing to see them sing praise songs to God; they were always so excited to be showing God how much they love Him.
My biggest prayer request for this ministry is for the Christians in India. In efforts to stop Hindus to converting to Christianity, the government is taking away subsidies that they gave Dalit people, if they became Christians. Many Christians are reconverting back to Hinduism because they need the finances to continue to put food on their tables. Please pray that the government will come to accept Christian conversions and treat Christians like the rest of society.
I could go on and on about the amazing experiences I faced in India. It definitely changed my life forever, but because I only have 5 minutes to do this presentation I’m going to conclude with this… that during this trip I was constantly reminded of the joy that these Christians had in Jesus Christ. They had nothing, but had everything at the same time. This trip really taught me about being joyful in the Lord in all circumstances.
Often we call India a developing country, a country that is poor, a country that could learn a lot from Canada. But I come to you today, my friends of Agincourt Baptist Church, to tell you that the people of India don’t have a lot to learn from us. We have a lot to learn from them. I pray that we, here at A.B.C, can really come to the understanding that our counterparts have in India: that we may know what it means to be completely in love with Jesus and that we are truly joyful in the Lord every circumstance.
If you would like to make a donation to the school at Bible Faith Mission, please make a cheque payable to Partners International. Your money will go to the following areas:
- Expanding the school (to grades 12 currently it goes up to grade 10)
- Providing programs for women
- Giving dowries to girls who are too poor to have their own dowries (meaning that they wouldn’t normally be able to get married!)
- Building churches
- Supporting pastors
Please go to the following website for more information: http://www.partnersintl.org/partners/sa/inbf