January 24th, 2020 we saw a team of six head over to India for the third year (2015,2018 & 2020) to run medical camps and work in partnership with Gospel Friends. Gospe Friends have a campus in Rajapalayam, India where they have a Bible School, Medical School, Primary School, Orphanage and many more ministry activities taking place. In 2019 Gospel Friends saw 580 Missionaries go through ministerial training, 162 young girls recieve paramedical training, 175 children had a chance to attaned regualr school, 4500 Children reached through Vacation Bible School, 193 Orphans were cared for. In the midst of all of that they also saw 12,000 medically treated, 372 native missionaries are reaching the unreached places across India, Myanmar and Nepal. 200,000 new testaments and tracts distributed and 3,000 baptisms. God is at work in India for His glory and renown!
Keisha shares her experince from the Trip this year in January -
Hi, my name is Keisha Wright. I recently got back to the states in February from a 2 week mission trip to India. I didn't have many expectations, but knew God was sending me. I had about 2 weeks left to raise money and God provided enough funds for my airplane ticket within 3 days after meeting the team. During the first medical camp at a church God showed me the need that we all have for him. I was on a prayer team praying for patients being seen. We were praying for those from the church as well as villager's. Regardless if they were Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, they all needed and wanted prayer. The main requests were for healing. God showed me that He is Sovereign, and if it is His will then He will heal them. I had to surrender what I believed to be best for each person and realize God has a purpose that I cannot see. Each medical camp had a different atmosphere, but every person wanted prayer. Bill was relentlessly asking people if they have heard about Jesus? Majority of the people said "no." Bill was able to share the gospel with them, and many wanted to accept Christ. The medical camps were very impactful because God was using the medical camps to open the doors of the church and show people what love looks like. Many outsiders came to the "free medical camps" and now 25 are attending churches. On the last day of medical camp we were able to share the gospel with one of the medical students who does not attend the church at the orphanage, and who goes home after school to take care of her brother. She had been told by friends to pray to God during hard times, but did not hear about the Gospel. After we shared, she wanted to accept Jesus. She was smiling as she left. God showed me how loving He is. How a body of students can go to school together, go to church together, and live together everyday in the orphanage and still love each other like Christ. God has blessed each student with the option to hear the gospel, and be loved and fed. The kids melted my heart, they are so friendly. They would run right to us and hug us, or greet us and want to play. They were truly appreciative and happy that we came. God showed me that no matter what circumstances you come from, He can and does change your life for the better. Even though the kids do not have earthly parents to run home to they have a heavenly father and brothers and sisters they can trust. God's love continues to reach India, and the work that Gospel Friends is doing is all out of love. They are currently handing out food packs during this time of quarintine and share the gospel while doing it. I have realized how much we take the gospel for granted.
Amy shares of her expience in India in January-
The India trip was my first "missions trip". I went for a variety of reasons, but one of them was to understand more about 'missions'. What does that mean? Is it more or different than the day to day interactions I have with people around me at home? Another reason I went was to be where I knew God was. I had been struggling to trust and see God at work in some areas of my life and I KNOW He is ever present and invested, but I just wasn't seeing it. I sensed God would be in the midst of this trip and wanted to put myself where I knew He would be. I wanted to get as close to Him as I could in any/every way I could.
What was most impactful: I realized that missions is like every other interaction Christians have: We show up, brave in the face of opposition because we know what we believe; We know our goal: to demonstrate the grace and love of God; Trusting (knowing) that God will enable us to to what He requires of us--and that any shortcoming we think we have in spite of heart-in-the-right-place is ordained or allowed by God. God knows what outcome He's looking for. We do not. Our focus can't be the results--that's the Spirit's territory. Our focus and job is showing up, heart open and trusting God. To alter Caesar's quote slightly, "I came, I saw, I loved." and the rest was God.
How did I see God working - how did that add to or change how I view God's character? I can't say I saw much of the fruit of our labours - we were only in India 2 weeks and went from place to place a lot. But I did see God working in our team and I was especially aware how He was working in me. I'm not outgoing. I have a rather stoic? personality that doesn't readily forge bonds with others. The unstructured 'visit and be a blessing' times were uncomfortable and scary to me. BUT I knew my 'mission': demonstrate Christ's love; Be present; Let the Spirit and the context determine how interactions go. There were awkward silences. There were language limitations. There were times I didn't know what was expected of me and felt I was failing people's expectations. But I sustained a heart of love toward them and the knowledge of God's love for them. I showed up anyway. And God made good from that - not by always miraculously giving me words to say, but by blessing even the 'awkward' silence with a universal-language knowledge that His love is real and can reach anybody.
How has this changed my life back home? I'm striving to strengthen the habit of approaching all interactions with others with the same 'mission' in mind. I can't focus on 'how do I navigate this interaction so it's not awkward or so I don't get hurt? What does this person want or expect of me?' None of that is relevant. I must be present - with the Spirit and with that person; I must seek understanding of Christ's love so I can demonstrate it however the situation calls for it. And I must stick to my mission regardless of their response.
This may not be an emotional perspective or a very inspirational one, but life is made up of the daily grind. It is not something more than or beyond every breath I take and every situation I find myself in. Everyone's contexts differ. I do not believe I am called to a foreign context with frequent human interaction. That doesn't mean missions isn't for me. It means missions looks different for me. Missions is not a set of activities, it is a mindset. A "heartset". - Amy McCombs
Contact Bill Cheser or Ronnie Huntsberger for more information about our Mission Trips to India!