Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Journey to India

We just returned from a few weeks traveling across India. We were part of a survey team from our church, LCBC (Lives Changed By Christ). As part of our trip we surveyed several areas where our church could get involved and help other lives to be changed by Christ. Our goal is to identify a Dalit community where we can be involved helping impact the community through education, healthcare, economic development, and social justice. The trip was extremely productive. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to travel together. Between the two of us, we’ve served in nearly 30 countries through short-term opportunities, but this was only our 2nd trip together. We enjoyed experiencing it together.

We worked with the Dalit Freedom Network and they took us to different communities each day that were in different stages of the transformation process. We were humbled as we walked through some of the Dalit villages. Some were mere metal shacks and others were homes made out of concrete pipes.

Our hearts were broken as we met face, after face, after face and recognized that many of them have no knowledge of who Jesus is or have even had the opportunity to understand the value that he places on each of their lives.

Many of the settings we were shown involved a school that had been started. This is often the best way to begin making an impact in a community. Providing education opportunities to Dalit children gives them hope and opportunity that they normally would not be afforded. We enjoyed meeting the kids, hearing how their lives are being shaped by Christ, and participating in their daily routines and even National Children’s Day (an Indian holiday for children).

It looks like our church will begin this partnership in the next few months. Please pray for us as we dialogue and initiate a healthy partnership where more lives can be changed by Christ.

Following our survey trip, we journeyed up to Delhi to visit some of our partners serving in a University setting. We had a blast and our visit was extremely encouraging as we laid some important groundwork for a trip that Paul will be helping lead in May alongside of Light Ministries at Liberty University. It seems for the time being that God is opening doors for us to continue to visit and serve in India. Please pray for us as we continue to be involved in several different opportunities for ministry.