After successfully surviving the Indian customs and getting my passport stamped twice in Germany, of which I feel like a poser because all I experienced was the clean airport and expensive food, I am currently half way across the Atlantic Ocean on my way back to the States. I have had a lot of time to sit (~24 hours of traveling) and begin to semi-process the last month of my life in India. However, I don’t really know what that looks like since the experience was one I do not think words can describe.
Prior to leaving, I had heard about the sex-trafficking campaigns, the End It Now movement, the Indian class systems and “untouchable” people from the book Gospel for Asia. My sister also mentioned I would see begging children, paralyzed and disabled people (some crawling up stairs to worship/feed golden statues), a lustful darkness covering the country, etc. However, the preparations did not become real to me until the “begging child” became Sanjub and his brother Raul from the market; children with souls, children with no shoes or shower or education or parents to provide for them or love them, children who are rarely asked their name, children who survive off of trash or scraps from sympathetic people, children who had never in their life heard of Jesus. Or until our team saw a person with leprosy. Or until I walked through temples where women worshipped face down to golden statues for fear of karma. Or until I could not escape the sight or smell of trash and flies and urine and feces on every street corner. Or until I walked straight through the Red Light District itself and saw women in brothels calling down to men; women who have accepted their identity as one that is to be given away. Or until I worked with 15 of their beautiful children, who have fortunately been taken out of the business and given hope: hope for a future and a relationship with Jesus Christ.
I hate that humans are like that-that we cannot seem to understand another persons situation until we are actually there, until we have had to sacrifice something, until we have been uncomfortable. I am praying that you feel the heaviness in my heart for a place that has a huge harvest but few workers. Karen Watson says “I wasn’t called to a place, I was called to Him. To obey was my objective, to suffer was expected, His glory my reward.” I love the way she describes suffering out of obedience, obedience to God who has already won the battle against sin and Satan. Carrying the burden of salvation or fighting *for* victory would absolutely crush you in this country. There is too much darkness, too much spiritual warfare, and too much visible idol worship. Praise God for the truth in Acts 17:25,28 “And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else…For in him we live and move and have our being. We are his offspring.”.
The entire trip I visited and revisited Isaiah 61, Psalm 115, Acts 17:16-34, and Romans 8. These Scriptures truly came to life for me, and they very closely depict what our time in India was like. If you’d like to pray specifically, I highly recommend praying straight through these verses. Dwell in them. Our team also posted daily updates through pictures on Instagram #midtowndelhi.
All in all, the trip “hurt so good”. It was not an “emotional high” or spiritual mountain top experience, but it did break my heart even further for what breaks God’s. It stripped and revealed a lot of idols in my own life. The team had fun days and also really hard days. We witnessed the fruit of previously answered prayers and also prayers that were answered immediately. I was not “needed” in India, but am so thankful I had the opportunity to join in the work God was, is, and will continue to do there.
Revelation 21:3-4 “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”“