Written by Kayla Gershon
Each day brings a new adventure full of unexpected experiences that will stay with all of the team members for years to come.
Today, January 19, 2010, I have the privilege of reflecting on the incredible days that we have spent here, immersed in the richness of Indian culture, the spiciness of Indian food and the genuine servanthood of the Indian people.
Our Ministry: Church Presentations
After craving ministry for the first few days that we spent resting and adjusting, God definitely provided multiple opportunities for us to use the talent of our team, in ways musically, intellectually, and even artistically. Up to date, we have lead four church services, each unique in its dynamics and location, with one more tonight. The first was the Wednesday night worship service for the college students, where we sang three songs led by Joanna Chapa, performed a symbolic skit, and concluded by Del’s eloquent words.
Friday brought a new set of challenges. Not only were we informed very late that we were leading MBCBC’s chapel, at which Ben Faul so graciously offered to preach an astounding sermon, but we also had to drive in two crowded vehicles for two hours to a very remote village comprised of 39 Hindu families and one Christian family, attempting to spread the love of Christ. Bridging the gap between the cultures was not as difficult as expected, however, because they yearned to know us and share their culture with us. We danced with them for an hour before our service and almost an hour afterward. I think we all would agree that any obstacles that stood in our way, such as illness, exhaustion, and even fear, were triumphed through the power of God. It was an incredible experience to witness God’s work in a small village none of us even knew existed until now.
Sunday provided the opportunity for us to celebrate Mennonite Brethren history with fellow believers across the world. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of the denomination, and Hyderabad held the first jubilee in the world. We experienced Indian culture through the unique song and dance. Although we were exhausted following this long event, we had another church visit Sunday night, and it was amazing how God changed our hearts from reluctant to rejuvenated. This church, located in the center of an oppressive Muslim community, welcomed us with open arms and shared their hearts with us. We were blessed to have Andrew Wiens speak very eloquently and it was evident that his words empowered the people. They were polite and generous despite their overwhelming poverty. Seeing these acts of graciousness greatly encouraged us mutually; we all left excited to present again, hungry for God’s work in each of these churches.
We expect great words from Michael Suderman, who is speaking tonight at a village located three hours away.
Tomorrow morning, as early as we can leave (although it‘s never as early as we expect…), we are relocating to Jadcherla, another suburb of Hyderabad about 35 minutes away, for the remainder of our time here in India. We will be interacting very closely with the large MB church there, as well as continuing our church visits.
Dynamics of the Team
I am so thankful for each and every member of this team. God perfectly ordained all of us to come for a reason; together we have embarked on this journey to discover why we are here and what God holds for each of our lives. We have become a family, the body of Christ, ready to support one another in times of crisis and encourage one another after a job well done.