I was privileged to accompany 70 high school students (including two of my own kids) and leaders to Bangalore, India for two weeks. In a nation of roughly 1.25 billion people, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the chaos of the masses and the daunting charge of sharing the Gospel with them. However, God reminded that He sees each person as a unique individual.
Our teenagers spent their mornings engaging in worship and receiving practical equipping for sharing the Gospel in the most unreached nation in the world. They spent their afternoons meeting people on the streets, in the parks, at the shopping centers and in schools. Their focus was to help each individual they met to move one step closer to knowing Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
In the evenings our small outreach teams met to rejoice over every “win” from the day. Sometimes the “wins” would be seeing an individual confessing Jesus as their Lord and Savior or one of our students sharing the Gospel for the first time. I remember a student being overcome with excitement as he told us about praying with a handful of boys at the park to receive Jesus into their lives. One of our girls, whose family had served many years on the mission field, was overcome with joy after sharing the whole Gospel for the first time by herself and praying with the individual to receive Christ. Some of our girls were moved by their experience of feeding a group of street children and singing with them. Many of our students also witnessed various kinds of healings. We had so much to celebrate each day!
Near the end of our trip some of our outreach teams had the opportunity to visit an orphanage while others visited a home for the destitute and dying. My team visited the latter and was stirred with compassion. We learned that despite the language barrier, God’s love could be communicated through holding a hand or giving a hug. Many of these people were handicapped and/or elderly and had no family to care for them. They enjoyed be held and cared for by others. One lady with a contorted body was unable to speak to me, but she took my hand, placed it on her head and closed her eyes waiting for prayer.
I was so moved to recognize that although the body may be crippled and the mind may be failing, the spirit is still intact and longing for its Creator.
I’m so thankful for our youth leadership team for giving students the opportunity to invest in God’s kingdom on another side of the world. This trip had a great impact on my own teenagers’ lives and I was blessed to experience it with them!
By Carla Huggins