Where do I begin? My mission trip to India has marked me forever. Quite honestly, the things people told me that would be an issue for me, the food and the smells, didn’t make a huge impact on me. In fact, I never noticed “the smell” until the drive to the airport to fly home. I don’t know if it was because of where I spent my time or if it was because my focus was elsewhere. What I wasn’t prepared for was the impact the children I visited would have on me.
I’ve been in the mission field multiple times and have been blessed by every trip. I’ve encountered people of different faiths, people who didn’t know a Jesus existed, people who have come from horrific poverty and unbelievable life experiences, but never in my life have I encountered people like the children of India I was with on this trip.
They live in a home, not an orphanage. They have house parents who live with them and guide and direct them each day. They have a mama who has 48 children who love, adore, honor and respect her. The respond to her requests immediately and without complaining. She knows each one of her children by name, their stories, the things they like, the things they don’t like, and their birthday (if they were able to find any record indicating their birthday when she found them). They aren’t perfect and neither is she; however, they love deeply, give grace freely and live in a culture of honor like I’ve never encountered.
These children are some of the happiest, most obedient, fun loving, children I’ve ever met. Before coming to their current home, they experienced tragedy like most of us will never know in our entire lifetime. It would be easy for them to be jaded, hard, offended, angry, and feel like the world owes them something. Instead, they accept their past, but choose to fix their eyes on Jesus [Hebrews 12:2]. They do not agree with the enemy’s attempt to convince them their past has to define who they are; rather, they choose to agree with what God says about them.
They are loved with an everlasting love [Jeremiah 31:3; John 3:16]. They are saved by grace [Ephesians 2:8; Romans 10:9]. They are valuable [1 Corinthians 6:19-20]. They are accepted [Romans 15:7]. They are blessed [Ephesians 1:3]. They were created in the image of God [Genesis 1:27]. They were created with a destiny and great plans in mind [Jeremiah 29:11]. They are the apple of the Lord’s eye [Zechariah 2:8]. And the list goes on and on…
All of these scriptures apply to us as well. So what is the thing about these precious ones from India that marked me forever? They don’t just know what the Word of God has to say about them…they truly believe it and because they take God’s Word not only as absolute truth but their absolute truth, they live differently.
I went to India to teach and to serve; however, I found myself to be the student and the one served. These precious people have marked my life forever.
What will you do with God’s truth? Will you only accept it as His truth or will you embrace it as His truth for you?