Thursday, August 19, 2010

No more new posts!

Now that the India trip is over, we're moving to a new blog to focus on all of our small group's activities. Please follow us at:

www.diakonossmallgroup.blogspot.com

Thanks so much!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Lindsay's reflections

One of the biggest joys of our trip to India was to see the obedience of our brothers and sisters there and to see God’s faithfulness in their lives. It was such a pleasure to meet Gloria, Ramesh, and Vijay and to hear their testimonies of God’s movement in their personal lives and in the lives of the people in India. These families are truly living out God’s call for our lives and God is definitely using them to impact his kingdom in huge ways.


Lindsay with the ladies from the Women's Vocational Center
The day that stands out most in my mind was the day that our groups separated and went into the villages. My particular group went to the pastor’s conference where pastors and their wives from the surrounding villages met to worship God and seek God’s wisdom on building healthy churches. It was amazing to see the passion and desperation for God in the singing and in prayers that went on in that room. In spending time with these pastors and hearing their testimonies it was also a very real reminder of the persecution that our brothers and sisters around the world face as they spread the gospel. They need a lot of prayer for strength in these times and for the hearts of those around them to be prepared for the gospel.

We also had the privilege to worship in a village nearby in what they hope will become a house church. Right now, there is only one believer in that home, but the family and neighbors are meeting there with a pastor and his wife regularly to hear the word of God. It was exciting to see that process of a new church forming and people who have never heard the word of God to hear for the first time.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Billy's reflection on the trip

Billy preaching at the pastors' conference
India is a very overwhelming place. Once arriving in Delhi, we were hit with people worshiping idols, pollution, and extreme homelessness. But there is hope found in Jesus Christ. We had the blessing of seeing this hope in the children we visited at a school and orphanage in the slums. They are being taught the love of Christ. We were able to see the hope and peace found in the guys that played in the cricket tournament. They are hearing the Word of God due to the ministry of the COI. We also had the blessing of travelling to the villages in North India. There I was given the opportunity to worship alongside my brothers and sisters in Christ. They worshipped in their language and we in ours, but God understood it all. It was a beautiful picture. It is impossible to go on a trip like this and not be changed forever. Our God is great!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The rest of the trip

After we left the villages, it was difficult to gain internet accesss, so I'm writing this from home just to wrap things up.

Day #5 was mostly spent travelling back from the villages. After we had a short rest at the hotel, we went sightseeing in Delhi. Our first stop was the Sikh temple, where we were able to learn more about Sikhism and see their worship.


Everyone wore head coverings out of respect for the Sikh religion
Afterwards, we visited the President's House, the House of Parliament, and the India Gate before getting Chinese food for dinner.

The following day (#6), we travelled to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. It was an incredible experience!

After we were finished at the Taj Mahal, Brett and I departed for Jaipur, where we spent a few days before leaving for the US. The rest of the group headed back to Delhi to gather their things and then board the plane for Amsterdam.

We have all arrived back home, safe and sound, but definitely changed by this experience. God has revealed himself to us in powerful ways, and although the trip is over, I am certain that both our group, COI, and the Church at Brook Hills will continue to be transformed by this experience.

Billy's video

video

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day #4

Today we split up into three groups. One group (Andy, Jenny, Lindsay, Tyler, Billy, and Ramesh) went to a pastor's conference, where the boys talked to the pastors about church growth. Afterward, they went into a local village to worship and pray with the believers there.

Another group (Brett, Drew, Will, and Vijay) visited two different villages. They preached and worshiped with community churches. Drew preached on God's faithfulness through the story of Abraham, Brett shared the story of the sick man who was lowered through the room just to see Jesus, and Will spoke about the relationship of faith and works in a believer's life.

The third group (Jana, Lauren, Michelle, Shannon, and me) met with Jaya, a leader in the Indian church, who had been teaching at a village church for the past two weeks. She helped lead a worship service where we each shared a brief message to the local believers. We kept the messages simple to best reach these uneducated new believers. Jana spoke about how we will all worship together in heaven, Shannon shared a passage in Isaiah about how God deserves our worship, and then Lauren shared her testimony. I spoke on how a believers life is continually transformed, and Michelle finished up by explaining that it's our job to make disciples of all nations.

This was a fantastic experience for all of us. There are so many stories to share - we will give you the full version when we return home.

We are all still doing well and we love you all!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day #3

Today we visited a village where COI has helped plant a church. Brett and Will shared the Five Threads of the Gospel with the villagers, and it went very well. Afterward, one young man came up to the front to give his testimony. He said that he had been suffering from fainting and seizures, but now, after believing in Jesus, he had been healed. Another man came up to the front and asked for prayer for his grandson, who was currently in the hospital because he had fluid in his lungs. Drew led us in prayer for his grandson. After the meeting was adjourned, some of us started passing out candy to the kids, while Brett and VJ continued to pray with some of the villagers who had additional prayer requests. The people were all very appreciative that we came to visit them. The children all wanted to take pictures with us, and the few people who spoke a bit of English got to know us a little better.

Tomorrow, Andy, Billy, and Tyler will be speaking at a pastor's conference in the morning, and we will all be visiting several other villages to continue sharing the gospel and visiting with the house churches there.

Thank you all for your continued prayer support. We love you all!