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!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day #3

Yesterday we got the opportunity to visit some of COI's ministries - a school, an orphanage, and two of the women's vocational centers. At one of the vocational centers, the ladies learn cosmetology, and all the girls were able to get henna tatoos. 

Today we're traveling to a village in the northern part of India. Internet access will be very limited

We are all safe and we love you all!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day #2!

We're about to get started on our second day of ministry. Yesterday was fantastic!

The ladies spent all day at the women's shelter. In addition to teaching, we also spent some time in corporate worship and playing games with the women there.



The men got a chance to minister to some of the slum kids who came to see them play cricket. Drew's talk went very well, and the kids were very interested in seeing their English Bibles.

Afterward, we all went shopping at a crafts market. It was a good overview of the many different areas of India.

Ramesh, Brett, Vijay, Drew, Will, Andy



Today, we're going to visit the slums and one of Ramesh's Vocational Training Schools. We're all doing well and super excited about what today will bring.

Thanks for your prayers and we love you all!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

We're in India!

We got in India safe and sound, and all our luggage got here too!

It's about 10am on Monday morning here. We're about to leave for our ministry assignments. The ladies will be speaking on the Gospel and Womanhood, Marriage, and Parenting. The men will be meeting with the youth to play cricket, and Drew will be speaking to them on integrity for growing leaders.

Internet access is spotty here, so updates may be few and far between. Thank you so much for all your prayers and support!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

We're in Minneapolis!





We have a long layover in Minneapolis before leaving for Amsterdam later on this afternoon.

We spent some time goofing off in the souvenir shop...

We're in Minneapolis!


We have a long layover in Minneapolis before leaving for Amsterdam later on this afternoon.

We spent some time goofing off in the souvenir shop...

Friday, July 9, 2010

India...2 more weeks!!!!

The countdown is on! We only have 2 more weeks to go until we will start our journey to India. Here is our daily schedule, please pray over this time and for us as we share Christ with the people we come in contact with.

Sat. July 24- Meet at the b’ham airport at 5:30 am. We will then fly to Minnesota, then from Minnesota to Amsterdam, and then from Amsterdam to Delhi. We will arrive there at 10:50 pm on Sunday July 25th.

Mon. July 26- The ladies will go and teach woman about the gospel of womanhood, marriage, and parenthood. The guys are going to go to a youth center and play a little cricket with local youth. After our very active morning, Drew will be teaching the youth about being a leader through Jesus.

Tues. July 27- We are going to go visit COI’s children ministry and their vocational training center. We will be sharing with the woman in the center that day as well.

Wed. July 28- We will be traveling to a small village outside of Delhi. That evening we will be able to share the gospel with the locals

Thurs. July 29- Tyler, Andy, and myself will be teaching local pastors in the village on what aspects of a healthy church.

Fri. July 30- We travel back to Delhi. Then we will do a little shopping.

Sat. July 31- We will travel to Agra, India to see the Taj Mahal. After which we will travel back to Delhi for dinner and then to the airport.

Sun, Aug 1-Headed back home

Please pray over our time in India. Ask God to prepare the hearts of the people we come in contact with and prepare our hearts to be a light in the darkness. Of course things on a mission trip can change in a moment and normally do. Please pray for us to have patience and seek the Holy Spirit. Thanks everyone!!!

-b

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ministry in India

Thank you all for praying for our trip! I have a few more details to share with you!

As you know, we'll be working with a Brook Hills ministry partner in Delhi, India. That ministry is Cooperative Outreach of India, and you can learn more about them through their website: http://www.coindia.org/index2.php

We as a small group have begun fasting every Wednesday in order to prepare for this trip. I would like invite all of our supporters to join us in prayer every Wednesday between now and when we leave. Please pray for our team, the Cooperative Outreach ministry, and the people we will meet on our trip.

Also, please join us in thanking God for providing all the funds needed to pay for this trip. We have more than enough to pay for the travel and lodging. And thank you for your financial and prayer support!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Yard Sale!

This huge yard sale is donating all proceeds to support a mission trip to India this summer! Support this cause and pick up some bargains!

*furniture
*laptop computer
*video games
*movies
*books
*computer accessories
*ladies' and mens' clothing

This Saturday, June 19 - sale starts at 8am

2272 Richmond Circle, Pelham, AL 35124

See you there!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

45 Days Until Liftoff

We are almost there. It is almost time for us to pack our bags and head to India. The planning is starting to come together and everything is falling in place. Of course on mission trips things can change in a moment’s notice, and we hope to be ready when they do. Our fundraising is starting to come to a close, and of course, God has provided. I know we just placed our orders for the T-shirts, so they should be in very soon. If you bought one, we will get that to you when they come in! Can I just say that our God is amazing. Thank you for everyone who has supported our team. So as of today, June 10, 2010, we have 45 days until we leave. I cannot wait!!! We are about to beginning a more in-depth training class were we will assign everyone the things they will be teaching and responsible for. Please continue to pray for us as we prepare. We want to bring God glory in all that we do. We will post more details as they come! Peace!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Win Iron Bowl Tickets!



We're raffling off a pair of Iron Bowl tickets to help pay for our trip. Raffle tickets are $10 each, and all proceeds go toward the mission trip. Please visit this website to purchase tickets online!







**This fundraiser is generously facilitated by Michael and Sarah Beth Eady. We are grateful for their support.

Ways you can help #4

Buy a t-shirt!
We have some awesome t-shirts for sale that will help pay for the trip and show your support for global missions.
These t-shirts were collaboratively designed by our small group (but mostly Billy) and are unique to this mission trip. They cost $20 each, and the more we sell, the greater portion of the price goes to our trip. If you'd like one of these t-shirts, you can buy one from any team member, or you can order via paypal here:


Size:
Name:
Team member(s) you're supporting:


Monday, May 10, 2010

Jim 'n' Nick's night!



Attention all Birmingham supporters!


On Thursday, May 20th, please come have dinner with us at Jim 'n' Nick's to help support our India mission trip. They have agreed to donate 10% of the sales 5pm-9pm to our trip. We'll be at the Inverness 280 location (click here for map).

This is an easy way to support the trip without doing anything more than just going out to dinner. We look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

ACT Practice Test!

We will be holding an ACT Practice Test as a fundraiser for this trip. In addition to raising much-needed funds, this event will also give high schoolers a chance to try out the ACT before it counts for college admissions, and give parents some feedback as to how well their students are scoring on the test.


The test will be held on June 5, 1pm-4pm at the Birmingham Kaplan Center. This practice test will be administered under proctored conditions just like the real exam, and afterward students will receive a comprehensive score report showing their strengths and weaknesses along with a composite score.


There are a limited number of seats available, so students will need to register soon to reserve their seat. Simply fill out a registration card and return it and the $15 registration donation to one of the India mission team members. Please make checks out to The Church at Brook Hills and write "India, July 24" in the memo line.


Or, if you prefer, you can register now via PayPal:

Student's Name:
Email Address:


You'll receive an email confirming your purchase within one business day. That email will contain directions to the testing facility, and contact information if you have any questions.


Even if you're a little too old for the ACT, you can still help by praying for the success of this fundraiser. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ways you can help #3:

http://doworksmallgroup.blogspot.com/2010/05/ways-you-can-help-4.htmlPray for our fundraising


Each team member needs to have $1650 turned in to the church by May 17. This is so that the church can buy our plane tickets in advance to keep costs to a minimum. Please pray that God would provide all of our team members with the funds to go on this trip. You can specifically pray for the following fundraisers:


There will be more details on each of these fundraisers posted to this blog, but we would appreciate your prayers and support as we work on doing our part to raise the necessary funds. Thanks!

What we'll be doing


Our team will have the opportunity to share our faith with people in rural villages and also work in the urban slums with the children and the youth.

The tentative plan is to go to three different villages and preach in their churches, and spend some time teaching Bible lessons to children in the slums. For two days, the guys will meet with young men in a sports ministry while the girls will be doing Bible storytelling with women in the community. We will hopefully also get one day for cultural exposure so that we can gain a better understanding of India and its people.  

Ways you can help #2:

Pray for the people of Northern India.


India is home to 1.1 billion people, and 41% of the world’s poor. In the area where we will be serving, over 99.5% of the population does not know Jesus.


India statistics:


- 80% of the population  is Hindu
- 12.5% of the population is Muslim
- 456 million people (42% of the population) lives on $1.25 or less a day
- 42.5% of children suffer from malnutrition
- India has the largest illiterate population of any nation
- The mortality rate for children under 5 years old is 69%

Our church, The Church at Brook Hills, has committed 2010 to meeting urgent physical and spiritual needs throughout the world. This commitment includes sacrificing our money and giving it to those who need it most. Brook Hills has targeted the North Indian Ganges plains areas, and is partnering with local churches to provide food, medical care, clean water, and access to the gospel to these people. You can find out more about this initiative here.


In addition to praying for our mission team, you can also:


• Pray that the families who will now have access to water and other basic necessities will see the gospel through these tangible demonstrations.
• Pray for the church planters who will be sent out to start new churches.
• Ask God to work in the hearts of those in the villages where the church planters will minister in the coming days.
• Pray for God to use His Word to change the lives of many who previously did not have access to Scripture.

Why we're going to India


video

Ways you can help #1:

Make purchases through Amazon Affiliates.

The links on the left side of this website will take you to Amazon.com, and everything you purchase during that shopping session will be counted to our Amazon Affiliates account. We'll receive 4-15% of the purchase price to  fund our trip. Please be sure to do all your Amazon shopping through us!

Monday, April 19, 2010