Members from Agape Christian Worship Center(ACWC), Church For Now, and Love & Unity recently returned from a mission trip in India. Although there were members from three different Boise based churches, everyone came together with two missions in mind…to spread the gospel of Christ, and to serve people in need. The mission trip lasted 2 weeks, and the team, the “6-Pack”, began their journey from Boise on April 19th, and didn’t return until May 2nd.
After three different flights and 24 hours of traveling, the first stop was the City of Mumbai. Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is a Western city with a population of over 18 million people.
Over 67% of that population practices Hinduism which is a religion that has 330 million gods.
There is only one true and living God, and the team was determined to open the eyes of the people. While there, the team partnered up with Bishop Benjamin Wadekar of “Fruitful Ministries” and his beautiful family.
Pastor Benjamin’s location is in a very populated city, so his ministry focuses on building up new ministries and mentoring new pastors. Benjamin organized various church services for the team to attend and speak at. A few of the team members were first timers to India, and were shocked by the differences in their church services compared to the ones they usually attend in America. One thing that was noticeable right away was how they prayed and worshiped. They had so much intensity when they honored God through their praise.
The team didn’t even get the chance to warm up. They had to go in head first as the presence of the Lord showed up mightily at every service causing breakthroughs and deliverance for God’s people.
Many villages are located alongside and on top of the mountain, but that doesn’t exclude them from needing to hear that Jesus is the light. They needed to know that Jesus died just for us! So, the team took a train, rickshaw (Indian Taxicab), and hiked to the top of a mountain. There they dedicated a new church, prayed over the homes of the members, mingled with the people of the village, and held a youth service in the new church where the team passed out bags of toiletries. The mission team was the first Christian Missionaries to ever go to that mountain top. To God be all the glory!
After a week, the team headed East to much quieter and less populated part of India, Rajahmundry!
They were greeted with open arms by Rev. Kode Abraham of “Jesus the Way Ministries” and his family. The team stayed at his home, and were treated with pure love and respect
Kode who has had a troubled upbringing did not let his life experiences deter him from doing God’s work. He believes his ministry is different from most because God has not called him to try to reach the masses, but to reach the remote areas instead. Those areas where most dare not to travel too, and even areas whose locations are unknown to the general population. The team was only able to stay for a couple of days, but Rev. Abraham had a full schedule lined up, so everyone settled in and prepared for the first service which was a night street service.
The next day, the team jumped in the vehicles and traveled 3 hours away to a very remote village, that has never heard about Jesus. This village was not recognized by the country of India. They had their own language, way of life, and had no formal education. The villagers were responsible for building and sustaining their village, and didn’t even have any reliable water sources until two wells were provided through missionary work.
The last big event was a pastor’s conference and church dedication. Rev. Abraham’s Son-In-Law and daughter and their new church were anointed and prayed for by every pastor in attendance. It was a beautiful ritual, and the team was very grateful to be a part of it.
As stated earlier, not only was the team there to spread the word of God, but also to serve the people. The team was able to not only help with providing the water wells for the village, but also helping women gain their sewing certifications so that they could make money to provide for their families.
It was hard to say goodbye, but the team had to head to their final destination, Chennai.
The team was again welcomed into the beautiful home of Dr. Kalpana Ernest of River of the Holy Spirit Ministries(RHSM). Kapa, as she is known by, is a retired Doctor and professor amongst many other things in the Medical world who is in ministry full time. Outside of RHSM, she also writes for a Christian publication, has composed and sung for a few different volumes of CDs, and can be seen speaking on two TV stations that reach as far as the UK, Europe, & Middle East. Her platform is helping slum & street dwellers.
Dr. Kalpana’s home, which is called “Obed Edom” named after the biblical story of the ark of God, is located outside of Chennai in a city called Vellore which was located 3 hours away from the airport. Traveling can wear anyone out, but imagine going through two plane rides and a three hour layover, then riding for an additional three hours by car. That doesn’t include already being tired from the previous travels and journeys of the other locations, and let’s not even mention the heat! God never grows weary, and he made sure that he left some of his glory for the people of Chennai as well, so the team decided not to let being tired stop them. They were there for a purpose, and they planned to fulfil God’s will regardless of how they felt. The location also ended with a pastor’s conference that was organized by Dr. Kalpana. Over 400 pastors traveled from both near and far to be at the conference, most traveling in the hot Indian sun by motorcycle, train, or by foot. At this conference a huge breakthrough took place as dance ministry was accepted in the hearts of the many pastors after one of the team members, Joyce LaBubuda, of ACWC, did an interpretive dance that God put on her heart. The dance was meant to be an intercessory prayer for the country of India. Before this performance, dance was known as sinful and worldly, and looked down upon by many Christians in India. Now over 400 pastors can take the new understanding of worshiping God with your body back to their perspective churches.
At each location, there were families ready to help feed the team. Getting used to the language barrier, the driving with no road lanes, and the differences in the food and heat were the things the team had to adjust to the most, but they stuck together and made it out without melting.
Overall, it was an amazing experience for the 6-Pack for those who were experienced missionaries as well as the new team members. Check out a few thoughts from a couple of the team members:
“The trip was life changing. One of the things that touched my heart the most was speaking to a 13-year-old-girl who was being injected daily by her father with pain medicine, so that she could go out and beat on herself with a rope full of knots as a form of entertainment to make money. We always feel like our lives are so bad, but there is always someone somewhere that has it worse.”
-Lauren Branch, ACWC (Media Team)
“What a life changing trip to India. Even though the Lord used our team to be a blessing, I could not help but to be blessed by India’s hospitality and love for us. It’s a blessing to see the Lord’s love and power being demonstrated all around the world. To God be Glory!”
-Nathaniel Jones, Love & Unity (Co-Pastor)
“I am privileged when God takes me to the mission field. I find God doing amazing work in the lives of his people both in us and the people of India. This trip was no exception, and yet everything God did as different from previous trips. As we traveled to different locations we saw the needs were great BUT GOD is a big God, and he is well able to meet those needs. He desires us to travel across the world to be a tangible and warm human, to speak into lives, to touch lives, to deposit Jesus to the people, and to share the gospel. Jesus is the ONE true God!”
-Laura McCullough, Church For Now (Pastor)
If you would like to support future missions or any of the churches mentioned in this article, reach out to us!
-Agape Media Team
You’re doing a great job… and God is using you to spread the word and serve in other nations… May Almighty God open new ways for more nations and provide all your needs in Jesus Christ…In Jesus name AMEN…… God Bless you all
What a wonderful experience to be able to minister to people in another country!!! Jesus is a way maker!!!! Thank you for sacrificing your time, energy & finances to spread the good news of the Gospel around the globe. Where to next…..???