The Most Joyful Thing About India

Master’s School children show off their henna designs (on hands for the girls and paper for the boys) that they made with the Living Stones team. The team shared the Gospel story through henna with the children.

Recently a Short Term Missions team from Living Stones Church in Reno, Nevada traveled to our campus in Vizag to serve the church planters, college students and children involved in our ministries. I asked one of the members on the trip, Carli, to share her thoughts and impressions of her time in India.

To spark her memory and bring to mind stories from the week, I sent Carli a list of adjectives. For each adjective, she is answering the question “What was the most _______ thing about India?” Here are Carli’s impressions:

Happy girls with henna on their hands!

Hanging out with the kids and hearing them sing songs about Jesus, and light up when we did the story of Gospel in henna on their hands was hands down the most joyful part of the trip. Those kids were so loving and welcoming to us, along with the entire staff. The whole experience was joyful because you know that God has called each and every one of those kids intentionally to Master’s School. I can’t wait to hear about the work he does through each child there.

The most concerning, and emotional part of the trip for me was hearing all of Arjuna’s stories about the children who live in the boys home, and where they came from. It was evident that God filled and is filling a very big need for a loving father to be in the lives of these kids who are coming from such broken households. The concerning part was that I can see that the need is definitely big. The emotional part is that I can see the ways God is using Arjuna to point these kids to Jesus. Then after hearing the stories, actually interacting with the children, makes it that much more impactful because you see the joy and hope in their eyes.

When we went in to the kindergarten classroom to teach the Gospel through Henna, the most adorable thing was having the kids listen to our play, and seeing them interact with us! They were so excited for us to be there, and couldn’t wait to get henna or draw henna with us. I remember one day as soon as school was out and they all loaded up on the bus to go home, all of them stuck their heads and hands out of the window and yelled “Bye” to us as they were frantically waving. So adorable.

Good times at Master’s School.

I had been to Guatemala twice in the last couple of years before going to India. Because of this, it was really familiar for me to see the poverty level in the inner city, as well as some things that we Americans are not used to. I actually felt very comfortable when I got there, because I had known what to expect in regards to city living.

I felt adventurous in India as I was exploring the city on days that we went shopping, and also every time I sat down for a meal! The food there is so completely different form the food I am used to, and the tastes were completely new to me! The oat adventurous thing I did was try all of the new foods.

The mountains of India were the most beautiful thing! So many people told me so many things about India before I went, but no one told me how beautiful it was. I was in awe at the miles and miles of beautiful green mountains.

When we went to the church on the first day we were there, the people were welcoming us with open arms. They were getting our autographs and taking our pictures and giving us cold sodas and pulling up chairs for us. It felt like we were someone famous! But honestly, I feel like they were honored for us to be there, just as we were honored to be invited. Their hospitality truly made me feel a part of their family and made me second guess how I treat new people who come in to my home church.

Vision Nationals plants churches, trains nationals and cares for orphans and widows. We regularly host short term teams throughout the year. For information on joining a short term missions team read this post or email Lauren.

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