Thursday, July 12, 2007

Reflections: Elaine Bader

It’s hard for me to imagine that anyone who visits India would ever come back to their Home Land the same. While on an India Mission Trip in 2006 to help build homes and the Kingdom, not only was I changed, but it transformed the way I see our Lord and how he has created our Earth and all who inhabit it. When I first arrived the nationals all seemed so foreign and different, but it did not take long for me to realize that they were just like us, made in the image of God. They loved their children, worked and prepared meals and experienced heart ache and joy just as we all do. I will always hold dear the friends and the memories that were made in India. The smiles will forever burn in my mind and heart. I was in awe of everything I saw, everyone I met and all that we did. From building homes, praising Jesus with the church planters and eating food very unique to my pallet, I could not soak it up fast enough. I wanted every new experience to play in slow motion so I could savor the moments.

My favorite memories are that of the children and their warm bright big smiles. The children would run up to us with tiny little pencils and a small note book and ask us for our autographs. We would write our names down and beside our autograph we would write “Jesus loves you” with a cross or a fish symbol. The kids would jump up and down with delight. Each time a child jumped for joy I prayed they would jump for Jesus someday and not for the autographs.

While the joy is there with those children my sadness and sorrow is with those who were starving and begging on the streets. The severity of poverty in India is something I had never seen before. The ache of not being able to help them all immediately was hard to bare. I find comfort in my prayers for the hurting and impoverished and believe that God is helping us make a difference.

The change I experienced manifests itself in my day to day life and my world perspective. I pray that the God will continue to bless our efforts in India. I hope that anyone who visits India will help others grow closer to the Lord by their love for the people that surround them.

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