When I signed up for the trip to India earlier this year, I didn’t really know what it would all entail – but I knew that God had called me to go.
So, I signed up and began going through the process. I went to the meetings, met all of my fellow team members, began practicing dance moves to kid songs, raised the necessary funds, and got all my immunizations. Finally, the time came for us to leave.
As we left for the airport, I remember thinking that it felt like I was living a crazy dream. I really couldn’t be going halfway across the world, leaving my kids and husband behind, to share Jesus in another country. But there I was on a bus with 15 other people who God had called to do the same thing – leave everything behind and follow Jesus.
When we arrived in India, I quickly realized that this trip was not something that I could have ever fully prepared for. In a way, like we walk through life, we don’t know what God has in mind, but that’s not our job. In place of fully knowing, our part is to trust.
As we went about our day-to-day ministry, I could see how God was moving in a way I had never seen before.Ministry that seemed devastating was full of hope. Dark places, situations and circumstances were illuminated by the loving presence of a faithful, merciful God through people being His hands and feet.
Often, the Lord brought this scripture to my mind as a way of encouraging me:
“Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.” Psalm 139:12
In a land of many false gods, the spiritual darkness is so real. You can feel the hopelessness in the air, but thankfully, our God is hope. There isn’t a space too dark for Him.One of the days that I remember so clearly is the day that we went to church together as a group. We divided our groups into three different teams and went out to minister and fellowship in village churches. The church that my group went to was quite a distance away from the Harvest India campus.
When we got out after our long bus ride, we walked down a small path to a little cement building with a straw roof. As we stepped into the church, we noticed all of the paper decorations on the walls and the mats covering the dirt floor. There were chairs around the sides of the room and we each took our seat.
For the next hour we listened to Indian Christians worship and praise the God of the universe. They sang loudly, proudly and without shame that they would be heard, mocked or discriminated against. Joy just poured out of their hearts as they sang. They knew what it was like to have true hope, to experience the change from dark to light, death to life.As I sat there, my hands getting numb from clapping along, I thought, “When was the last time I poured out my heart to the Lord fully? Maybe, never?” I was encouraged instantly to begin praising the Lord with a different attitude – an attitude that reflected the change God had done in my heart.
Dark to light. Death to life.
As worship finished, the congregation begun reading aloud from the Bible together Psalm 136. The chapter talks about the steadfast love of the Lord enduring forever and that He is the God of gods, the Lord of lords. In a land where worshipping false gods is the norm, God’s truth was being proclaimed, loudly. God’s light was shining out of that little church. The Light of the world was illuminating the spiritual darkness of India.Harvest India is truly living out what it means to be a light in the darkness. God is at work, blessing their ministry and changing the lives of so many people. Back here at home, I’m inspired to be the light of the world wherever God has me, because I have seen what God will do in the darkness.
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
By Stephanie Kamps
2019 India Team
Join Our 2020 Team!
Feeling God stir your heart to join us for our next trip to India? We have an interest meeting on Sunday, June 9 at 12:45 p.m. Come get your questions answered and learn more about Harvest India!Learn More