The past few days our team has had an opportunity that they never expected to have here in India. Monday began our typical work day as we continued working around the TMI base structuring fields into rice paddies. The team has become quite efficient in digging trenches and structuring ridges for irrigation. They also used this new skill when constructing an irrigation trench connecting all the coconut trees they planted around the field. Monday afternoon the team got the opportunity to visit a school and provide the service of planting coconut trees for them. The team was given time to spend with the kids and went back and forth with the students learning different words in Telugu. When the team returned to the base Monday night, they found out that they would be allowed to share in many more schools if they continued to provide a “service” like planting coconut trees. Sudhakar got in contact with several area schools and churches and even made arrangements for reporters to be at the schools that we hoped to visit the following day. Tuesday we woke up ready to travel to the different schools sharing our presentation with the people there and planting coconut trees for them. Altogether, we had seven different schools and churches on our agenda to attend, including a high school that our team was very excited about visiting. Our first school to visit went just as we had planned. The team was allowed to present their songs as usual and share some of their testimonies along with drama and puppets before going on to the high school. For me personally, our visit to the high school has been amongst my favorite experiences in India. When the team arrived, they were led into a room full of students, prepared with chairs at the front for us to sit. Part of the agreement for us being able to visit this school in particular was to share about the American education system. The Indian students were allowed to ask us questions about the places where we went to school, and our team was excited to be able to provide them with a variety of answers describing the different types of schooling that they themselves were a part of (public school, private, home schooling, etc.). Our team was also allowed to ask their students questions about school in India. The students (both American and Indian) all shared the subjects they were learning, details on uniforms, how school lunches work, and many other details about education and the differences between our countries. After a few songs and testimonies, the reporter followed us outside to photograph our team presenting the school with the coconut trees. Our team was very excited to find out the following morning that our photo made it in an Indian newspaper! This is also good for Sudhakar and the Teen Missions base here in India to be featured and publicized providing for the schools and to spark interest in the people here. After the reporter left the high school, our team decided to have our packed lunch (sandwiches, apples, and popcorn) in one of the classrooms. When we were finished we found that the high school students were willing to let us give a full presentation on a stage outside. This time the team was allowed to present more than their testimonies, and Micah Paulec presented the gospel through his sermonette. After the presentation, although it was time for us to be leaving, a lack of a TATA driver blessed us with even more time to spend laughing and playing with the students of the school. Despite the drizzling rain, the students were thrilled to stand outside with us and learn more silly songs. When we finally got back on the road, most of the other schools we had planned to visit were about to dismiss for the day, so plans were made to continue the visits and presentations on Wednesday. Wednesday, we gathered up our remaining coconut trees and set out to visit the remaining schools and churches. At each location, the team gave a presentation full of songs, testimonies, and sermonettes, planted coconut trees, and talked with the people. One of the churches we were allowed to visit was one built by Sudhakar and Teen Missions India. It was a joy to be able to see another small part of the large legacy he has established here and to know that God is doing a work here in India through him and the Teen Missions base. Over the three days, testimonies were shared by Abigail Shelly, Breanne Smith, Emma Thornhill, Chris Trubey, Gabe Fuhrman, Janie Young, Abby Monroe, Danielle Starmer, and Anne Kraus. We were able to hear sermonettes from Brendan Calloway, Curt Batchelor, Chris Trubey, and Micah Paulec. Being able to spend so much time in the schools here and to share with the students the reason for the hope that we have has been a huge blessing to our team. Thank you for all the prayers from home, and we ask that you continue to pray for doors to be open here for us to share the gospel of our Lord!
My name is Ellie and this is my second trip with Teen Missions! Last year I went to Zimbabwe, Africa on a foot washing team. This year has been a new experience for me, a new culture and a new project. When we were at the orphanage, my leg was infected and I wasn’t able to really work for a week or so. Through that God showed me how to rely on Him and to know that everything happens for a reason. I got to see how hard my team was working and that was such a blessing. We’ve since moved from the orphanage to the base and we’ve been preparing the rice fields and visiting schools. It has been a wonderful opportunity and learning experience for me. I’ve really learned that God has a plan for me and nothing that happens is a surprise to Him. He will work out any situation and He will get the glory. Philippians 4:11 says “not that I was ever in need for I have learned to be content with whatever I have.” I may not have the things of home—ac, bed, clean clothes but I have something greater. I am able to serve God in India and be the one who shows them real hope and I’m content with that. – Ellie Gleason
Since I’ve been on the India team with Teen Missions, God has been teaching me a lot of things. One of these things He has been teaching me is to rely on Him entirely for the things I need. He has provided strength, focus, energy,and joy when it could not of come from myself. I hope to continue growing closer to Him once I get home, and I pray that He will give me direction to live for His glory in the future. – Micah Paulec
Sent from my iPad