These last couple of days at the Teen Missions base have been busy ones for the team. On Thursday, we continued our work on the rice paddies, building up the dirt mounds around the edges of the paddies, and planting coconut trees around the edges of the paddy. Additionally, we dug a trench around the entire paddie so that the coconut trees could have water. The digging group (Abby M., Janie Y., Chris T., David E., Katie D., Elise K., Emily B., and Shelby C.) were working alongside the gardener at the base and we had many laughs as he tried to teach us how to use the “Indian Shovel” which the team called the “backwards shovel”. Throughout most of the work day, it was raining but the rain seemed to only make the team work harder. Afterwards, we sprayed the team off with the water hose and had hot tea with lunch. On Friday, we traveled about two hours away towards the Indian Ocean coastline to visit a church to celebrate the 20th anniversary of an American Teen Missions team building the church. On our way there, we were given an unexpected opportunity to present at a local school. Because it was spur of the moment, the school did not have all of the students assemble; but instead, we were allowed to go in small groups into the different classrooms and do five-minute mini-presentations. The highlight for Savannah T., Chris T., Anne K., and Emma T.’s group was when they were singing the song “Bless The Lord” and doing the sign language motions to a class of elementary students and the kids started doing the sign language motions with the team members. Then we headed to the beach and had the opportunity to witness two baptisms in the Indian Ocean. Afterwards Shelby C. And Ethan T. shared in evening devos on the beach which was followed up by the opportunity to put our water shoes on and get our feet wet in the Indian Ocean! That evening we ate a delicious dinner provided by the pastor and headed to the church for the celebratory service. Saturday the kids got up ready for their final work day (or so we thought). They began working once again on preparations for the concrete slab. The team rotated between moving piles of rock that were being delivered, to filling pans with sand and clay to pack down the rock. When the final pile of rocks was delivered for the day, the team only had 30 minutes left before lunch time. They decided to set a goal for themselves to have the whole pile moved and distributed before Lydia and the KP staff called for us to come to wash our hands. It was amazing to see the team really give 110% and to constantly hear words of encouragement being shared back and forth between members. Before lunch was called, the team had not only moved the entire pile, they had seen what it was like to have a spirit-driven work force. It was so refreshing to see a group of teens, after a long work day, not only more energized than they were when they started, but excited about how the Lord used them and displayed His power through them. It was definitely a huge encouragement to us all! On Sunday we went to a nearby home for widows, street children, and the physically disabled for church. Before the service started, we were able to witness the baptisms of several church members and sing praise along with the congregation. It was a surprise to see during the service, two missionaries from Ireland who were also finishing up their time in India. During presentation, Shelby C. and Audrey F. shared their testimonies and Chris T. shared a sermonette. The service was lead by one of the missionaries from Ireland, and afterwards the team was given a tour of the area surrounding the church including the housing for the widows and play area for children. They also got to see some monkeys in many of the trees. Sunday afternoon the team got a heart-warming surprise when they were visited by Pastor Jeevan and the children from the Win Our Natives orphanage. For the rest of the afternoon, the team spent time playing cricket, catch, swinging over the Indian slough, talking, laughing, and making memories with our Indian friends. Sunday night the team was invited into Sudhakar home to eat and fellowship with his family and to hear more about Sudhakar’s amazing plans for the India base. Afterwards, evening devos was a little different than the normal set up. Each team member was given the opportunity to go around to all the other members and encourage them in how they’ve seen them grow over the summer. It was definitely a joy-filled time and even deeper bonding experience for our team. Monday, after being told the night before that Sudhakar was able to line up one more work day, the team got up ready to do something they had been waiting to do since arriving in India. After breakfast they began mixing and pouring concrete to create a ramp to the second level of the India base. In two short hours, the team had accomplished the goal and were able to look proudly on the work they had accomplished and could leave the base with. The team was so blessed to be able to be a part of this work and to end their time at the base with something that they would definitely remember. After finishing work and clean up, the team packed out and prepared to say goodbye to their new friends at the base and their summer home. The team has been so blessed to be a part of the India base this summer, and we look with excitement on the next few days of travel and sight seeing!
Shelby C. – God has taught me to be thankful for what I have. He’s definitely broken my heart for the people of India. We have so much and yet all we do is take it for granted.
Abigail S. – Over the span of this trip, I have learned that my expectations shouldn’t be my own, and that I should put my full trust in God’s will in ALL situations.
Gabe F. – Through the uncertain circumstances, hardships, the needs of the team, and the locals presenting themselves and being subsequently resolved after prayer, my faith has been strengthened and I have began to see God working in very real ways. God has also opened my eyes to the vast spiritual need of both India and the U.S. 2 Cor. 4:16-18
Abby M. – God has taught me to see the world, others, & myself through His eyes. He has started working on my servant’s heart and has shown me how to listen to what He has been telling me all along.… the missions doesn’t end here – it has just started
Audrey F. – God has shown me how much I really love my family because they are all such great encouragements. He’s shown me how much I really do love them dearly because of their love for The Lord
David E. – Through this experience, I’ve been most tested with the question, ” How much will you give yourself to the work of Christ’s Kingdom without seeing the fruit of your labor?” God has tested me in how much faith I have and how much I’m willing to submit all of myself to Him alone.
Emma T. – A few things I have learned being on this trip is being content with everything you have and relying on Jesus completely.
Hannah A. – Through this trip, God has been teaching me that a joyful spirit and a good attitude, despite any circumstances, can make a difference when sharing the Gospel. Giving everything to God and letting nothing get in the way can determine whether or not someone is open to hearing the word of God. – be constantly aware of how your actions look to non-Christians !
Katie D. – God has really been showing me how much He has created and how beautiful His creation is. This trip has really opened my eyes and heart to see the need in India.
Ellie G. – Through this trip God, has REALLY taught me to be content in everything. Wherever I am, whatever happens. We serve an AWESOME God, I know he’s always got His hand on me. I am content knowing that.
Danielle S. – During the time I have spent in Boot Camp and in India, God has shown me that no matter what happens, He is in control. This summer has been a humbling experience in the sense that I now know that I know nothing compared to God’s clarity in knowledge.
Brendan C. – God has taught me that you don’t need luxury or comforts to be happy, all I need is Him.
Elise K. – I’ve learned that I have so much more then I think, I’ve learned the power and love of Jesus Christ. I’m closer with The Lord then I’ve ever been!
Breanne S. – Over the time of this trip, I have learned to be patient with others. I have also learned to fully trust in God through my tough circumstances.
Chris T. – I have learned to rely more on Gods strength and wisdom rather than my own.
Micah P. – This summer God has taught me to rely on Him for guidance and strength in place of myself. James 1:2-4
Janie Y. – I’ve learned to appreciate the things I have back home. I’ve grown in The Lord a lot this summer.
Curtis B. – I have learned to always trust in God and to know that He is always there for us when we need Him.
Anne K. – Over the summer, I have learned to rely on God for everything. It’s not on my strength but His that I have made it thus far.
Felicia B. – God has really taught me to rely on Him this summer. He’s taught me how to be happy in Him & how to fall back in love with Him.
Emily B – God has really taught me how important relying on Him is. When things change, He is constant and someone to rely on.
Savannah T – I’m amazed at all that’s happened this summer. God continues to teach me patience, not just with people but with situations that are not in my control. He shows me that He is my peace and joy on my down days. I am still learning that His ways are higher than mine. But most of all, I’ve learned that the more I see of the world, the more I see how many people desperately need a Savior. Yet, I also see so many beautiful examples of what it looks like to give your everything for Christ.
Kirsti P. – This summer, The Lord has taught me so much by teaching that I don’t know much at all. One of my favorite lessons that I’ve learned is that I am so incapable of accomplishing anything on my own strength. Yes, I might be able to teach a Bible study or lead the team on the worksite, but unless the spirit of The Lord is my driving force, then what I am accomplishing is mediocre in comparison to what The Lord has in store. I am incapable, but I am also usable and made qualified by the Spirit and power of our God.