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Thoughts on India June 29, 2009 at 11:09 am

Kids will be kids.

That’s the great thing about working with kids, acting like a kid, and serving with kids.
This past May I was privileged to be a part of the India VBS team. Nine of us (Steven, Rodney, Keri, Sundae, Jeremy, Jinny, Juanathan, D’Anna and I) partnered with COI to put on a VBS for approximately 600 kids, ranging from the ages of 4 to 18. There was a lot of pre-trip preparation put into the trip; going through curriculum, writing skits, brainstorming crafts and games, and eating Indian food, but that’s what made the trip go so super smooth. We started the VBS days off with large group, where it was so cool to see and hear worship songs we sing yet they were being sung in Hindi, even with different hand motions. There was a skit also, with Hindi translators. Then the kids broke into age appropriate groups throughout the building’s classrooms (it’s also school) for their bible study with the Indian volunteers and teachers. After their bible study the nine of us split into two’s and went to each classroom and shared a craft, many of which were prepared by 121ers. Then it was snack time for the kids where they received a snack and sugar water (their equivalent to kool-aid). After snack it was time for a memory verse activity and game, they loved all of us coming to the rooms and acting silling and playing games with them. The kids I played with really enjoyed the spit-wad game (q-tips and straws). I don’t think they’ve ever experienced spit wads before!!! And finally on the last day there was a huge celebration all done in the large group room. I think every child was able to be on stage to do either a memory verse, a song, or a skit. It was really neat to see what they learned throughout the week, although a bit hot…..

How hot is hot? It was around a 110-120 outside. We were working in a cinderblock building with a metal roof. Add 600 kids jumping around and you’ve got yourself a nice little sauna! But the funny thing is I don’t think any of us really let the heat get to us, (physically that is, not sure odoriferous wise though), we were all so focused on enjoying the kids and interacting with them that it didn’t seem that hot, until that last day of celebration, where the sauna effect was on full force!

Was it only about the kids?No, although that was the main focus of the trip and that did make this trip to India different that previous trips 121 has taken there, we had a chance to do a few things in the evenings. One night we visited the Bundicks and encouraged and hung out with them. We were able to see WildFire Tribe, a worship band ministry started by JoJo. We prayer walked through a Mosque, a Sikh temple and a Hindu temple, praying for the people, praying for God to work miracles. We also visited one of the home churches and one of the pastor’s home.

How did this impact me? The Indian people are so friendly, willing to give a helping hand and serve you their best, and all based on building relationships. I came back with a new appreciation for service, friendliness, humility, and relationship focused encounters with others.

2 Responses to “Thoughts on India”

  1. That's awesome man! Ever since I went (Dec 2007), I've been trying to figure out how to take my whole family to India (although a mission trip may not be the easiest of outings for a family with 2 small children). I just know that what you experience in a different culture like that is priceless & can never really be explained to others, it must be experienced.

    Do you have any future plans on heading back?

  2. Thanks for the comments Tman. I agree it is so hard to express in words the experience you receive from a mission trip. And then to share that experience with your wife is truly amazing! If you can do a mission trip with your wife I highly recommend it.

    I think D'Anna and I may go back someday. Maybe in a few years. And I think it would be awesome to do a mission trip with the kiddos, not sure I would do India with them (14 hours on a plane is a long time for an active kid) Maybe something closer for the first family mission trip.