Tag Archives: Team India 2012

Update from the Field: Team India

27 Jul

Journey team members unwinding with guesthouse staff after a long day of ministry with the children.

Today we visited one of the churches where 10 orphans live with the pastor.  We spent the morning singing songs, telling the story of the Lost Sheep and the Prodigal Son and playing games and doing crafts with over 100 children (both the orphans and many children from the neighborhood).  The church family was very gracious and we were able to learn a lot about the life of the church and their involvement in orphan care.  Lunch was very good (a tad spicy for a few people on our team).  When we left we were happily exhausted!  God is teaching us so much on this trip! Thank you for your prayers!

Please pray for:
– More churches in the area to begin orphan care ministries as there is still such a great need.
– Peace and good relations with the government officials and the church.
– Joy and energy as we try to keep up with 100+ kiddos every day who have WAY more energy than we have ever even thought of having.

Here are some individual, personal updates:

Anna: thank you for praying for us! Saludos Chata ojo derecho operado

Sarah: This has been the most incredible day! The kids have so much joy and energy, it’s impossible not to smile. Thank you for your prayers and support!

Mark and Kyle: Organized chaos at its greatest today! Thanks for your prayers. Please keep them coming!

Christina: Today was so great! The children were adorable and loved us taking pics of them and were so welcoming. I am so grateful to be able to spend today with them Thanks for the support. Keep praying! Lots of love to you all from India!

Mandy:  What an awesome day with the kids.  Spent around five hours playing with nothing more than some blow up beach balls and jump ropes and had a blast!  Thank you for your prayers!  Sending you all  my love and big hugs!

Jessie: The first day at the orphanage was so amazing! I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to be here and experience all of this. The children are so precious.. it was so hard to leave them! Love you all so much!

Laura: There was so much energy and so many smiling faces today!  It has been a great experience so far.  We have learned so much about the culture and people here.  I can’t wait to see what is in store for tomorrow! Thank you for praying for us!

Lauren: Today was absolutely wonderful, one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.. this makes me even more excited for what’s in store for the rest of the week. Playing with kids, singing with them, eating lunch with them, and hugging on them.. nothing better! Thank you for your prayers!

Erin: Thank you to all of my friends and family for your love and prayers. You are missed! My highlight of the day was connecting with a 3 or 4 year old girl who was really sweet.

Aaron: Thanks for the prayers. This is such a eye opening experience.  I am enjoying the trip. THANKS SO MUCH!

Chrys: We are having a blast!  Kids, kids everywhere!  God is so good, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to be blessed by this experience.  So excited for tomorrow and praying God goes ahead of us and prepares an opportunity to share His love with all we come in contact with. Thank for your prayers!

Emily: Lori, this has been a great trip! I call dibs for next year! Mom and Dad, miss you guys lots.  Every time I experience something new here, I can’t help but wonder if you guys experienced the same thing.  Team unity has been great and I’m excited to see what God does through each of these people!

Thank you for your prayers!
Emily and Team India!

The Lord Will Answer Them

23 Jul

Blog post by Erin B., Team India 2012

Have you ever experienced what it is like to live in a trash dump? I haven’t and don’t want to imagine having to live that way but I have seen it first hand in Uruguay, South America. It breaks my heart to see the elderly, 4 year olds, and entire families digging through trash together to see if they can find something to sell so they will have food to eat or money to survive on. To me, looking out over a trash dump with humanity wandering about it screams of hopelessness, lack of joy, and desperation. It looks like death. The landscape is bleak. Poverty is a huge problem worldwide. The bible says that we will always have the poor among us in Matthew 26:11, “The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.” God’s heart is to answer the poor as Isaiah 41:17 says: The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.” God promises He will not forsake the poor and needy.

Orphans are impacted in a great way by poverty. Every 15 SECONDS, another child becomes an AIDS orphan in Africa. Every DAY 5,760 more children become orphans. Every YEAR, 2,102,400 more children become orphans (in Africa alone). 143,000,000 Orphans in the world today spend an average of 10 years in an orphanage or foster home. Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but… Every YEAR 14,050,000 children still grow up as orphans and AGE OUT of the system. Every DAY 38,493 children age out. Every 2.2 SECONDS, another orphan ages out with no family to belong to and no place to call home (http://thirdworldorphans.org/gpage39.html). Having orphans in the world promotes poverty because orphans lack the resources they need to have good health care, nutrition, and protection. If poverty is dealt with, there will be fewer orphans because parents will live longer due to less disease and hunger. Orphans will also have better care if they are not living in extreme poverty.  Continue reading

I Took One Step, God Multiplied it to 9,000 Miles

13 Jul

Blog post by Sarah O., Team India 2012

Sometimes I feel like I don’t really have a Story. Like, with a capital “S”. I just have a story, with a little “s”. I’ve had no great adversity, no real struggle, no dramatic motivating factors. I was never really outgoing, never really smartest or fastest or best at anything in particular. I was just a quiet child, younger of two, with an ordinary upbringing and four loving parents (divorce can sometimes be a blessing). When I was about twelve, I decided that was all there was to me: just sort of an indoor girl who didn’t like confrontation. It wasn’t until I was maybe around 17 that I finally decided that if I was going to sit around and wait for an external factor to make my life meaningful, I was going to be waiting forever. My life is what it is, and I have plenty to be grateful and proud of. How many punch lines my story had was ultimately irrelevant—it wasn’t about what I brought to the table, but what God was going to do with it.

Everything I have in my heart for orphans comes from God. I’ve never been truly abandoned, never been truly hungry, never been truly alone, and I cannot fathom what that must feel like. My life has been blessed. I don’t see any possible way for me to ever be content with what I have when I know someone somewhere has appallingly less and I can do something about it. My desire is to bring some good into the world, to put more in than I take out of it. How can anyone not want to pick up another human being who’s fallen down?

Every human being deserves a normal childhood where they don’t have a care in the world, and I want to be a part of an organization like World Orphans that helps to alleviate some of their hardships, provide for them their basic needs, and let them have back a few precious moments of carefree childhood. Children are the future. Maybe there is literally nothing that can ever be done to change the hearts of the greedy, the perverse, the corrupted, the selfish, the angry, the brutal, the ignorant. But what we can do – what everyone can do – is help to raise a new generation that cares, sympathizes, helps, heals, creates, and selflessly loves.

Why the orphan? Because someday the orphan will be the adult. Someday the orphan will be building the future. Someday, every child that is taken care of now will hopefully in turn take care of another. Every child has the ability to put some good into the world, if they are given the chance to reach their future.

Continue reading

From Perspectives to the Mission Field

12 Jul

Blog post by Laura P., Team India 2012

My journey to Journey 117 started when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.  However, to make a long story short, I’ll fast forward years later when I was sitting in my college bible study during my first year of nursing school, hearing a friend talk about the class Perspectives that she was taking.  Perspectives on the World Christian Movement is a course all about Christian missions and our place in God’s purpose for the world.  It sounded fascinating, and I knew that I desired to learn more about God’s purpose and His path for me in missions.  God’s timing was not for me to take the course that spring but to wait another year and take it in Spring 2010.  I am confident that it was God’s timing, because that is when I met Emily Hilburn (Mobilization Coordinator for Journey117).

Laura (left) and Emily (right)

Emily and I were assigned to the same table. Too often, we found ourselves the only two laughing out loud at many of the speakers’ jokes.  We got to know each other throughout the semester and at the end of the course, we were both interested in helping the coordinating team the next year.  Little did we both know, God planned on us coordinating the class together!  So there we were, on a plane to Colorado for training!  Our friendship only grew from there, and we discovered that we are great travel buddies!  We had a fun and successful year coordinating Perspectives together and loved seeing the growth not only in our students but also in our own lives.  During that time, I got to see Emily go through the process of connecting with Journey 117 and through lots of prayer and seeking God, she took her dream job!  What a blessing!

Continue reading

It Started with a Broken Heart

11 Jul
Blog post by Mandy M., Team India 2012
My journey to this missions trip, honestly, started from a broken heart.  In the fall of 2010, I was happily engaged and busy planning a wedding to a man I was truly in love with.  I felt confident of the path I was on and content with where my life was heading.  One month before the wedding, however, my fiancé abruptly called it off and my world went into a painful tailspin.  I spent the next year grieving the loss of that relationship. . . and the dreams I thought would come true.  I relied heavily on my faith, family and friends to get through those first few months.
It was during that time that I was lead to Isaiah 43:18-19: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” It became my prayer for the next year.  I prayed for the favor of God, to be boldly used and that He would spring something new up in my life.  I knew that since my life took such a dramatic turn, He must have very different plans for me and there was a great sense of adventure in that. I also had a burden to seriously started praying for a missions opportunity.  I have felt, for many years, the tug to pursue oversees missions but it wasn’t until the unfolding events of the last two years that I began to earnestly seek a way to serve Him in this capacity.  My desire to be near Him, to serve Him even more, was growing deeper and deeper.  My broken heart was healing and I was seeing the new adventures He was bringing my way.
I have always had a heart for children.  When this opportunity to serve with Journey117 opened up early this year I knew it was a great fit and felt so blessed to be able to serve!  I cannot wait to see how He uses all of us next month and know that this is only the beginning of something even greater in store.  We serve such an awesome God.  He takes you places you sometimes least expect and the road is often extremely bumpy.  But how He loves us!  I simply want to world to know this!  I am truly thankful for this opportunity.
Mandy resides in South Dakota and will be serving with Journey117 this month on Team India. 

To See Them Smile

10 Jul

Blog post by Lauren Y., Team India 2012

I can’t believe I’m leaving for India in a little over one month! Two years ago when God laid the kids in India on my heart, I never imagined I’d actually be able to go make a difference in their lives. I feel so completely blessed to have this opportunity.

Ever since 8th grade, I’ve attended mission trips with my church or school. Usually these trips involved working with kids in some way. I always got such joy out of playing with them, loving on them, and seeing them smile.

I realized that I am most happy and content with my life when I’m helping someone else to be happy. My mom helped me realize this fact when I came home from helping with VBS just beaming and filled with stories. She said, “You might want to consider studying to become a teacher!” So that’s exactly what I did. As an Education major, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many different kinds of kids. I realized that I’m often drawn to those who come from difficult backgrounds or are less fortunate than many. I feel as though so often these types of kids are neglected or overlooked.

This is why I’m so drawn to India. Often times I think people are either unaware of the amount of kids living in the streets, or they don’t know what to do about it. I know I can’t fix the situation these kids are in, but I can at least let them know how much they’re loved and give them hope for the future. When I was looking for organizations going on mission trips to India and I came across Journey 117, I was so drawn to what they were trying to do. Loving on kids, just as God loves us, learning about what God would have us do to give justice to the oppressed, and enlightening others on the topic of injustice in the world.

People often ask me, “Why India?” And honestly, I don’t have a definite answer. All I know is that God has given me a passion for the country and its people. For about 2 years, I have been praying for an opportunity to go, and finally God has said, “Yes!” I can’t wait. Although I am so nervous and anxious, I am so excited that this trip could be the beginning of a whole new chapter in my life!

Lauren resides in North Carolina and will be serving with Journey117 this month on Team India.  

I’m Merely a Vessel

7 Jul

Blog post by Christina D., Team India 2012

Ever since a young age, my heart had an interest in those who are orphaned. As a 12 year old, I apparently had found nothing else more interesting than returning home from school to plop on the couch and watch TLC’s show Adoption Stories.  Something about the reality of seeing children in America and various parts of the world who were never cradled by their birth mother and father was gut wrenching for me, and also the long process for couples to finally meet with their adopted child. My heart was stirred. I wanted to have every single orphaned child from infant to teen in my home. I wanted to scoop them up and hug them, love them and be their new mom….at age12. Hmmm not a realistic dream for a 12 year old, but what I did know from that point, is that one day I wanted to adopt children of my own. As I saw it at the time, why would I be selfish enough to bring more children in the world when there are so many in need of a home and so few who choose to adopt. This is where my heart for the fatherless began.

Throughout the years, God only continued to provoke my heart to compassion for orphan children. I was able to serve one day in high school in an orphanage in Guadalupe, Mexico and it amazed me how loving they were despite their circumstances and how eager they were to be loved in return. Living in the border city of El Paso, Texas during college opened my eyes to the poverty and orphanages just across the border in Juarez, Mexico. This stirred my heart even more.

My view today, at 25, is still the same. I wholeheartedly desire to adopt at least one of my children someday. Till then, it does not by any means, mean that my passionate, God given heart for the orphaned has to refrain from acting now. My love and yearning heart for orphans has burned inside me and while that is great, that is just where it stayed, inside me. Which leads me to my journey to India. I cannot even begin to explain how eager I am to serve the Lord in this way with my team and to finally put actions to my God given desire. I do not want to continue to let time waste away while I yearningly stand back. I want to understand the burdens of this culture and how God is at work there; to know their needs and how we can meet them.

I am filled with satisfaction knowing that it is God’s desire and His compassionate heart and love for the fatherless that fills me. His business of caring for the needy is reflected in scripture in Psalm 10:18, “O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.” And my personal favorite James 1:27, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”  This is the Lord’s passion given to me, His heart! I’m merely a vessel that has been given a great opportunity. I can’t say I know how or what God is going to lead me to do in the future, I hope to always serve the Fatherless in any capacity. Right now I know that this is the next step in uncovering more of His heart as a Father for these children. This is my journey.

Christina resides in Texas and will be serving with Journey117 in July on Team India.