The Chronicles of a Short-term Missionary - India (Part 1)

My first trip to India was the one that radically changed my life as a follower of Christ. I was the Pastor of a church which regularly supported an Indian pastor. My purpose for my first trip to India was more visionary than anything else. I wanted to get a good look at where the church's finances were going, and how it was being used. This particular purpose quickly gave way to God's divine purpose for my going....to change my life.

I prepared as best I could for the trip. However, nothing could have prepared me for what I would experience in India. The Indian culture is like none other on the planet. I had heard the term "culture shock", but had never experienced it until I went to India. The culture shock was amazing, but that is not what changed my life. What changed my life was the "hunger shock".

The people I visited were so hungry for the Word of God. They sat for hours as I preached through a translator. I was even told after my first couple of messages, "You must preach even longer. They are hanging on to your every word!" So as I did, these followers of Christ, hungry for the purity of God's Word began to pull from me very substance of the God they longed for. I yielded and became a simple vessel. I saw miracles, healings, and people overwhelmed with God's amazing presence. And equally as important to me, I saw God working through me like I'd never experienced before. It changed my life!

The humility of these folks, also contributed to my life being changed. The trip to India is grueling. It is long. There was a 10 and a half hour difference in time zones. I got off the fourth and final leg of my journey early on a Thursday morning. The journey wasn't over yet. It was another 4 hour drive to my final destination. In India a 4 hour journey becomes a 6 hour one! My body and mind were screaming to me (inside), "You have to crash! You need some rest!" We finally arrived at the little hotel where I was to stay. It was very humble, no a/c, and not as clean as one would like. As I entered into the very humble hotel room I glanced up. Just over the door were the words "Deluxe Room". That did it. The tears began to flow. They had given me their very best and I was humbled. Most of all I was blessed!

The shower in the bathroom was a pipe (cold water only) coming out of the wall. At this point, it didn't matter. I took a wonderful, cold shower and afterwards plunged my face into a pillow for a 3 hour nap. When they arrived to pick me up for our first meeting, I felt like I was floating off in space (somewhere)! I was exhausted!

We arrived at the meeting place (under a tent) and these hungry followers of Christ were praising God at the tops of their voices, with all of their hearts. This hunger in worship began to effect me as the Spirit of God began to rise up within me. When I stepped up to preach in India for the very first time my life changed drastically! (Much more to come.)

 

Do You Have A Logistics List For Your Upcoming Missions Trip?

The most effective planner has a plan! And planning for your missions trip is no different. I call it a logistics list. This is simply a list of what you need for your missions trip. As you prepare and eventually pack for your trip, you can simply check off the items you have gathered and packed.

The best way to pack is to have a "gathering area" such as the bed in a spare bedroom. As you accomplish your list you can first put them in the gathering area. Then as you actually pack your suitcases you can check each item off your logistics list.

If this is your first trip, you can talk to others who have previously been on trips to the area you are going to. If you are going with a team, your team leader should provide you with a proper logistics list. For me, good ole experience has allowed me to compile a list that applies to the area or areas I will visit.

Here is a list of items I have compiled over time. This is not exhaustive, and it may be a little over-kill for some folks. But it is just an example to help you compile your own list. My list sometimes contains a list or lists within the list for items such as snacks and specialty supplies. Whatever you do, make sure you have some kind of logistics list for your trip.
 
Toiletries:

  • Soap w/plastic container
  • Toothbrush & paste
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Shaving cream & razor or electric razor
  • Hair gel
  • Brush/comb

Health aids:

  • 1st aid cream (Neosporin)
  • Mosquito repellent (high in DEET)
  • Pain reliever
  • Motion sickness tabs (if needed)
  • Advanced Imodium AD
  • Tums/Rolaids
  • Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer

Very important papers:

  • Airline tickets
  • Passport/visa
  • Notes
  • Receipts, etc.

Other important items:

  • Sermon notes
  • Bible, small notepad (journal), & pens
  • Reading material
  • 1 towel, 1 washcloth (more if trip is longer than a week)
  • Snacks (Separate list.)
  • Coffee/Cream/Sugar
  • 1 large plastic trash bag (for dirty clothes)
  • Light-weight flip flops
  • Extra change of clothes for carry-on
  • Camera/Camcorder/Smart phone
  • Light poncho