All over the world, our Mission ONE partners are experiencing life in the age of Covid. Not one member has been unaffected by the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. In some cases, partners have seen job loss, while in others, hunger and disparity. As the world has reeled, millions have been left destitute, particularly in parts of the world where day labor was a main source of income.
In India, millions have been rendered jobless, leading inevitably to homelessness, starvation, and desperation.
Our partners have tackled their projects amidst the new procedures that the world has tried to adapt to–none have been more encouraging than the farm project in Athipedu. Through their work, they have provided food and jobs in a large-scale farm project that includes multiple ponds filled with thousands of fish, acres of banana trees, and rows upon rows of greens.
While this addition was the most needed day-to-day resource at the time, working on providing this vital service to the community has allowed people to experience God’s love and care through our partner’s efforts.
Finding God Despite the Odds
Our Mission ONE partners have reported their success with the farm project in India and also shared a story of immense glory.
A construction worker who has been actively involved in the project witnessed hundreds of workers gathering to pray each day before they began work. As the farm grew, he witnessed the community thrive. People were being fed, growth was happening in an age of loss, and it was apparent that the world around him was transforming, a few, small acres at a time. This construction worker’s heart began to open to the idea of Christ. He began praying and even requested other members to join him in prayer as well. He sent scriptures to the leaders and eagerly awaited an interpretation of God’s Word to help him learn and better understand it’s meaning. His curiosity fueled his learning. As his love grew, this love of God began to enter into his own home. However, while he felt filled with His glory, he feared the reaction from his extended family as Christians in India are often ostracized by their family.
Having a brother who is a wealthy politician and a family steeping in tradition, he fears he wouldn’t accept his newfound faith. While he isn’t fully prepared to live life openly as a Christian, he continues to grow in his understanding of the gospel. This is perfect testimony as to another of God’s children transformed by making the world more like the Kingdom.
When You Fear Your Faith
Never has faith been needed more than in these uncertain times. All around us changes occur by the hour. It’s hard to tell who to trust and which direction to move. Facts of Earth stand in glaring contradiction to His word and His promise. Yet, we’re asked to follow. We’re asked to trust. We’re asked to lean into Him, even if it’s unpopular.
As the construction worker has in India, loving God in his fullest can be done in varying degrees of expression. For now, it is suitable for him to learn and grow in God in his own home. For you, it may mean retreating in quiet prayer during the chaos. It can also mean spreading His word far and wide using all the tools at your disposal to share the Gospel. God has a place for all people. He doesn’t demand that you honor Him perfectly, but He does ask that you follow even in times of fear.
Too often in the western world, we feel that we either have to wear our faith on our sleeve or not have it at all. Moreover, in a time where it seems science, politics, and culture leave no room for God, it’s easy to feel as our friend in India does: like we are destined to face persecution if we speak what is really in our hearts.
We pray that one day he feels empowered with the ability to live fully in his faith out loud for all to see. Additionally, we pray that you, too, don’t succumb to the pressure to keep your love of God under wraps. We pray you grow both in your understanding of the Gospel and your willingness to share it. While being a Christian may not always be met with an open embrace, it’s crucial to remember that this is the fate lovers of Jesus have faced throughout all of history. It is so easy to let fear dictate our actions. Nevertheless, to stand as a light in the midst of darkness and make the world more like His Kingdom by shining in the shadows is God’s calling over our lives.
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3 Ways to Honor God on Your Next Mission Trip
We're sharing three things you should consider before you organize or participate in an international mission trip, seek to do work in the multicultural neighborhood in your own city, or embark on any cross-cultural partnership.