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SE Asia trip report

By | india, missions | No Comments

Full trip report from Vision Beyond Borders

“I just returned from a week in India and Nepal. God blessed our trip as we visited our contacts and saw how God is using them to touch and transform lives of women who have been sold into sex trafficking.

The lady we work with in India has been ministering to the oppressed and downtrodden in the Red Light District (RLD) for over 17 years. It is amazing to walk through the RLD with her. The ladies who have been sold, often against their will, are drawn to her as she shines the light of Jesus Christ in this dark place. These women are forced to have eight to twelve customers a day. If they do not service that many customers, they do not eat. The red light areas are dark, oppressive and hopeless.

Our contact knows many of the ladies by name, greeting them with hugs and kissing their children. I have been challenged by her fearless love of these people; she is not concerned with whether they have Aids or other contagious diseases and what may happen to her own life. I am reminded of Jesus concern for the lepers. Our sister works tirelessly to minister to those in need, whether it means waking up in the middle of the night to take a lady or one of her children to the hospital or buying them medicine out of her own money. She loves these women and children as her own family, and many times opens her home to those in need.

We are working with our sister to set up a salon in this area as a point of contact in which to minister openly to those who have been trafficked. We are excited to see how God is going to open more effectual doors of ministry to her as her passion is to serve Jesus Christ in spite of death threats and many challenges. She is truly one of my heroes of the faith. I have also been challenged as a Christian man that we, as men, need to stand against the oppression of women and children around the world.

After spending a few days in India, we flew to Nepal to visit the safe house that we established in January.  One morning, we visited the largest Hindu temple, a holy place that many pilgrims come to worship Hindu deities. The day we were there, there were literally thousands of women dressed in red saris coming to pay homage to Shiva, hoping to find a good husband or to see their husbands become better men. Women were standing in line for hours with empty eyes, holding offerings in their hands to a god made of stone.

The headwaters of the Ganges river, the ‘mother of all rivers,’ flows through this temple.  The water is filthy dirty; but worshipers believe that if they drink of the water, their sins will be washed away. Unfortunately, they have been blinded by the enemy and cannot see that Jesus already paid our debt. ‘Holy men,’ often wearing little clothing and covered with the ashes of humans , looked on while smoking marijuana. The smoke from the funeral pyres coupled with the stench of burning flesh filled the air. This place reminds me of what hell must look like.

After leaving the temple, we made our way to the safe house. It is exciting to see God transforming lives as ladies are being saved and renewed in Christ.  What an incredible contrast between light and darkness. Here the ladies openly read the Bible as they gathered for morning Bible Study. The faces of these ladies are radiant as they reflect their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Their smiles brought joy to my heart and the other two guys with me. There are about 13 women who have been rescued and are living in this home, where they are loved and cared for. After Bible study, we had a time of prayer and worship with them.

Later, we had lunch and enjoyed times of laughter with our new sisters in Christ. There was an 18 year old lady, who recently came to the safe house, after she and her younger sister ran away from home. Their father had raped his daughters for four years, while their mother justified his actions saying, “This is how he shows his love.” The girls ran away and ended up on the streets; we are working to find the younger sister to bring her into the safe house. The father is wealthy and has threatened to sell the older daughter into a brothel in Delhi. We are praying to hire full-time security to protect the women and young ladies in the home. It was encouraging to see the young lady smile as she feels at home now.

Three of the ladies who were rescued have left the home to start a salon and to move forward in their lives. These three ladies have become followers of Jesus Christ, and we are praying about helping them set up a salon/tailoring shop near a church. We pray the local Christians will frequent their shop and encourage them in their walk with Jesus. My heart was thrilled to hear the reports of God transforming lives. With so much sadness and hopelessness in the media these days, I pray it will be encouraging to know that God is still on the throne and saving people. We are excited as we trust God to set up another safe house to provide a safe haven for women and their small children. Please take a moment to thank Jesus for His sacrifice on the cross, His love for the world, and what He is doing around the world.”

The View From India

By | india, missions, Personal Life, travel | One Comment

Since 2007, I’ve had such a passion for India. I’ve always been on the outside looking in though, seeing its oppression, cruel injustice and spiritual hunger from my comfortable life in America. I’ve always wanted to do SOMETHING to fix it – to be a voice for the voiceless in India, to let the world know about the struggles Christians here face.

Now that I’m actually in the place I’ve only prayed, read and written about, I’m getting a surprising view as I turn and look back at the country I left behind. Don’t get me wrong; the Indian believers are NOT bashing the U.S. or anything like that. I’m saying all of this from personal observations and reflections.

In many ways, the Church here is so much stronger than in America. Here, it feels like the New Testament has come to life…I can’t really say the same for the U.S.

In India, prayer and fasting are such a priority. They seek God before any and every major decision. When’s the last time I did that? When is prayer and fasting ever a priority of ours? It’s wise to seek counsel from godly friends and parents, but is that really a priority over seeking the face of God? He’s already got the plan of our lives written. Why do we hesitate to ask Him which direction we should take?

Another thing I’ve observed is the importance of repentance. A very wise man said today, “When in doubt, repent.” I can’t remember the last time anyone (including myself) made repentance a priority or a possible source of the problems we face. I’m not well-versed in Scripture or claim to have a vast knowledge of God, but did you ever consider that maybe we face certain challenges because there’s a sin we haven’t turned from?

These are just a couple of things that have stood out to me so far, and I’m sure there will be plenty more! Stay tuned for updates.

Read more about how God is working in India by clicking here.