International (MNN) — A short-term missions team
distributed simple beaded bracelets to village children gathered in a church in
and explained what the beads meant. The
gold bead stood for eternal life, the black for sin, the red for Jesus' blood,
the white for salvation, and the green for spiritual growth.
One little girl ran across the road to show the bracelet to
her mother in the hut. She returned to
ask for another bracelet, and the mission team crossed the road to visit her
They learned that the little girl's father had died of
HIV/AIDS, and her mother had also contracted the disease.
"That little gift of that little colored Gospel bracelet and
the hope that it expressed was just a great blessing to that woman and her
daughter," said Brent Hample, President and CEO of India Partners.
In 20 years of experience in short-term missions, India
Partners has discovered a few very effective tools, like the beaded bracelets. The ministry recommends these tools to other
churches, individuals, and short-term missions teams.
"These are great tools for short-term teams to share the
story of Jesus' sacrificial gift to save us," said Hample. "And these can also be used in Sunday
schools, Vacation Bible Schools, and local evangelism efforts."
In addition to the beaded bracelets available from Christian
Farmers Outreach, India Partners recommends a bracelet and an EvangeCube
offered by E3 Partners, and reading glasses kits available through Glasses for
Short-term teams with no experience in optometry can
bring reading glasses kits into a village and put glasses together for those
who need them. The glasses are made very
simply with wire and plastic lenses and cost only $1.50. Yet, they can be life-changing for someone who
could not read or do fine work without them — especially if they come with a
Bible or Gospel tract.
The glasses and the other tools have been used by churches
like Living Word Fellowship of Porterville, CA. Living Word Fellowship has been working with India Partners and using
these witnessing tools for several years, not only on trips to India but also
in their local farming community.
Hample recommends these witnessing tools for missions trips and
for local ministries because they are cost effective and easy to transport, and
they can be used in any country. They
also represent God's love, he said, "just like Jesus was God's gift to
"Even after the short-term team leaves the area, there is
that small tangible reminder of the Gospel in the person's hand, or on the
person's face if they're glasses," he said. "We just want to put it out there for other teams. I know a lot of
churches are taking teams around the world, and these are tools that they could
You or your church can use the tools for witnessing at home
or abroad. Or you can help provide them
for India Partners' short-term missions teams. $30 provides five EvangeCubes, $15 provides 30 reading glasses kits, and
$73 provides 150 reading glasses kits.