India (MNN) — Have you ever been on a short-term mission trip? How about going to India?
Gary Bishop with Far Corners Missions recently returned from India. “Our trip actually allowed us to look at seven projects that are specifically designed for members of churches or other groups: Bible study groups or small groups’ churches that want to go have an impact on the mission field where they can actually be involved with the work.”
The seven projects include bore wells, toilet construction, solar lighting, church plants, vocational school, VBS, and crop improvement.
Bore wells are desperately needed for villages to have clean water. With Bore wells, villagers don’t have to walk for miles to get water, and people won’t get sick from contaminated water. Building toilets may not seem like a glamorous job, but it is a very important need to be met. Bishop explains, “85% of the population of India does not have an in-home or residential toilet available to them. 50% of the population has no toilet at all.”
Solar lighting is a big need for villages in India. “Safety and security is a big issue. From animals and snakes to robbers and people that would harm them at night,” says Bishop, “solar lighting addresses those problems and is quickly installed.”
Remote villages in India without a place to meet and grow as a church benefit from the church-planting project. Teams assemble multiple buildings a day to provide a meeting place for the village church.
What about technology?
There is a high demand for desktop publishing and Photoshop experts in India. Through the vocational school, people taking the classes learn these specific skills to get jobs. “Within a week or so, people can have a skill where they can start earning a living wage. It is a great help for people who are trapped in poverty or oppression and have no way to earn a living,” says Bishop.
If you love kids, the Vacation Bible School project involves sharing the gospel with tens of thousands of children who have never heard the gospel. VBS also provides a place for children to go while their parents try to make a living.
Veterinarians and farmers are needed for the crop improvement project. “We are looking for people with special skills, both veterinarians and farmers, who could go and help really poor India farmers who don’t have the skills or knowledge of how to best care for or produce land, crops, and farm animals,” says Bishop.
The opportunity to help people in India not only impacts their physical needs but also gives them a picture of who Jesus is. Bishop says, “You know what the question they always ask is? ‘Why are you willing to help me? Why do you care about me?’ It’s the perfect opening to say, “You know, it’s because of the love of Jesus.'”
By going on a short-term mission trip, you can make a difference in the lives of people in India.
“Once you go and engage with the people, your heart is captured,” says Bishop. “Once people’s hearts are captured, their tendency is to stay involved for longer periods of time and look for additional ways to be helpful.”
Far Corners Missions will soon have a video on their Web site that will show work done in previous trips and explain what future short-term teams can do in India.
Visit the Far Corners Missions Web site to find out how you can join a short-term team.