India (MNN) — At the Urbana09 Missions conference last December, the overflowing passion students had for the spread of the Gospel was astounding. Although most of the students at Urbana were American, this enthusiasm is clearly not culturally bound.
In Delhi, India, the excitement for the Gospel appears to be just as fervent among youth.
Ten Cornerstone University students recently returned from a camp connected with Delhi Bible Fellowship, where they helped train and encourage Delhi students in their faith.
"The main emphasis was to work on building up the relationships the students had with Jesus Christ so that when they went back to Delhi, they [would] be stronger in their faith and would be able to share the Gospel better there," explains trip leader Michael Walton.
While in Delhi, Cornerstone students faced the cultural differences bound to come into play on an international excursion. Students were able to see first hand what the Delhi campers were up against. They visited a Hindu temple and were a bit taken aback by the lost state of so many in India.
"The main difference is that [in the U.S.], in a lot of ways, Christianity is still a majority–if not believed, at least culturally. Whereas [in India] it's such a small part of the culture."
As Cornerstone students encouraged their new friends in Delhi in the faith and helped train them, they were undoubtedly changed themselves. Walton says several of the Cornerstone students who attended the trip are now planning to go back to India or to serve in missions in some capacity in the future.
The Delhi students (who ranged anywhere from 13 to 30-years-old) have been careful not to let their new challenges grow week. 33 of the Delhi students made commitments to continue to be discipled after camp so they could be more effective witnesses for Christ. Others are communicating with each other and with Cornerstone students on social networking sites to make sure the fervor the felt at camp does not fizzle out.
Cornerstone will be sending more students to India next summer, but in the meantime, Delhi is in their prayers.
"[Pray] that God would continue to build the relationships between [Cornerstone] students and [Delhi] students, and that through that relationship, people would be challenged to go into missions–whether it's Indians going into missions or Cornerstone students looking to go into the mission field as well."