In March 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi began rejection major child assistance from organizations that didn’t align with India’s Hindu ideological standards. Miraculously, despite this, I was still able to serve with Bethany International’s team in India for my global internship.
I spent the majority of my time in India teaching the English language to Muslim and Hindu children within an informal school. These children were from a poverty-stricken village, with most unable to afford the school uniforms required by the formal India schools.
The school hosts about 80 children ranging from ages 2-12. In addition to teaching these students, while the children attended class, we provided sewing and English language classes for their mothers – seeking to teach while also ministering in a country so closed off from the Gospel.
This was my first time in a role like this. I barely spoke the Hindi language. Our team did the best we could to learn Hindi, and to create a curriculum that would teach both English and share the Gospel to our students and their families.
Most of the children had never attended school; they didn’t understand classroom etiquette or proper behavior. Once, a student physically grabbed my ear to get my attention. Another threw grasshoppers at us as a joke. At the beginning, it was challenging, but over time, they grew to respect us.
More importantly, they began to show interest in Jesus. We taught stories from the Bible, and the children enjoyed acting them out. Afterward, asking what they learned, to our amazement they would regularly recite the stories back to us. Over the course of 10 months, we saw a transformation of not only our students’ behavior but signs that these Bible stories were touching their hearts.
On my last day at the school, my students led me blindfolded to our classroom. When I opened my eyes, there was a giant red ribbon hanging at the front of our classroom. The room as a whole was covered in streamers and balloons.
As a thank you, these children planned a surprise going away for me entirely on their own. I came to India to share the Gospel, and believe we accomplished this in many ways. At first I didn’t know what to expect, but I was amazed to see all that God did in these children.
About a month after I returned home, I received a surprise incomparable to any others. Two families from our school made the decision to give their lives to Christ. Never underestimate the power of God, even in the spiritually darkest places on earth. I believe in my heart that the salvation of these families will serve as a catalyst to even greater accomplishments for the Kingdom of God.
This article is from the Spring 2019 Issue of coMission Magazine.