Our recent trip to India came to a close last month, and each team member returned home reflecting on experiences that will be remembered for a lifetime.
Like all trips to India, our visit was physically, spiritually and emotionally strenuous. Traveling in India tends to keep one on sensory overload most of the time. However, there wasn’t a moment we were unaware of God’s presence through the power of so many prayers offered by our friends and ministry coworkers.
Our team was privileged to be the eyes, ears and hands of all who love and support the work among North India’s unreached peoples. It was exhilarating to see and meet just a portion of the great number of new believers who’ve come to faith since my last visit earlier this year. One team member commented, “How do they keep track of the all the believers?” Clearly, as Harold Kurtz famously said, “the Gospel is out of control” in northern India.
While five of us visited villages in West Bengal and Eastern Bihar, two others from our team facilitated a two-day marriage conference for 20 pastor couples and continued with the member care program they began last February. They witnessed significant growth in marriages as couples have moved from unhealthy cultural behaviors into healthy Biblical relationships.
During our village visits, God gave us opportunities to learn from unlikely teachers and witness the perseverance and determination among believers in a culture very different than ours. We witnessed God at work in ways that few people in the world are privileged to see. We shared the story of Jesus with people groups who had never heard it. We know God is building His church in a mighty way across northern India.
Our hearts were amazed and filled with joy as we heard story after story of people finding healing from our heavenly Father. From those healings come the faith to become followers of Jesus. An experience of healing is often witnessed by the family. From there, the story is told exuberantly to a neighbor or the entire village. More often than not, this type of event brings many into the household of faith. What a great testimony to the power of the Almighty.
Midway through the trip, our team reunited and continued on together. We met with large groups of mission leaders, participated in the baptisms of over 200 new believers, visited the children from the two residential homes operated by one of our ministry partners, traveled to Bodhgaya (Buddhist holy site) and Varanasi (Hindu holy city) and finally began our long journey home to San Francisco.
As we continue to build relationships with and serve our North India partners, we’re learning what it looks like to join the world of faith that they live in more than we do. It’s a world characterized by prayers of trust and thanksgiving rather than reliance on human strength and resources.
This trip wasn’t only for the seven of us, but for everyone who labored alongside our team in your prayers. We’re grateful to serve together and witness God’s Kingdom coming to North India.
—Jack Klassen, Frontier Fellowship Board Member