I go to Vintage church and was recently blessed with an opportunity to go on a trip around the world to Mumbai, India with the Vintage Global Team.
I’m an engineer by trade who has had no formal training in a seminary or Bible college. One of the great things about this trip is the gift that the Vintage team has of equipping you with all you need to “go make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Anyone can go to India, and I would like to encourage anyone who has a trip like this on their hearts to go.
A young man, who our friends have been teaching and has begun to believe in Jesus, was kind enough to invite eight of us Americans including myself to his family’s Bakra Eid celebration. If you have not read about Bakra Eid yet, it is a Muslim tradition where Abraham’s sacrifice of his son is symbolized by families killing a goat and having a family feast with goat as the main dish over a period of three days (similar to Thanksgiving in America). This young man never met me before and was willing to bring me into his home and serve me food that he and his family prepared. This really turned a switch on for me while in India—when was the last time I even invited a family member or close friend to have a meal, let alone a complete stranger (or eight complete strangers)?
Throughout the week the Vintage team saw these very kind, hospitable acts toward us from the people of Mumbai. Without asking, I was invited into a woodcraft stand to see how hand-crafted wooden decorations and art were made, a bakery to see how Indian bread and pastries were made, and two different Bakra Eid celebrations. All of these kind invitations allowed us to connect with folks and talk to them about the Enjeel (Muslim pronunciation of New Testament). Looking back, it was obvious that God was plowing the fields for the harvest (Matthew 9:35-38), something we prayed for each day.
Probably the most memorable time of the trip for me came while we were all sitting and waiting for the Bakra Eid meal to be served. As we were passing the time enjoying each other’s company, it was asked around if there were any stories that anyone wanted to tell, and if anyone would want to tell the story that we talked about in the morning. This was the story of the woman washing Jesus’ feet (Luke 7:36-50). I immediately felt that I needed to tell the story, and despite being reluctant at first, I did. At the end of me telling the story, all of the young adults and kids clapped and cheered! Surprised, amazed, and happy, I reflected again—when was the last time I was this happy to hear the Good News?
I’m very glad and fortunate I had the opportunity to have this memorable time in Mumbai with the Vintage team. Being taken out of the normal day-to-day, task- and procedure-oriented life to share good food, stories, fun, and the Word with new people was enlightening and refreshing. I am hoping others get to experience what I did, and that I will continue to use this experience and apply lessons from it in my life moving forward.
As a church we are passionate about Gospel Multiplication. Vintage Global is multiplying the Gospel in India. You have the opportunity to serve alongside our partners on the ground in 2014. We will spend time praying for and engaging the community while experiencing the unique culture of India. The trip is a great opportunity. If interested email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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