A Spin of the Globe is a series compiled by Praying Pelican Missions Mission Coordinators and Advocates. Within our individual blogging, most readers only get a narrow glimpse of PPM and our world-wide ministry. Between us bloggers, we realized we never speak much to countries we don’t have experience in – so we are Spinning the Globe. We hope through this series, you can experience another country within (and even outside) the world of PPM and get a taste for ministry that is unique and powerful, in every location. We pray you are blessed. We more details about all of our domestic and international locations, visit PPM Trip Locations.
*Christy Bodnar is one of my fabulous co-workers with an amazing heart for God. Here she talks about her experiences while doing mission work in India.
One of the many benefits that come with being a missionary and traveling the globe is being exposed to so many different cultures. I truly consider it a privilege to interact with so many people around the world I would otherwise never have the chance to meet. I love being able to hear about their lives, especially their faith because so often it challenges and strengthens mine.
Last February I had the opportunity to travel to India and my experiences there changed me from the inside out. My faith was challenged in ways I never imagined. Life in India can be difficult, especially as a Christian. The major religion there is Hinduism and it is estimated that less than 6% of the population is Christian, and almost 88% of the population has never even heard of Christ.
I have often read about the persecuted church and the cost of following Christ, but while in India I was able to experience it firsthand. Those who confess Christ realize that it may cost them their lives. I thought for sure I was prepared to share the gospel with any who would listen without hesitation, even if it cost me my life. But sharing the gospel knowing fully that what I am ultimately asking of those I share Christ with is their lives, it changes you. As my time there passed, we saw countless persons count the cost and commit their lives to Christ, and that changed me.
On our way to the airport we made one last stop at an illegal house church. The pastor was a young man in his early 20s. He told us that just 6 weeks prior, his parents were tied up and placed in front of him at gunpoint for being Christians. He was told that if he did not deny Christ the captors would kill his parents in front of him. They did this with all the Christian families in the village. On their knees his parents told him never to deny Christ and they were shot and killed at his feet, as were so many others that day. He and the other survivors fled their village in east India to a less extreme village in the west, where they continued to share Christ with those around them. Three weeks after his family was killed this young man accepted the call to pastor his village – this was only three weeks before we met him. As I listened to his story, I was at a loss for words. Their grief was real, but their faith was stronger than ever. After hearing his story, we were asked to share a word of encouragement with those of his house church that were gathered.
As I looked into the eyes of the men and women gathered in the small room, knowing what they had suffered just weeks before, I felt incredibly unqualified to speak anything to them. In my life I have suffered, but never for my faith. It was a powerful moment for me in my faith and a great lesson in missions for me as well. The cost may be great but it should not keep us from sharing. My time in India caused me to reflect and evaluate on my own commitment to Christ and emboldened my resolve to share the gospel, even if it is a danger to my life. My heart aches for the lost of the world and feels connected to those who suffer for the cause of Christ.
As PPM continues to grow, I would encourage you to consider coming to India with us and sharing Christ with the lost there. Our calling is urgent and so is their need. Each of us have a story to share about how Christ has changed us. There is no special qualifications or experience needed – just a willing heart and a passion to share the gospel.
“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.” John 15:15
The man in the center is the young pastor of the house church we stopped at on our way to the airport.
These are members of the house church we visited.