By Leah Baker
(Leah was part of the Medical Missions team that served in Pune, India in January 2019.)
Have you ever felt like you weren’t ready? Of course, we all have. Have you ever been committed to something big and then suddenly thought, ‘I’m not ready’? This is how I felt when I made the brave decision to join the mission team to serve in Pune, India.
At one of the last services I attended at my home church before departure, I was given a paper summarizing the prayer room topic that morning. The heading was “Hineni” : “Here I am, Send me!” taught out of Isaiah 6. I didn’t think much of it.
A few weeks later we left for our journey into what really seemed like a completely different world. I was blown away by my experiences overpowering my expectations. I expected poverty, but it was nothing like I’ve ever seen before. Trash and sewage everywhere, hundreds of stray dogs, thick pollution that made it very difficult to breathe, families sleeping in the streets and an all-around extremely poor state of living and very sick people. I felt unworthy of being there, almost, with the thought of how much I had back home. But then God showed me exactly why I was there and how much I could be used.
I really found myself and discovered my calling through working in the medical clinic and spending as much time as possible in the prayer station with Pastor Domenico. At first, I told Pastor Dom that I didn’t want to pray out loud, because I didn’t feel ready. But when we got to about the 3rd person in the tent, he insisted I take the lead. I knew that was God because that’s exactly what God would have done. That was when I realized that India was my icebreaker, because at that moment I was no longer focused on whether I was ready in my own mind, because we never truly are, but according to God’s will for my life, I was ready.
Through the help of a translator I was able to share to non-English speaking people all the way across the WORLD. God showed me that through Him, I can do all things. I was able to lead complete strangers in prayer to the gospel and witness some genuinely give their life to Christ. I was presenting the Word to people who have never even heard of Jesus. I witnessed people entering the tent with a face of utter fear and confusion and leaving with a relaxed, loving face of peace. It was beautiful, inspiring, and absolutely life-changing.
That Sunday when Pastor Dom taught in Church, he taught out of Isaiah 6, the same chapter and topic that I was given shortly before the trip. That was confirmation from the Lord that I was in the right place at the right time, and through Him I was indeed, ready. Despite my own doubtful way of thinking, God showed me how much I need to trust Him and be confident in what He has planned for my life. I found an extreme likeness and peacefulness in evangelism and missionary work, and God revealed the heart He has given me to be able to accomplish His work anywhere, whether it’s half way across the world or in my hometown. I am ready.
The people of India are very beautiful inside and out. Despite the poor, run-down environment they live in, you feel so much love and kindness. From children to adults, the people are so humble, so patient, and so giving. I brought a lot of those mindsets back home with me. When I wait in line for things, or when I don’t receive what I expected, or when I complain, I try to remember the people of India, who have nothing, wait for most things, and cherish everything.
Do you feel the Lord calling you to participate in foreign missions? Contact us at email@example.com.