Last year's Pledge Class President, Miranda Bayer traveled to India this summer on a mission trip with a few other Laguna sisters. Read her story below:
I think sometimes God gives us choices that we don't have a long time to pray about but just simply need to say yes to. Before going to Punjab, India this summer I wasn't exactly sure why I was going, just knew I was supposed to. During one of our team meetings before the trip, I started crying just thinking about what God was going to do. I knew this trip would make an impact on me in a way I couldn't even fathom at the moment.
A month passed and so did hours and hours of traveling. Finally, my team and I were welcomed by our Indian host family with smiles, stares, and statements in Punjabi that we couldn't understand.
Though I would do it again in a heartbeat, this trip was one of the hardest things I have physically, emotionally, and spiritually ever done.
This trip was physically challenging mainly because we lived amongst an Indian family rather than in separate logging like other mission trips I have been on. This meant that we ate what they ate, went to bed when they did, and slept only feet away from live cattle.
I knew that India would be hot but never expected to pass out on the first day there from dehydration and heat exhaustion. The sweating never stopped. Day in and day out the physical hardships were very obvious. Eating the food was nearly impossible for me since it was SOO different from anything Iwas used to. Our bodies were going nonstop from 8AM till midnight. At each moment someone was always staring at us. There was no one who spoke English but there were multiple people who thought we would understand Punjabi. I can't forget to mention that my team and I got lice while there and refused to shower all week. Looking back at it though, the physical challenges are pretty comical. I know that they are memories I'll never forget.
This trip was emotionally challenging for a lot of reasons. An entirely different culture calls for a lot of selfless adjustment. It would be have been easy to stop smiling half way through our ministry days. It would have been easy to catch and hold onto a bad attitude. But by intentionally giving up flesh, we were graciously able to allow our emotions to reflect those of Christ.
The spiritual challenges and lessons of this trip are something I'll be forever grateful for. During those quick ten days God molded me in ways I didn't know I needed. I learned what it truly meant to put on the full armor of Christ. To walk with feet fitted with the gospel of peace and to use the sword of the Spirit. In Ephesians 6 when it talks about the armor of God, verse 12 says that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Though this can be a bit of an intense thought, it taught me that God is faithfully and victoriously fight for His children despite the physical mess. Being in Punjab I also got to see parts of the Old Testament come to life. Most of the lost people we were able to minister to were worshiping physical idols just like the golden calf Aaron made. These Indian people truly believed that their gods were saving and healing them just like the Israelites thought the calf they made brought them out of slavery. Some houses we visited even had a chest of religious items that they prayed to. It was through seeing that that I was able to realize that Americans worship idols of money, pride, social status, technology, etc. Lastly I learned why I'm in college. God never called us to half hearted ministry. He didn't call us to sort of make disciples. Rather we are called to be effective in the plans He has setfor us. By being at Mississippi College I am able to soak up knowledge of the Word and discover who God is in a unique crucial time of life. I'm being prepared to use the wisdom and knowledge He gives me both in the physical and in the spiritual.
I want you to learn from reading this that God is faithful in all things. He was faithful in my past. He was faithful for me in Punjab, India. And He will be faithful to reveal His glory in our future.