Wednesday, October 9, 2013

You Can Do This

by Kyle Rasmussen

The essential challenge every person who ventures out on a short term mission faces is to “step out of their comfort zone.”  For most, it’s an emotional comfort zone; fearing the ability to love unconditionally to complete strangers.  For others it’s a confidence comfort zone, having to speak more boldly than we thought our mouths could possibly be.  However in India, it can sometimes be a very physical comfort zone.

Leaving the arid mile-high air of Colorado behind to serve in the tropical climate of India, I knew the weather conditions were going to play a role as a stumbling block to fully carrying out our team’s ministry here.  Fortunately for us, God granted us two cooler, rainy days in Ongole to start our trip.  Once we arrived in the West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh though, it was hot, humid, sticky, sweaty, how-many-times-do-I-feel-like-I-need-to-shower-again-today kind of weather.  Teaching, singing, and dancing with the kids was such a joyous experience, you didn’t realize how much you were sweating until you stopped moving.

Two of the nights, our team went to evening worship services at small village churches in the area.  Here we were blessed with the privilege to distribute bibles in the native language of Telugu to members who could not afford them.  The bibles themselves are only about $3 each, but when you consider that’s about the average daily wage of a day laborer in India…you do the economics and can realize rather quickly that a native language bible can seem downright unattainable for many believers here.  Another blessing on our team was the honor to share our testimony of faith to offer encouragement to these believers.

I have almost no fear of public speaking, and there are plenty of personal and scriptural intersections that I had at my disposal to offer as testimony, so this was not where I was planning to have to “step out of my comfort zone.”  However rural parts of India have inconsistent supplies of electricity.  And what can be considered nothing less than God’s never-dull timing, each night as I stood up to give my testimony, the power went out in the small churches.  No lights, no fans, and suddenly what was a spirited worship service suddenly feels like a visit to the sauna with your clothes on.  Luckily, God had reminded me to pack flashlights with fresh batteries before leaving on the trip, so I was able to shed bright-LED light into the room.  Still, I was tired from a long day of playing with kids, I was sweating in places I wish not to discuss, and as hard as I was trying to be flexible (because that’s a little important in India) I found myself fighting the urge to give in to my physical discomfort and walk out of the church just to be a few degrees cooler with the breeze outside.  But in that moment, as the service was winding down and we began to pray over the attendees, mostly women and children, my physical discomforts disappeared.  I found myself REcentered, REfocused, REenergized, and God REvealed himself in a calming, “you can do this.”  Throughout our trip, praying over congregants, children, and families were some of the most relaxing and revitalizing moments for me.

Please pray for the church in India.  Sometimes the lights go out on the grid, but the light of God never dims in the hearts of the believers here.  Seeing first hand the difference that Christ has made to these people of very little means can only be a foretaste of what the welcoming of Christ into the lives of a nation could do.

Originally posted on Global Hope India's website.

 Pictured left to right are the BUMC Global Hope India Summer 2013 Mission team: Ann Christopher, Frank Oligmueller, Jenn Rasmussen, Kyle Rasmussen, Christine Rector, and Sara Godwin.  Global Hope India is a non-profit organization whose mission is to, "Engage the Church around the world in order to empower the Church in India for the advancement of the Gospel in 3 ways: Church PlantingVillage DevelopmentChild Rescue."  BUMC will be hosting a craft fair to benefit GHI on November 30th, from 9 AM-4 PM in the Family Life Center.  They're currently accepting vendor applications and looking for volunteers to help the day of (snack bar & clean-up).  For more information on the Craft Fair, contact Jenn,  For more information on Global Hope India, please visit

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