*This blog was originally posted on Fellowship Memphis’ website.
India, a country of over one billion people and thousands of idols, turned out to be a country where God revealed an idol of my own. Here is a summary of my two weeks spent in this beautiful country: learned a lot, saw a lot, and definitely grew a lot.
Once I found out that I was going to India, my prayers consisted of, “Lord give me challenges, new opportunities and trials… I want to trust and depend on You alone.” Little did I know, growing in dependence on the Lord would come in the form of a lost suitcase. The last time I saw my luggage was when I checked it in at the Memphis airport the day we left for India. So, I found myself overseas in a country foreign to me, without any of the things I’d carefully selected to pack and bring along. I’m a heavy packer, making sure I have every little thing that I would possibly need. But here I was, with nothing but the backpack on my back- which consisted of a few necessary items and a Bible.
Week one went smoothly. I borrowed items and yes, wore things several times. However, mid-week I got really overwhelmed. My mind was set on my bag getting to me and not on India and the work I was there to do. I wanted my stuff and I wanted to go home. Idolatry revealed. I called my parents in panic and stress and my Dad told me something that I won’t forget: “Bethany, there are people who go their whole lives without the materials in that bag…”
The next day we were traveling to Northern India and had to catch a plane in the Delhi airport. I was weary and tired and decided to just plop down in the middle of the walk-way. People swarmed the walk-way, trying to order tickets or catch their flight. I made eye contact with many Indians and as I did the Lord caught my attention… ‘You may have lost your bag but these people passing by you might lose out on eternal life.’ I was brought to India to make God bigger and to shine His light. I am so thankful for the Lord’s grace and mercy… and for the ways He always whispers, “I’m with you.”
In the midst of my own little world here in America and my time in India, God had been, is, and will be working in India. God broke me of my idols, opened my eyes to see His world, and taught me more about Him and myself in these past two weeks than I ever thought possible.
I had the opportunity to meet several strong believers doing Kingdom work in villages and churches. I made lots of new friends who were in elementary and middle school. I was able to teach on discipleship to two groups of pastors’ wives and leaders in the church where we were staying. I saw a glimpse of the poor and a glimpse of the thousands of gods 74% of the people worship. My eyes were opened and my heart broke for the people to truly KNOW Jesus.
My prayer for challenges, new opportunities, and trials to trust and depend on Him alone became a reality. I asked many of my church family to pray, and I most certainly felt those prayers, even being miles and miles away. I thank Jesus for this opportunity to venture to India, to learn and grow and see Him in a bigger way. I’m thankful for mission trips like these, that make Jesus bigger, not only to those around the world, but in my own heart as well.
“From the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2
Bethany Faller is from Memphis, TN and is currently in Downline’s Emerging Leaders program. She is on staff at Fellowship Memphis as a Fellowship Student Ministry resident. In her free time, you’ll find her on the Greenline riding her bike, hanging with her middle school d-group ladies or playing with her 3 nieces.