N A M A S K A R // N A M A S T E
If you hadn’t noticed, I recently got back from two months of doing ministry in Asia. I co-led a wonderful team of 10 students from the Classic & Music/Creative Arts DTS I was staffing here at Youth with a Mission Gold Coast. Our first location was Kolkata, India & we were in that beautiful chaotic city for five weeks. From there we flew to Kathmandu, Nepal & then took an 8 hour bus ride to the city of Pokhara, which is nestled in the Annapurna Range of the Himalayan Mountains, where we stayed for just under 3 weeks. Talk about sights that will literally take your breath away.
Kolkata was hectic from the start, as we sat on the ground outside of the airport for hours waiting for taxis. Weaving between a constant barrage of little green & yellow vehicles we call tuk tuks that are a cross somewhere between a motorbike and a car is enough to make you sick. Horns are honking at all hours of the day, the streets are crowded, & you’ll smell more in a walk down the street in India than in your entire life combined. Dust settles everywhere & you instantly notice the distinguished social classes. We call this the caste system. And though technically outlawed, it is still alive & well in India. Wealthy Brahman (the highest caste) carefully step past Dalits (the lowest caste), who go about their days trying to get a few rupees by towing people around barefoot in these carriages that were meant for horses. God’s heart breaks for these people. And mine did as well.
Our contacts in Kolkata kept us busy, with open airs almost every night in a different village. An open air generally consists of a few skits (that draw people in but also have biblical meanings), some testimonies, sometimes worship & dancing but most importantly, a Gospel message. After open airs we would go into the crowd that had gathered & begin to pray for people, seeing almost every person we prayed over get healed & many people coming to know God. But it wasn’t always like this- the first few weeks there we saw nothing happen. Yet we still prayed in faith that God would bring about healing & restoration over lives. It wasnt until we visited a little place by the name of Harvest Prayer House that we saw a shift in what we were doing. That evening we saw probably around hundred people healed from a myriad of illnesses, as we were all lined up, each with a line of people to be prayed for in front of us. From that point on, we began breaking through our own ceilings of what we thought God could do through us & going about with an expectancy of Him to move in great ways. While open airs filled our evenings, we filled our schedules during the day with things like worship on the streets & street evangelism, building relationship & speaking truth over the souls of Kolkata. The way worshiping on a street corner in downtown Kolkata could shift an entire atmosphere kept us wanting more. Worship was our weapon of choice against a heavy spiritual atmosphere. Because the people of India were so spiritually aware, it enabled God to freely move in such massive ways. They wanted more. They wanted the fire of the Holy Spirit. Let me tell you, God is stirring up something in India.
Other ministries we did in Kolkata were working in the Red Light District, volunteering at Mother Teresa House, & teaching/helping with house churches. The heaviness of the Red Light District was tangible, as we made our way through the dark streets with our heads covered in scarves. We arrived at a little building that we gathered in to invest in the children of the Red Light District. We sang, danced, taught, & just loved these children that might not otherwise experience this love. We spent two days at Mother Teresa House in the Premdan House, which housed the elderly. During that time we did laundry for them, fed them, & spent time with them. Many of them had disabilities so they had come there because their families could no longer care for them. We spoke & shared testimonies at house churches in the area. And don’t get me started on transportation to all of these places. A normal day of travel for us would look like walking twenty minutes to the metro, taking the metro for a half hour (at least), taking the bus for an hour, then taking tuk tuks for fifteen minutes (at least). And that’s just one way.
After five weeks in India, we headed back to the airport to fly to Kathmandu. We stayed one night in Kathmandu (where I promptly got lost with no data & a dead phone-but don’t worry, I made a lot of friends) then we took a bus the next morning (for 8ish hours) that wound through the foothills & mountains then eventually brought us to the glorious village of Pokhara, Nepal. Literally surrounded by mountains, the beauty of this place took our breath away (& not just because of the high altitude). It’s places like this that make me think God was just showing off when He created them. The people of Nepal are very shy but also very friendly once they warm up to you. We walked dirt roads & breathed in the fresh mountain air, a very quiet & stark contrast to the extreme pollution of India. The cold & stormy weather was refreshing. Not only that, but the heaviness of the spiritual atmosphere of India had lifted & we all felt like we could breathe again (literally & metaphorically). Most of our ministry in Nepal looked a lot different than before & it makes me think that God was reshaping our perspective on what ministry should look like. We spent heaps of time pouring into the base & the staff that lived there. One of our main jobs there was painting murals on walls at the base. But we also helped at a ministry with the slum children where we did music, dancing, & shared Jesus with them. A majority of our time in Nepal was spent with the staff at the base, encouraging them, pouring into their lives, & simply having fun with them. It felt like we had become family. Going from crazy, full-on ministry while in India to this really challenged what our preconceived ideas of ministry were as a team & helped us realise that sometimes the work we do for the Kingdom of God doesn’t seem so fruitful to us, but really has a lasting impact.
My team was an incredible group of worshipers & artists hungry to see the Kingdom of God here on this Earth & I couldn’t be more grateful for them. I really saw God’s design for the Body of Christ come together as we all brought our individual gifts & allowed God to move through those.
I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to be a part of what God is doing in these nations & I am so incredibly blessed by all of those who supported me along the way. I can’t wait to see what God is up to here in Australia in this next season & be a part of what God is doing in other nations.
In this next season, I am a student of our School of Worship here at YWAM Gold Coast. I have been praying for & trusting God for this school to even happen for over a year now. Through a series of miracles, we have the school up & running May 8th & I am registered as a student. I am in need of $2,630 AUD ($2,043 USD) for this school & after seeing God fully provide near this amount to bring me to India & Nepal, I am fully confident that He will be faithful in providing for me in this area as well. If you would like to be a part of what God is doing in my life & in Australia & you feel compelled to give, support can be sent to 19318 22nd Ave. NW Stanwood, Washington 98293 USA or given online here. If you would like to support me through prayer, I have included a list of prayer requests & praise reports of what I have seen God doing recently.
- Salvations & people being healed on outreach
- Successful local outreach during the recent Commonwealth Games here on the Gold Coast
- All of our students are now graduated & back home safely 🙂
- Complete finances for School of Worship