Jimmy Akers shares a reflection on his short-term project in India focused on outreach.
Years ago God gave me four words that changed the way that I lived and served - 'don't do life alone.' I'm so thankful for the opportunity I had to go to India, but the trip would have lacked had it not included Justin Hanneken and Christal Haner who are both NMSI missionaries as well. We all challenged and encouraged each other. I got just as much joy watching them flow in their gifts as I did serving and God continued to confirm that He handpicked the three of us to go and serve together.
The trip was diverse in so many ways. We ministered in two separate cities with unique cultural differences, languages and challenges. In those places, we did services and outreaches in homes, slums, schools, churches, in the city, in villages and even in a men's clothing store.
All three of our hosts led us well and gave us once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to minister through the preached word, worship, kids' programs, providing meals and praying for people. Testimonies were shared, tears were shed, prayers were lifted up and lives were changed.
It was extremely humbling to serve alongside people who have given up comfort, homes, jobs and even safety in order to follow Jesus. It was difficult to not just cry as we ministered to a living room full of persecuted pastors. One of them was physically beaten in his home the day before just because he is a follower of Jesus. That did not stop him from worshipping God with us. One of our hosts said that India is beautiful and messy. It is. That has been true of my life too. God is faithful.