Missions trip in Chennai, India (3-13 August)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Overall, one word to describe the missions trip, “awesome”. Now, even as write this on the bus journey back to Ipoh from LCCT KL, i feel sad. I really miss the trip. I miss everyone in the team n everyone there in Chennai whom we had worked with. I really really miss it so much. How i wish it was longer n time didn’t fly so fast. I miss everyone so much, from the team members: Andrew, Joo Ann, Li Via, Tracy, Prem, Chew, Matthew; and Pastor’s family: Pastor Kumar, Jessie, Jeanette, Jayden; and Harvest Apostolic Ministries staff (the church we worked with): Stanley, Nisha, Ammi, Francis, Vimal, Rajan, Shobana, Sophia, Murthi, Stella, Samson, etc.

It was indeed a meaningful missions trip, and we learnt so much. We went there, to bless n serve others, but in the end, i think we were the ones really bless by an experience of a lifetime i will never forget n will always cherish deep in my heart. India has taught so much, how fortunate we are n how ungrateful we have been at times when we complain. Even as we visited homes in Chennai, going for door knockings, ministering to the people living in the slump areas, it was indeed an eye-opener for all of us. The people lived in poverty, slump houses so small, never had we imagined. But yet, the people were so warm n pure. They invited us into their humble homes, and ask us to pray for them. One particular one i remembered was an old lady, who said that i was like her own daughter when i hugged her, laid hands on her n prayed for her, she had a mild heart attack recently. Never had i imagined that there were such warm people in this world, even when they didn’t know you at all, n you’re a total stranger to them, yet, they warmly welcome you with open hands. The joy i felt, i was really touched by everything i saw.

The kids at the House of Hope really touch my heart too. 22 kids altogether. It made me think, do we know the real joy? These kids made me realize the real joy one should have. They were just simple kids, orphans, yet, their joy when they played with us showed no sign of the misery they had when they were affected by the tsunami years ago. I call it, the pure joy. These kids, just by playing simple games with the sharpener n text book, singing songs to us, playing aeroplane with us, these things they did that we would have thought it would be all boring, the kids found joy n laughter.. it really moved my heart to i realize how unjoyful I am at times even when i had so much..

Besides that, we also did street corner evangelistic outreach. It was our first time. And when i say street corner, it’s really a street corner, no joke. We had no idea how it would be like, the only thing we could do, was to trust n have faith in God to do everything. We performed a skit, with our hero actor Chew as the main character, Kupen, and the rest of us played the other characters. We sang songs n Andrew shared the message. During the altar call, so many people came up for prayer. We had different kinds of prayer needs, from health to family issues, and even studies. Indeed, God is great. We shed tears even as we laid hands on the people, and prayed for them, and we could feel the presence of God very strong. You know, there are so many people out there, waiting for hope in their lives, waiting for a touch from God. It really hit me hard, to realize the real world we’re living in, people everywhere are desperately in need, sometimes, we just think about ourselves n only know how to take things for granted.

We also went to cell group meetings. It was held in the humble homes of the people in the slump areas. Everyone will just sit closely together in a small area of the house. I really enjoyed it personally n i would say, i’ve never felt God’s presence so strong in a cell group meeting before. I could feel the passion the people there had for God, the togetherness n unity. And again, an old lady there made me feel the joy n warmth. She was sitting beside me, and she kept holding my hand from the moment i held hers when we started praying after the sharing. She held on to my hand right up to the moment we were to leave, and she gave me a kiss on the cheek.

We also conducted 4 sessions of medical camp throughout the missions trip with our leader, Dr Joo Ann. Dr Joo Ann, Andrew, Chew, Li Via n Prem did the consultations, i did the dressing n cleaning of wounds, while Tracy n Matthew carried out the dispensing of medicines, which include simple drugs, vitamins, pain killers, albendazole (de-worming medicine), paracetamol, anti-fungal cream, etc. When no one needed dressing, i helped out in the dispensing of medicines n also observed the consultations. In total we had 700 patients.

Not only did we do outreach n medical, we also went sight-seeing n shopping. Sight-seeing was on Joo Ann’s birthday which was on the 10th August. Ammi took us to a place where they had huge rocks which carvings. And there was an ancient temple there too. Nice place, but was really sunny n hot, i got sunburn. We had lotsa fun, climbing those rocks, taking photos, lotsa lame ones too. There, we bought some souvenirs too. Most of them were made of marble n rocks. and we had a BBQ too to celebrate Joo Ann’s birthday, held on the rooftop of Pastor’s house. Throughout the missions trip, we stayed at Pastor’s home. thanks so much to Vimal, Stanley, Francis n Pastor Jessie for the lovely BBQ. Joo Ann received a marble model of Taj Mahal n a specially designed mug with her photo imprinted on it as a present. Poor Joo Ann badly wanted to go to Taj Mahal, n so did all of us, but Taj Mahal is in New Delhi, very far away.

For shopping, we girls bought Punjabi suits n sarees, bangles. The guys bought Jeepa n they also tailor-made specially designed formal top recommended by Pastor Kumar. In India, tailoring is cheap, the clothes are cheap. Silver too is cheap. I bought a silver chain n pendent for RM20+.

On the last day of our ministry in India, which was the day before we left Chennai, evening, we attended the Miracle Evening Healing Meeting at Harvest Christian Assembly. That night, was an experience of a lifetime. God’s presence was so strong in that place till we could feel it. So many people came up for healing. And even there were people possessed by witchcraft. Even as we laid hands on them n prayed for them, tears just won’t stop flowing, we felt the Holy Spirit so strong that people started shaking n falling.. by faith, in Jesus Name, we know they are healed. Amen.

After the meeting, Pastor Kumar took us out for a wonderful dinner treat of seafood by the beach. We had sotong, shrimps, fish.. it was awesome. We could see the moonlight line on the sea water.. so beautiful. somehow, we ended up playing the game truth or dare, very dangerous game i would say. Then Pastor took us for an ice-cream treat. Baby Jayden love ice-cream so much n he kept wanting more n more ice-cream. Jayden’s only 8 months old, and he’s a super duper cute adorable baby who loves people very much n he loves to be carried, if not he will cry. Cute right? That night was indeed an awesome night, and that was our last night in Chennai.

On Wednesday night, 12th August, after a wonderful dinner treat with Pastor Kumar n Jessie n Stanley, Francis, Vimal, Ammi, it was finally time to say goodbye. We were nearly in tears as we bid goodbye n headed to the train station to catch the train back to Tiruchirapalli to catch the flight back. The train journey took about 6-7 hours. That was how we got to Chennai from Tiruchirapalli, because AirAsia only flies to Tiruchirapalli. Francis was with us throughout the journey to Chennai from Tiruchirapalli n from Chennai back to Tiruchirapalli. Thanks a lot Francis, for everything. The train ride was indeed an experience of a lifetime.

Looking back at photos n memories, i really miss the missions trip so much. I’ve learnt so much.. I would say, I learn more n was bless more than what we had bless others with.

Thank you Pastor Kumar, Jessie, Jeanette, Jayden for opening your lovely home for us to stay. I truly enjoyed every moment. Thank you Pastor for taking time off to care for our needs n arrange everything for us. Thank you Stanley, Ammi, Francis, Vimal. Thank you for the lovely amazing awesome car rides, for bringing us everywhere we needed to go. Thank you for the lovely meals you guys cook, seriously, it was all so awesome n delicious, thumbs up. Thank you to all the staff of Harvest Apostolic Ministries, thank you for all your hard work in preparing the place of ministry for us, for setting up the camps, for translating, for being there for us. We are truly blessed by everything you all have done for us. And we really learn so much. Thank you team Shanti-Shanti, for all the endless jokes n laughter n fun we had together as a team. You guys are the best. Thank you so much for everything, for all your hard work n dedication. I’ll miss you all so much.. in fact, i already do now.

Thank you everyone for your prayers too. Thank you everyone for everything, from the bottom of my heart.

p/s: photos will be up in the next post soon.. cheers.


couchpotato August 29, 2009 at 1:17 PM  

arrrggghhhh i'm so jealous you got to do such cool things in India- great to see God moving in so many places, and great to see you so involved :) how did you take part in this missions trip- am interested in taking part in missions though local stuff is good too.

take care and hope your housing issues get sorted out. study hard and well!

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