Monday, August 17, 2009

Fresh Love, Fresh Fire...More Reflections From India

When I was asked to go along on this medical trip to India, I said "yes" without even thinking about it. Then reality set in...I would be taking a week and a half off from my practice and I knew it would put more stress on me when I got back. But here was the rub: At Crosswind, we are constantly referring to James 1:27 as our basis for ministry. You know that really inconvenient verse where God calls us to look after the orphans and widows in their distress. The way I read this verse is that we are to care for the most vulnerable people in our local communities and our world at large. There was no denying that the orphaned children in Kota, India qualified as some of the most oppressed and vulnerable people in our world. I've learned a whole lot about James 1:27 from actually entering into conversation with the real flesh and blood reality of poverty and social oppression. Actually touching the children from the slums and being touched by them changes your outlook on life. You can't go on a trip like this and not be affected.

I know that a lot of people didn't see the value in a trip like this. I, for one, have always been a bit skeptical of short-term missions. What's the point of spending thousands of dollars to go to the other side of the world for just a four day clinic, when that same amount of money could have put three pastors through seminary in India or something? I struggled with doubts like this before the trip, but here's the thing. God wouldn't ask us to do it if He couldn't accomplish something worthwhile. We went on this trip because we are Christians and this is one of the ways we follow our serving others. So even though we were with them for just a week and basically only treated their immediate medical needs once, it did make a difference. I could have just sent money. I could have sent medicine. I could have sent Bibles. I could have sent stuffed toys. But those things are not the message. How do you show someone what God is all about? You stand in front of them and say "I'm here for you".

Between medical clinics, our group had the opportunity to help serve lunch to the 400 children in the Rajasthan orphanage. It struck me that these kids have had lives I could never even imagine. They've lost their families to starvation, illness, murder, natural disaster, and who knows what else…but they're kids just like we were once. It was a life-changing experience to be in the middle of a sea of children who would be roaming the streets of India without God and Hopegiver's International. In that moment, looking around at dozens and dozens of eyes looking at you, needing help, it felt overwhelming. I think I needed to see it that way to realize that all we can do is love on them with the time we have and remind them that they are loved and that God has designed them for a purpose.

When I reflect back on our India trip, I think about people…broken people…hurting people…impoverished people. I think about the thousands of people God allowed my life to intersect with and the awesome group of people I had the honor of working with from our small town here in Mississippi. I was completely humbled to have this opportunity, because I have been able to see the impact of a life-changing ministry first hand, and I have loved on and cared for children that may not have survived without the help of Hopegiver's International.

-Bubba McQueen

3 - read/write comments:

Leah McQueen said...

I'm so proud of you and so thankful that God prompted and allowed you to go to India and experience His love in action - both in the giving of it to the precious orphans and in the receiving of it from the team, Hopegivers and especially those little faces! You ALL did a great thing in the name of Jesus!
Love you!

Jessica Eaton said...

I too am so proud to have been a part of something so amazing! God has shown me thru this trip that He is all we need. Those children truely depend on Him for everything--not like us--just when we need Him the most. Thanks Bubba for sharing this--it is awesome!

Anna Janzen-Lancaster said...

Thanks, Bubba, for letting us in on your thoughts and heart. There are quite a few Indian children who don't have hurting mouths today because you chose to say, "Yes!" to what God asked you to do. Isn't it beautiful when we get to see Him work? You didn't even get very "squirrelly"!

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.