India behind. Nations in our hearts.
There are two common things that race through our hearts in the first few seconds after landing in a new place: pure joy and plain ol’ fear. The challenge each time is to choose joy.
There is always the possibility that something will go wrong, but we are not in the business of seeing things with our human eyes. If anything, we are invited to walk through life seeing things as Jesus does. So yes, waves of fear ran through our bodies the first seconds after we landed in India. We quickly became aware of how late at night it was, how evidently foreign we looked to everyone, and how difficult it was to read Hindi.However, we looked at each other and smiled; we decided to choose joy. There we were after more than 22 hours of traveling, jet-lagged and hungry, but joyful. As we passed customs, security checkpoints, exchanged some money and retrieved our luggage, our goal was to scan as much as we could. Absorb everything, learn quickly, walk fast.
Then, we finally reached what would be “home” for the next 10 days. We tried to get as much sleep as possible, knowing that our journey was just beginning. Within a few hours, it was time to wake up. (There was a debate because our bodies kept insisting that it was nighttime, but the sun rising over Delhi was not willing to have that discussion.) So we got up and prepared for our first meeting at Bible Bhavan Christian Fellowship.
Hours later we returned to our lodging place. Eyes wide open, hearts bursting and memory cards loaded. What did we just witness? For some ignorant reason, we embarked on this project believing we’d get to document the move of God in India, and the portrait that we’d imagined was one of a struggling church making its way in a nation whose majority is Hindu. We quickly learned that our preconception couldn’t be more inaccurate. We saw a thriving church, rooted in the word and blazing through the country with the assignment to make disciples.
And this was just the beginning. If we get to summarize our experience in India, we’ll have to say that God made sure that our paradigms were crushed. Any preconceived idea about India that the media, sporadic news or just pure cultural bias had set in our heart was crumbled.
Our next stop included a plane trip, that we’ll describe as... adventurous. But, hey, we are never stopped by a challenge. So, a bit shaken, a bit stomach sick and grateful that our feet were on the ground, we arrived.
We had just flown 500 miles to Beawar to meet with Pastors Singh, founders of Emmanuel Mission School- and it was so worth it!. Our purpose was to gather as much information and footage as we could of the work of this ministry in the province of Ajmer. This particular organization has focused their efforts on changing the educational landscape in India. For three days and two nights, we spent time getting to know the hearts that God is using in that part of the country and documenting their incredible work. Between takes, the sense that kept bubbling up in our hearts was that it was such an honor to get to know these people on the very front lines!
Both tired and joyful, our team was ready to jump into the plane that would take us back to Delhi. At that point we knew something- God, through every connection, every interview and every shot, was brushing strokes for us in the canvas of India.
Individually each of those strokes is incredibly beautiful but when stepping back and gazing into the whole painting filled us with awe. So like that - awestruck- we landed in Delhi, with a couple of hours to prepare for our next meeting. This last organization, Victory Church, was a God-orchestrated connection.
Over coffee we got to hear the testimony of one of the church pastors and received an invitation to attend their prayer meeting just a day before our departure. The time to wrap up the project was getting close and to us that means that we needed to maximize our time to collect all the footage necessary to accurately and completely portray the Indian life. In other words, we needed to go out and record aspects of daily life, faith, interaction, values, geopolitical reality and more.
India trip, gave me the honor to meet some of the most amazing people who have laid their lives down for Jesus and hearing what God is doing in their ministries to reach India.
I enjoyed getting a behind the scenes look and being a part of Wild's team in action. While packing, navigating the airports with lots of equipment, security, checking equipment, hitting the ground in a foreign country, connecting with missionaries, meeting people, hearing stories, praying, laughing, crying, recording, interviewing, traveling more, debriefing, checking and double checking footage, backing up information, setting up for the next meeting and doing it all over again, I got a glimpse in to what Wild does month after month, trip after trip, ministry after ministry to bridge what is happening in the nations to the body of Christ.
This part of the project may sound trivial, but it is a key aspect of each production. In order for our videos to depict the reality of a particular region or mission, it is critical to accurately portray the framework of the entire area, so that each viewer has a deeper appreciation of the realities and a better understanding of what it is to love those people like Jesus loves them. This part of the production is both as exciting and demanding as it sounds! We were blessed by two amazing connections throughout this journey: Faby the sweet friend that hosted us, and Raju the driver that saved us from having to learn to drive on the streets of Delhi.
In order to go to our final experience, with less than 24 hours before our departure, we needed to purchase the traditional Indian outfits necessary to enter one of the most conservative areas on the outskirts of Delhi. The church we were visiting was in a heavily muslim neighborhood, and we needed to be both wise and respectful of the local culture and traditions. And it turns out that we can manage head coverings while setting up lighting and cameras!
The trip to India was eye-opening in that I realized how much God loves every nation, every people, every one. It popped the bubble I didn’t know I had of western superiority and allowed me to see the same God I love resembled in the lives of brothers and sisters on the other side of the world. At the end of the trip I realized that even if mother tongue, customs, and traditions were different, we all have a common denominator: the kingdom.
Also a common mission: expanding the kingdom to the ends of the earth.
We even persevered through a power outage in order to finish our interview and the recording of the service that evening. Covered with sweat and drenched in joy we said goodbye to this beautiful church after enjoying one of the most sweet displays of hospitality.
To say that our time in India was a blessing would be a gross understatement - our time there was glorious. God shattered misconceptions, redefined the meaning of the word hospitality, and taught us several lessons when it comes to leaving behind our own culture and embracing the one around us. But more importantly, He allowed us to see how beautiful, brave and dazzling is His bride in India.
We gazed into the passion to make disciples (whether in the big cities, the slums, or the small communities) we heard the passion, and witnessed the courage. It was an honor to carry the seed that you’v sown into Wild for the Nations, to go in your name and express your love to them.
The next step necessary for this project to see the light is post production.
Wild Has 3 other projects in line before beginning post-production on the India project, but we can not wait to get our hands on it. You can help us by praying - If you could see how much covering your prayer provides to us, you probably would never stop praying.
You can also help us by supporting. The cost of the project hasn’t been fully covered. Thankfully we were able to cover all the trip expenses, but we still need to raise additional funds to cover the post-production expenses, and you can be a part of that! Finally, spread the word! If you know someone that has a heart for the nations and might like to contribute to Project India or another project, that would mean the world to us.
BE A PART!
CHECK THE BEHIND THE SCENES