June 16, 2016
Here is a great Thursday night read from our very own Latrice Phillips!
I can’t go, I am a mom… My daughter isn’t even two yet and she wouldn’t understand that I hadn’t abandoned her… Who will rock her and love on her the way I do? What if something happens while we are continents apart and I can’t get to her? These were my primary excuses for saying no when propositioned to go to India. They are all reasonable excuses, not like I was saying I couldn’t go because I would miss my favorite shows, or no one would be able to water my houseplants or something like that. I was all set to help my husband raise support and send him instead on a journey to the other side of the world. We began to pray about the trip, the circumstances involved with one of us leaving the rest of us at home. I was convinced that this was the right path that God had for our family at this time.
I continued to be approached by different people encouraging me to pray about the possibility of going to India. My heart didn’t want to think about, let alone pray about the possibility. I feared God would say yes He wanted me to go, and then what? What about my job as mom? One of the women who had already committed to going sent me a message one night saying “I wondered if you would like to talk to someone about what missions looks like for a mom.” So I talked to my husband who said “I really think this trip was made for you, and I will support you if you want to go. We will be just fine.” So I began to pray, naming all of my fears and doubts, and in response I could hear a resounding voice telling me that God’s vision for my life is bigger than my own. Was I going to be governed by my doubts and fears or would I live by faith? In Hebrews 6:13-20, we are reminded that God is the steadfast anchor of our souls, our great hope, and that because of this we don’t have to live in fear. Control, or the fear of not being able to control things, is an idol of mine. I had been telling myself that I couldn’t be a mom and leave my baby here, when that is exactly what God was calling me to do. He was calling me to be a mom and use my arms to hold and rock babies all the way across the world. My doubts and fears in turn became my reason for going.
While I would love to go into full details about every aspect of my trip to India, I will refrain from typing a novel and just tell you how my life has been forever changed by this experience. I was blessed to fly to India with a group of five amazing women, four of which also left their little ones at home. I went with the expectation and prayer of becoming light to a dark nation, only to see and experience sparks of light in the most unlikely of places. We spent our days loving and discipling children as well as their caregivers. We even attended church and were able to sing praises to God with hundreds of Indian believers, our brothers and sisters in Christ. How amazing it was to see that the same Spirit that floods my soul is doing the same in a nation that is primarily Hindu.
I have decided to return to India along with my husband in 2017, and lead a team of my own. With the help of Global Hope India, I will be leading a short term mission trip to Telangana, India. The team will be working with a local ministry I was fortunate enough to tour during my trip to India, The John Foundation. This foundation began as a place to provide support and education for children in need. The foundation now not only provides orphan support, it has established a school that provides skills training courses for women to have the ability to support themselves and/or their family. There is even a church planting course filled with first generation Christians both male and female. They have also created a restoration home which helps restore and provides an opportunity for education to girls who have been rescued from a life of sex trafficking. The gospel story is shared with everyone, and each morning begins with a time of praise, worship and devotion. This may be the perfect opportunity for you to put your yes on the table and help advance the gospel. Individuals of various skill levels, assets and interests are needed.
Jesus is the great anchor of our soul, He is holding us and interceding over all situations. Our assurance in this will lead us to walk by faith. A proper understanding of the gospel makes you GO to all the nations and love people. I will share with my daughter stories of my experience, and how my heart has forever changed, and I pray one day she will say “Here I am. Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8) Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created (Esther 4:14).