2014 Chennai – Marius van Broekhuizen

Take Your Place

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” -Ephesians 4:11-12

On the last day of January, 10 seemingly ordinary people from New Philadelphia Church departed on a short-term missions trip to Chennai, India. This was the first time our church sent a team to this region. It was so wonderful going on a journey that we had been praying into for months. Knowing that the purpose of this trip was to partner with a missions network- supporting and honoring the local ministry- gave me so much peace and expectation in my heart.

Two things I contended for going into this trip was seeing people get set free from the prison of sin, and also to have a greater perception of God’s presence permeating every detail of my life. I did not want this trip to just be a week-long event. I wanted this trip to flow from a lifestyle of worship. A few things scared me a little about going on missions such as doing VBS (children’s songs and dance) in front of many people, working well with a group of ten, and being fully present in what God was doing in every single moment. But I knew that God would be faithful.

During the trip our team ministered at schools, house churches, and to the local congregation. We also had the privilege of conducting leadership training to equip Bible college students and ministers from all over India and Myanmar. All these ministry opportunities were wedged between two powerful Sundays on which we connected with Pastor Matthew (our local pastor) and the beautiful people of New Life Christian Assembly. Across our ministry schedule, we indeed saw many people get set free- specifically from unforgiveness and demonic bondage. I also was able to better understand what it means to minister from a lifestyle of worship.

But something that really impacted me personally during our time in India was actually the “filler” time between our ministry events. During these times, team members shared what God was doing in each of our hearts, and we would reflect on God’s goodness and provision during that day. Every quiet time with our missions small groups, every team prayer time, and every meal that was shared brought us all closer together. And because God was connecting our hearts with each other, we could minister out of a united heart overflowing with peace, joy, and thanksgiving. Our ministry fruit was truly as a result of this united heart.

One day, while we were meeting as a group, our team leader Kathleen shared with the team how God wanted us to each take our place. Collectively our team was a powerful vehicle, but God has gifted each of our team members with a unique personality and combination of abilities that no other person has. God not only allows us to be ourselves, but He encourages it. And at that moment my eyes were opened to how beautiful each of our team members were. They were pastors, prophets, worshippers, and intercessors making up a breathtaking piece of art. In the days after this moment, I saw us become colors more vibrant and more extravagant, coming together in this Indian canvas. This was synergy. This was liberating. This was something I could take back home with me after coming back from India. I realized that in learning to take my place, I was learning to become a greater part of a magnificent whole.


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