2015 Delhi – AJ Cruz

Freedom is for All

My name is AJ and I am an active leader at New Philly. I am from Toronto, Canada and I’ve been in Korea for 5 years. For missions, I went to New Delhi, India. New Delhi is the capital of India and also the center of government. New Delhi is located in northern India and it is one of the nine districts of Greater Delhi. While in New Delhi, our team ministered for two days at Delhi University to young adults from the Kuki tribe (from Northeast India). We also ministered at Grace Community Church and Grace Home for Children, along having outreach to children from the surrounding slums.

To be perfectly real, I never wanted to go to India. It took a lot for me to submit to where God placed me for missions. It was tough to balance the training, work, and church responsibilities. It was overwhelming and I had a difficult time connecting with God’s heart for India. However, leading up to the trip I realized that God, not me, would determine what I would see and experience in the mission field. And though my expectations were quite low, I was open to what God wanted to do. I didn’t know exactly how God would use me, but I decided to simply be His vessel.

On the way to India, I was able to talk to team videographer Judy Kim and we shared our heart to see lasting fruit in the countries where New Philly ministers. As the plane took its course, we hoped this mission would provide lasting fruit for the city of Delhi. In retrospect, my expectation was natural, as New Philly missions are known for moving in the supernatural ways of God. So as the days went on and the supernatural wasn’t happening in front of my eyes, I started to feel disappointed. My expectations weren’t being met despite the sermons being Spirit-led and delivered with fire. This led me to ask questions. What exactly was God doing through us in India?

On the eve of ministering to the Kuki youth near Delhi University, we prepared to face opposition against our team’s female preachers. We prayed for God to break through mightily. The worship was anointed; Holy Spirit was definitely in the place. The preaching was powerful. However, the people didn’t respond the way we thought they would. After spending time in small groups, we realized we weren’t just facing opposition in peoples view of women preachers. We were also coming up against hardened hearts and skeptical minds. The Kuki tribe is a heavily oppressed ethnic minority group originally from Northeast India. They have been jaded by past missionaries and were skeptical of our intentions. But our hearts grew for them. During our debriefing, each team member shared their desire for the Kuki people to experience God’s tangible love. We cried out for the Holy Spirit presence to fall. We pressed in for the Kuki tribe. We wanted them to feel God’s tangible love.

On the second day, after anointed worship, a fiery sermon, and a strategic altar call, the HS touched hearts. We ushered the love of God to the young adults of the Kuki tribe. People were crying and I could feel burdens lifting. During our small group time we saw a big difference in the demeanor of the youth. They were smiling and being more expressive. They were noticeably freer. I really felt that through our prayers, through personal stories of what God has done in our lives, and through the sermon given by Pastor Anna, God had set their minds free. They were free from past hurts, and free from being jaded by missionaries who had only come to preach the love of Christ and without explicitly showing it. I really felt like before encountering God’s presence, the youth were feeling stuck in this place of doing Christian things. They needed God to break them free from duty, and put an emphasis on relationally connecting with Him. This was one of the highlights for me during this trip. I really saw God’s love set people free in front of my eyes.

The second and most personal highlight for me came in the passing conversation I had with Papa John and Mama Annie, who oversee Grace Home for Children. During this trip I was asked to perform a song with our team worship leader Anastasia. I rapped to a song. To be honest, I messed up a lot during the performances, but God’s grace carried me through. Papa John then said that he and the other churches were skeptical about rap being used for God’s glory, but after he saw me rap he has decided to allow kids at Grace Home to rap for the glory of God. Again, God brought freedom to the minds of the people we encountered, this time using the arts as a new means of praising Him. I didn’t know the impact our song made on the kids until I spent an extended time with them, and they were all asking for the lyrics for the song.

Before we left Grace Home, the team decided to spend more time with the Grace Home girls. They performed for us and we also performed for them. The team decided to perform our song one last time. As Anastasia strummed, I knew that girls had an idea of the lyrics but I didn’t expect what would happen next. As the song started, the girls started to sing the song line for line. I’ve had drunk and random people sing my songs at clubs, bars, or on the street. But to see the kids singing a song I help create, in order to bring God glory- this was intense. My heart was so touched. I have never felt such an overwhelming joy and freedom in my life. I really felt like God was showing me the power of the gift He entrusted me with. I was brought to tears. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. A picture is worth a thousand words but to me that moment was a picture that couldn’t be taken. It was indescribable.

The truth is God wants to set us free. We need only trust in Him and submit to His love. That’s one of the greatest revelations I received on this trip. I hope everyone has an opportunity to spend some time with the children of Grace Home. Let us continue to keep this ministry in prayer. They are believing for 1000 kids to be taken off the streets this year, and need the support and facilities to house them. May God release provision for His glory to increase through the children of this ministry!

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