2017 India – Lydia Lim

Beloved Sons & Daughters

From 26th December to 1st January I was sent to Chennai, India along with 12 other leaders of New Philadelphia Church representing campuses in both Korea and Australia. We were in Chennai to minister to God’s people through village outreach and by empowering the local church.

Before I went on this missions trip, I asked God how I should pray for the people I would be ministering to. God then revealed to me His love for His people. And He challenged me to see them not just as a group of people, but to love them as individuals. So with this revelation, I was determined to minister by seeing the people of Chennai as God’s beloved people.

On the first day after we arrived, during our morning devotional worship time, Holy Spirit reminded me again that He loves His people, and that His grace and mercy are abundant for them. When our team went to our first village, I sat amongst the women and I could sense in the Spirit that God’s love was covering each one of them. They were very attentively listening to Pastor John, our team preacher, as he was sharing his testimony of the Father’s love.

On our second village outreach, Gina, our team leader, preached on being a precious child of God. God then highlighted some children to me and I ended up praying God’s love over them during our short fellowship time. God also gave me a heart for the more elderly people. There was an overflow in my heart to minister to the older women of the village by being intentional with them and having them participate in our children’s song and dance time. These people had heard the Gospel for the first time that day, and God’s love for them was so abundant.

After the two village outreaches, our ministry switched gears to empowering the believers of the local churches. We went to a church dedication service, and this time I saw the love that the local believers had for the Lord. They lived in a village full of Hindus, and only a small minority of the villagers was present- crammed inside a small house just so they could listen to the Word of God and worship Him. It was a very humbling scene for me. Our local contact, Pastor Mathew, explained that one of the leaders from his church had taken on the call that God had given him and was faithfully shepherding the church plant in the village.

Another event that was memorable to me was the prayer and fasting service at New Life Christian Assembly (NLCA) one morning. We were just worshipping and praying for 2 hours straight and Pastor Mathew, our local contact in Chennai, asked the congregation to share about their thankfulness to God for 2016. It really blessed me to see that one by one people stood up and share what they were thankful for. They were not shy, but bold and sincere. People were so zealous to offer a beautiful prayer of thanksgiving to God, and the thanksgiving went on and on. I was so blessed and challenged to see how much they acknowledge God’s work in their lives!

Pastor Mathew along with Sister Jeeva (his wife) and their daughter Harrisha blessed our team so tremendously with their hospitality and their love for us. While interacting with each one of them, I could also feel God’s absolute pleasure in them. Listening to their testimonies, I realized that God also sees them first as His son and daughters, not His servants. He loves them and is very proud of them even without their ministry. And looking back, I now realize that these are the kind of eyes that God gave me throughout the trip.

Proverbs 8: 17 states, “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me,” and Jeremiah 1:5 states, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” God loves His people, and all these people we ministered to during this trip were all set apart by God to hear the Good News and respond to His Word. These are the glasses that God had me wear throughout the trip, and this is the theme for my trip: each person is fully loved and known by God.