Our friends at Lifetree Adventures recently journeyed to India to serve amongst the slum communities and partner with the indigenous minsitries and churches. Leading the trip were Founders of Group Publishing, Thom and Joani Schultz. Below we wanted to share with you some of Joani’s reflections from their incredible experience. Enjoy reading:
Our team of 27 eager-to-give adventurers put the “adventure” in Lifetree Adventure! Our team gelled well and represented diverse travelers:
–In age–we ranged from 8 to 81!
–In where we came from–from coast to coast in America.
–In travel experience–one person had never been on an airplane before, another was on her fifth Lifetree Adventure serving around the world, –in service experience–one family with four children dove into loving our new Indian friends as well as people with years of children’s and ministry experience.
Many on our team included the pre-trip. We marveled at the majesty and beauty of the Taj Mahal in Agra. We rode lumbering, painted elephants up to Amber Fort in Jaipur. We even hung on tightly as pedal carts wound us through the narrow streets of Delhi after a visit to a mosque. We tasted Indian culture, foods, and handicrafts.
But what will stay in our hearts forever were the people–women, children, elderly, local pastors, and others we were privileged to serve in the slums of Delhi. Our local Indian guides from our partner Serve Now, shared their love of the people in extreme poverty. Our group divided into smaller teams, braved the indescribable traffic, all to rotate through projects that included:
–handing out crayons and special Bible books in Hindi complete with photos of North American VBS kids’ photos. We brought encouragement and stories of kids praying for kids in India.
– individually and tenderly giving sweaters or blankets to needy children, women, and elderly men.
–playing, singing, and praying with children
–teaching English, joining in worship, eating delicious, spicy Indian food
–visiting, serving, hugging, and loving trash pickers who lived amongst the dump, snake charmer communities, leper colonies, churches, home churches.
We simply brought the love of Jesus to those who’d never met foreigners before. We experienced the cacophony of honking horns, bus rides, vans, tuk tuks, as well as enjoying a safe, comfortable hotel.
Each night our team reflected on God Sightings–how God was revealing himself through the people and projects we were experiencing. God miraculously reached into each person’s life, touching each of us in profound, personal ways–just where we needed! We will never be the same!
Words are inadequate to describe an experience we knew would be impossible to explain. All we know is that God touched us all!
Chief Creative Officer of Group Publishing
*Interested in going on a Lifetree Adventure? Contact Robin Alm, Lifetree Adventures advisor at 1-800-747-2157 to learn more or visit LifetreeAdventures.com!