With our first trip to India coming up, I felt I should post something of an introduction before we leave the country. My name is Lindsey, and I am the student leader for our trip. Dr. Norris, our faculty leader, is busy at work on the scholastic aspects of our trip. My hope is that you, our readers, are either the concerned loved ones of our students going abroad, or the enthusiastic proponents of Grace’s worldwide endeavors.
For those who do not know anything about our trip to India, I will give a brief outline. Our group of about a dozen will be first traveling to the capital city, New Delhi, to do some sight-seeing and a bit of shopping. We’ll be staying for about five days until we take a very long train ride to our next destination in the south. India is a vast country and so just traveling from New Delhi to the Hyderabad area will take us 2 days by train. We have all been briefed on what to bring and prepare for in this long journey so I think it will be a pleasurable ride. During our stay in the south, we will be interacting with some local school children and Bible College students as well as more shopping. We’ll do some sightseeing in Hyderabad before leaving for the U.S. again.
Let me take a moment to paint a picture of India for our readers. For most people in the U.S.A. India is a 3rd world country, full of poor, uneducated people. This is technically true, but definitely leaves out the amazing progress the country has made not only economically, but politically and spiritually. When we travel to India, no doubt we will see some of the lower class or poor parts of the country, but I am equally as sure we will be amazed by the culturally rich historical sites, and the progression of the country as a whole. For instance, one of the first places we will be staying is near a university and the historical Qutb Minar, the world’s tallest brick minaret. India is also well-known as the world’s largest democracy (by population). The country houses about 1/6th the world’s population under a single government system modeled after our own. Spiritually speaking, the tendency of Americans to judge India as a Hindu nation is a common, but serious, mistake. India, in fact, is home to one of the oldest groups of Christianity in the world. Saint Thomas (otherwise known as “Doubting Thomas”) was the first missionary to India after the Lord’s ascension; therefore, Christians have been in the country longer than Buddhists and other newer Eastern religions. India is far from being a “Christian” nation, but the efforts are there and the harvest is ripe. I doubt our group will leave without some kind of positive impact for the cause of Christ.
With all of this in mind, I would like to appeal to you, our readers, for your constant thoughtful prayer as we travel half-way across the world. Please pray for our health and safety, as well as our witness of Christ in a foreign country.