Taylor Collado’s Great India Adventure

Well, I’m in India and I’ve pretty much settled into my schedule. It’s a busy one, but I love the ministry opportunities I’ll have. I’m helping out with the Kid’s Ministry, Youth Ministry and Sports Ministry. Most of the ministries they have set up are in the evening, so I’m able to take my days to prepare everything I need.

I’m preparing a drama to go along with the Bible story, and an English worship song for Kid’s Church on Sundays; and I’m preparing some games for Kid’s Club on Saturdays. I’m also going around to some of the “Life Centres” Living God Church has set up in the slums for the kids during the week.

I’m playing football (soccer in North America) with some young teens in the schools. I’ll be giving them the few tips I can (some of them are already better than me) and then sharing a little devotional with them afterwards. This ministry is an awesome way to reach the schools.

I’m getting an awesome taste of Youth ministry here also. I’m doing a few devotionals with the teens during the week at some cell groups (on rooftops, no less!). It was incredible to hear some of the salvation stories from the teens at the cell groups. Most of their families are Hindu, but they’ve been Christians for 1-2 years and have already been baptised and are living the faith. So encouraging! God is moving in Chennai!
My biggest exposure to youth ministry, however, is that I’ll be preaching in the Youth Service every Sunday. Pastor Christo has trusted me with his youth, so please pray that I’m able to say what’s on God’s heart and that I’ll be open to teaching and correction from the leaders.

Thank you so much for your continuous prayer support! Please also pray for the church leaders here. There’s still so much work to do, but everyone has so much passion to change India for God. I’m so excited to work with these guys. They’re making history in Chennai, one soul at a time.

Taylor

How Beautiful are the feet of those who bring GOOD NEWS – Intern Heidi Garrell – shares her thoughts.

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news… Isaiah 52:7

REBLOGGED from http://heidithaidtogod.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/how-beautiful-on-the-mountains-are-the-feet-of-those-who-bring-good-news-isaiah-527/

At the end of my last post I mentioned that I would tell you about a place that I went to called “Ancient Siam.” The way the park is set up is that you pick up a rickety old bike or a golf cart and ride across the expansive area to view the replicas of landmarks of ancient Thailand. It was so much fun! But let me tell you, I have never seen so many statues of Buddha in one place. The highlight of my time there was going up to Prasat Phra Wihan. I’m not sure what the exact purpose of the structure was, but it looked to me like a temple. The coolest part was that there were about a million stairs and you would walk up to one platform with a small structure, then another, then another and it never seemed to end. But when you get to the top, this is what you see:

It’s a truly fantastic view from up there. There was a very nice breeze up there as well which felt amazing after very hot and humid weather the whole day, like most days here. We’ve done a few other fun things like Canadian Thanksgiving, which is apparently today! I had no idea Canadians even had a thanksgiving until this trip (the organization I am with here is Canadian).

I’ve really been itching to tell all of you what God has been doing in my life and how He has been teaching me new things and speaking to me. So I had been living in a one room apartment with one bathroom, which is the only place you can go in the apartment to be alone. Although I had shared rooms with people in the past, this situation was different because I am with these girls 24/7. Even though I love the other students here at ISM and my roommates, I need to be completely alone for a portion of my day everyday to keep my sanity. I was not setting that time alone aside for myself everyday and sometimes not even every week. So by the end of the third week, my being couldn’t handle it. For other cultural stress reasons as well as not giving myself what I need for sanity I had a breakdown. It was not very pretty. I wasn’t really sure the exact reason for it. I just knew that all I wanted was for everyone in the world to leave me alone. The next day I was able to spend the night at one of my leader’s house and have my own room where I can be alone for the night. While there, I had a talk with my leader and the Lord revealed a few things to me. The main element to what had happened was that apparently I am still dealing with perfectionist issues. I was putting pressure on myself to be a leader when I really don’t enjoy it. I was pressuring myself to be and do what I thought others expected of me on top of the expectations I had on myself. That is why it was so exhausting to be with people all the time. I could never let my guard down 100%. Everything was beginning to make sense! I also realized that I didn’t want for people to pray for me often because I don’t want to seem like a bother. On top of that, the enemy had been using a lie that was placed in my mind to keep me from a healthy relationship with others in the body of Christ. The lie was, “Your only smart if you figure it out yourself.” That is not what God intended. He made us so that in order to grow in Him and be healthy we have to be a part of His body of believers. As part of the body, I have strengths that others don’t have and others have strengths that are my weaknesses. God designed us this was so that we can build each other up in our relationships. We are not meant to do it alone and we are not “smarter” for doing it alone, even if we could. I praise God for revealing that to me because it was hindering having relationships with friends be all that God designed them to be.

Another reason I had gotten frustrated before I broke down was because things were not going the way I wanted them to go. I am now learning what it really means to DIE TO SELF. It doesn’t sound pretty or pleasant, does it? That’s because it’s not. But sometimes, in order for God to make significant, lasting changes in your life, it has to hurt. So I was sitting in my first class on Monday, the beginning of ministry week, and the class was on serving. I’ve heard the term about a million times, but praise the Lord, He softened my heart to receive a new perspective. The teacher showed a upward trending graph and asked us what this means. We answered, “It means that we are doing well, business-wise. It means that we are successful.” She showed us another graph that was downward trending. She asked us what that meant. By earthly standards that meant that we are failing. But by God’s standards, we are becoming greater. In Matthew 23:11-12 it says, “11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Jesus is our example. He came DOWN from heaven to earth. HE HUMBLED HIMSELF. Just think about that. The King, the Creator of everything became a BABY! That in itself is a staggering thought. Then we began to read John 13, where Jesus washes His diciples’ feet. The question was posed, “Are you humble enough to let God wash your feet?” I don’t know. I honestly don’t know if I could watch the Lord of heaven and earth stoop down below me, pick up my dirty, grimy foot and touch it, no less scrub all of the nastiness off. But when you really think about it, that’s what He already does on the inside of us if we allow Him to. Wow. I guess washing any part of our physical body would be less painful for Him than cleaning us up on the inside. The grim of sin that leads to death is so much more nasty than dirt. Thank you Lord for this fresh revelation!!! It’s amazing. I have so much to be thankful for. And I am willing to let Him wash my feet so that I have a part with Him and so that I will be able to wash other people’s feet. Because by the end of the passage, John 13:14-17, Jesus says, “14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

It was so touching. The last day at the Impact School of Missions, the teachers said, we want to commission you to go out and be foot washers. So they went to the washroom and got buckets of water and soap, and they washed our feet. I didn’t want to let them do it! And they’re not even Jesus! I honestly don’t know what’s harder, to wash someone else’s feet or to have your feet washed. That’s a close call. But I know that it was hard for me to let Avin wash my feet. She prayed for me as she did it and by the end I was bawling. It was so emotional! I couldn’t handle the blessing of that and all that it meant. God is so good! I am so thankful for this whole experience here, but especially that I was able to be a part of ISM and that I was able to be with such amazing, unbelievable men and women (mostly women haha) of God!

Next step: actually serving! I start my internship with NightLight tomorrow and am so excited for what that will hold. I am trying to ask God to continue to help me “get low.” So I would want no task to be “below” me. I want to be willing and available to help in whatever way they need me! To start, I will probably be helping a volunteer there with her class as she is teaching English to 60 Thai children this week. When I am not doing that I will most likely be making flowers because that is another business that NightLight runs and is currently on the rise! At the end of the week, we will be leaving for a retreat with the ladies at NightLight for the weekend. While there we will be helping out with the children and possibly attending some sessions as well? I haven’t gotten all of the details on that. But I am excited and you can definitely pray that the Lord continues to do this hard work in me. One thing I have discovered: God is not easier, but He is better. Praise Him!

Heidi