This was our fourth trip to work with Calvary Prayer Tower (CPT) and Pastor Juna in the capital city of Andhra Pradesh—Vijayawada—a city of 4 million people. CPT are continuing their work amongst very needy people and destitute children to eradicate poverty and help people see the Love of Christ in action. Tens of thousands of slum dwellers in Vijayawada and surrounding villages are severely stricken with poverty. They hunger for food, they thirst for clean water, they suffer from preventable diseases, their children die of malnutrition, a neat and tidy home is but a dream for them.
Lisa Drabble says: This year I had the privilege of travelling to India on Aid International’s mission trip. This trip was a very authentic experience and a very rewarding insight into the beautiful country and people of India.
I was totally blown away by the culture and the raw reality of life and how it is lived by the people. God blessed me and revealed to me the love he has for ALL people and while we live our lives in one part of the world he is busy at work in another part of the world.
I found the people, Pastor Juna and Tabitha and their beautiful family and church inspiring, hardworking, full of compassion, authority and love for each man, woman and child that God has called them to reach. I was blessed by their attitude to meet the needs of people in a practical yet wise way. Along with their humility in partnering with Aid International and their relationship and friendship with Bob and BCC. I again saw the value and importance of community, unity and partnership and it even brought a level of healing for me to experience this again.
It was also a great highlight to see the slum children and feed and minister to orphans. The children were happy yet poor and in great need. To see what is being achieved and given is great!
I pray that Aid International keeps impacting and sowing for many years to come into those people, the church and culture.
I was so blessed by the whole trip and would love to see things expand as God leads in the times to come.
Thank you to Bob, Aid International, Pastor Juna and BCC for your generosity, kindness and faith.
Lisa Drabble Bath City Church
Testimony from Jen Baker
I was sitting at my office desk in Michigan when I heard the Holy Spirit whisper that I would go to India to serve the people. It took 15 years, but this past June that word came to pass.
Not knowing what to expect, I arrived with trepidation, expectation and faith.
What I experienced was beauty, grace and hardship.
I’ve visited many nations prior to this and have seen the destructive power of poverty over people’s lives, cities and nations. But the poverty in India seemed to me at a greater level than what I have seen elsewhere . .
The children captured my heart. One of my favourite moments was when I knelt around an enormous tub of rice and scooped the largest scoop I could muster onto the plate of a hungry little one, eyes wide open ready to receive what might be their only meal of the day.
The same hunger, in a different way, was seen in the eager faces of those I taught at the Pastor’s Day and the Women’s Day . . . both the men and women seemed hungry for the Word and I was thankful (relieved?!) that they seemed to enjoy and receive what was hours of teaching in a gruelling heat and challenging conditions. The women even sat on a concrete floor for hours, without complaining, eager to learn more.
And then there was the leper colony. Oh my heart. Such beautiful people, where I sensed the presence of Jesus in a deeper way than anywhere else. My heart yearned to see them healed and free, yet the peace and joy found there showed that a type of ‘wholeness’ can be found even in the most difficult of circumstances.
One memory I will never forget is preaching late at night halfway up a mountain, with howling wind and monsoon-like rain swirling around us, to a small group of Hindu women sitting outside under a porch overhang. Realising these precious ladies could not be sat outside in this too long, I threw my perfectly planned preach out the window and instead I began sharing my testimony and the power that is found in the name of JESUS. The minute I boldly spoke that name over them, all the electricity (i.e. the little bit of light coming from the house next door) went out and we were thrown into utter darkness. A team member put her hand on my back to reassure me she was praying and a few others turned on the torches of their iPhones, in order to give some light. The gospel was preached, salvation prayers were prayed, joy was in the place and as we left the electricity came back on. It felt like something out of the New Testament times . . . minus the iPhones.
This is not my last trip, as it is impossible to see what we have seen – and do nothing. So, I am praying about the way forward and am eager to see why the Lord spoke to me 15 years ago about this beautiful country. What an amazing opportunity to help our brothers and sisters, to preach freedom where there is great bondage and to feed the hungry, heal the sick and clothe the naked.
Jen Baker, Jen Baker Ministries and Bath City Church
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners.
My time with Aid International was a real blessing in so many ways, personally, spiritually, socially, intellectually, a journey such as that really opens up your heart, mind, spirit and eyes. It increased my awareness of the situations, circumstances and needs of others, as well as the generosity, determination and Christlike characters of people who work in such fields.
God is calling everyone from around the planet to participate in activities like these, to reach the lost, to help the poor, it is as we all know one of the fundamental teaching Christ gave us.
The people I met were such a pleasure to be around, so although it can sound difficult, it’s not and my time there and with the people was a constant pleasure, adventure and filled with God’s presence. I can’t recommend it enough, if you have never been, in my books, it’s essential.
After escaping the British bubble and seeing how other people live, it changes you, it makes you appreciate more the many blessings we are given and motivates you to help, support and share. As I’ve also heard once before, giving is living, so to travel there and give what we can was such a joy and the people I met were amazing.
Also, final point, the hotel is very nice so you do have a very good place to relax in at the end of each day, with a pool, amazing roof top view, gym, steam room and good food, so whatever happens during the day, you can relax and recharge at the hotel.
The people, ministry, charity, people, accommodation were all perfect, but most importantly God is strongly and powerfully involved, and doing things that wouldn’t be possible without Him. It was a real blessing and privilege to participate and I can’t recommend it enough.
Henry Lea Bath City Church