me start by saying my name is Tricia and I am not anything special or gifted in any special way. I am a normal, beach loving,
In 'n' Out eating, church going young lady. I was 12 years old when I heard God speaking to my heart. Now at the age of 23
I can say I have made Matthew 28:18-20 part of my life. I have had the opportunity to minister to 8 countries to share the
Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The most transforming time in my life would have to be in the short time
of six months I spent in India. Upon arrival I was a bit uneasy. I had no idea what
to expect for the time I was there. The team consisted of six people, two guys and four girls. With a wide variety of ages
and backgrounds it made a very colorful experience. Before the trip we had two weeks of preparation, for team development,
cultural understanding, and prayer. July 23 at around four in the morning we arrived. It was nothing like I had ever expected
or experienced. A new adventure awaited me.
During the time of my stay in India I saw so much of the country and people. It is very difficult to share it
all because it was such a life changing trip. Our first spot where we were going was called Pandalum. It is a small village
located in Tamil Nadu, the southern part of India.
We were there for a few weeks working with the church. In the Indian culture it is customary for the grandparents to name
the grandchildren. We were going to go visit an elder of the church and on our way there a man came to our group and asked
us to name his daughter. Being of the American culture that I am, I was totally shocked. As a team we decided to call her
Rebecca. After this our translator explained to us that he had been involved in drugs and when he became a Christian was freed
from the addiction of drugs in his life. He had told his wife if they ever had any children that they would wait for Christians
to come into their village to name their children. It was a sign of respect. Another great thing that I got to experience
during my time in this village was India’s
Independence Day. That morning we went to the bus stop to go to the church for a worship service. On our way there all the
children were dressed up. The girls had flowers in their hair and face paint. After the service we went back to where we were
staying. The landlord’s wife had made a huge feast for her family and us. It was much of the traditional food, rice
and a wide variety of curries. The difference in this meal was eating on banana leafs. This is also a very common practice
in south India.
Our second spot where we got to work with the church was in a beautiful
location of Tirvannamalai. This was a very special spot for me because I got to celebrate my 22nd birthday in the city. In
Tirvannamalai, the richness of the land was seen all over. Coconut trees, banana trees, and sugar cane were seen all around
the city. As my birthday came close, my team had asked me what I would like to do for my birthday. I shared with my team that
I wanted to continue ministry as usual, all though this time I wanted to be the one who did the preaching. So as we did 6
nights out of the week we loaded up our speaker and were off to the village. Upon arrival the usual took place. All the children
of the village ran out to meet us asking “what is your name?”. This was the little English that they had learned
in school and wanted to practice it with the Americans. After a small drama presentation it was my time to get up and share.
Preaching Jesus to a world that has never heard his name is the most powerful thing that can take place in the life of any
human being ever. That night I saw many come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior.
The last city in the south that we got to work in was the city of Neyveli. It is by far the
hottest city I have ever been in. The time in Neyveli was unforgettable. One
of the nights we went out to a village to preach the gospel. After the time of preaching, we split off into groups to pray
for the people of the village. I saw a woman who was holding a boy. The boy was about 8 years old. I was drawn to pray for
this boy. Amy one of the other girls of the team, who is a nurse, had shared with me that she had already prayed for him.
I asked her to go with me, and as we walked to this woman and boy she shared with me that the boy had been a victim of polio
at a young age. The fact that he had polio caused him to be crippled for all of his life. As we approached the mother I asked
my translator to ask if we could pray for a healing for her son. The woman agreed. As we finished I spoke “Tambi”
which is translated little brother “in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth walk.” The mother looked up at me
and Amy as she set her son down. For the first time in his life he took his first step. At first he was crying and upset,
because he had no idea what was going on, but after a few steps he begin to lift his knees higher and higher, almost as if
he were marching. As much as that boy was changed, so was I.
At this point in the trip we headed up to the northern part of India. We
took the train up to the north, and I must say that it was an experience that was also unforgettable. On one of the travel
days it was a festival, which means a lot of fireworks and loud noises. Traveling by train caused me to stay awake due to
the noises but even that was ok because I got to enjoy the country.
In the north there was two cities that we ministered in. the first is
called Leh. Leh is in the area of Ladakh in the Himalayas.
The people here are much different than that of the south. The Ladakhy people are mountain people who survive on very little.
While we were there we found a local phone booth. The difference between the phone booth here and there is that in India it is a person’s job to sit and keep a record
of how long you are on the phone. After you get off the phone you pay them the amount it costs per minute. Well, Amy and I
went to call home often so we developed a friendship with the man. His name is Ramzan. As the friendship grew he introduced
us to his family. They were a good Muslim family who got very close to us. His wife asked us over for tea and Amy and I went.
After a time of talk and tea we had to leave and asked if we could pray for her and her family. She was very receptive to
the idea. She asked that we would pray for her son. Amy and I prayed and as we did, Amy got a vision of the son as a pilot.
As she shared this with the wife the wife began to cry. She shared with us that that was her son's dream. It was neat to see
God work in their life.
All glory goes to God for providing for me to go, keeping me safe there,
and blessing me to preach the Gospel. Daily, I think of those lives that touched
my soul and changed me. I pray for my friends I have there and long for the country of India to know Jesus as their Lord and savior. I do plan on going back some day
and hopefully to reach more of the people with the love of Jesus Christ.