India Mission Trip – Final Blog Post

by Alex Aruliah

Categories: Youth Ministry

After an exciting and fun filled two weeks, we’re about to land in San Francisco in a couple of hours. Thanks to in-flight WiFi, my final blog post is from an altitude of 41,000 feet!

This is how our Sunday went:

We had breakfast as usual and had devos at 9:30 am led by Pastor Lauren, leading up to small group questions which asked us to reflect on our response to ‘How was the mission trip?’. We were encouraged not just to say ‘Good’ or ‘It was fun’, but to provide a 30 second highlight, a three minute summary or the whole enchilada. So parents, report to Pastor Lauren if your child responds with just a ‘Good’ or ‘It was fun’ 🙂

After small group, we went to Church service on COF campus where we worshipped with the kids at COF. Keris shared the word of God – with few Telugu phrases as well!

We then had lunch, followed by packing and cleanup. Some of us did some last minute projects at the school/library. By about 4:30 pm, we had cleaned the dorms, donated some of our clothing, bedding and miscellaneous items, and brought our luggage down. We had another heavy downpour around 5 pm. When it rains, it pours!

We hung out with the COF kids, loaded the buses with our luggage, celebrated birthdays and bid our farewell. Several of the COF kids and LOPC participants were very emotional. You could literally feel the love shared in that space. It was very hard to part ways. We also exchanged notes/cards between COF and LOPC. The hand-made cards are so thoughtful and personal.

We finally left at 7:30 pm through a path made by COF kids on either side. Truly, words don’t do justice to the love that overflowed there.

We then got into the buses in our travel groups/families and headed to the airport. Most of us were very quiet and read the cards made by the COF kids. Cell phones were handed to the kids on the buses, but they were asked to keep it on airplane mode till they reach San Francisco.

We had an uneventful flight from Visakhapatnam to Singapore, and had a four hour layover where we shopped and rested. Singapore airport gives out free $20.00 vouchers to its passengers if you provide the passport and boarding pass, to promote shopping. Several of us availed this opportunity.

During the two weeks we were there, Keris and Allison had made envelopes for each of us that was affixed on the wall. We were encouraged to write notes of affirmation to each other. These envelopes were handed to the participants at the Singapore airport.

And now we will be landing in a couple of hours. What we need immediately is hot showers and burgers 🙂

We have a potluck pool party at the Grabow’s residence between 6 and 8 pm on Tuesday, August 1. All participants and their families are invited.

It’s been a pleasure blogging these last two weeks. I’m truly blessed to share this wonderful experience with amazing participants. Thank you for all your prayers and support.

God Bless!!

Now here are the final set of pictures (there are thousands more and the youth directors will send the link) :

Devo & Church service:

 

School & Library wrap-up:

 

Cleanup:

 

Hang-out:

 

Birthday celebrations:

 

Good byes:

      

 

Travel: