Jesus commanded his followers to introduce Evangelium into the world. The Church does so by teaching and educating God’s word, and by practical means such as offering to clothe and offering a place to sleep in His Name. We are to tend to our fellow human being’s spiritual and physical needs.
We are moving into the soil of the third world. We fly over the oceans and land in conditions that are less than ideal. You may not be happy on this India mission trip. The language is different; the climate is different; the food is different, and they do not appeal to our country’s gourmet palate.
India is the world’s second-most populous nation, with 1.03 billion inhabitants.
Most areas show three core seasons: hot summer (March-May), rainy (June-October), and cold winter (November-February). In January, temperatures rarely drop below 40 ° F or reach over 100 ° F during the summer.
The official status of eighteen languages is Urdu, Telugu, Tamil, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Punjabi, Oriya, Nepali, Manipuri, Malayalam, Konkani, Kashmiri, Kannada, Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali, and Assamese.
Hindi is spoken by at least 30 percent of the population as a national language. English is also the language of government, science, education, business, and public communication.
India is the birthplace of Sikhism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. It is also an adopted Zoroastrian home. Approximately 80 percent are Hindu.
Diet is Region-dependent. Rice is South India’s principal staple, and wheat bread (roti) is North India’s main staple. Indian cuisine is generally hot and spicy. Various types of curry (in a spicy sauce, eggs, fish, meat, or vegetables) are popular.
Customs and Behaviors
i. Kissing and Holding Hands
● While in India, do not hesitate to ask whether certain behaviors and actions in those countries are appropriate. What’s normal, natural, and acceptable in your state might not be anywhere else.
For example, in India, a husband and wife will have to refrain from holding hands and kissing in public because any public display of affection between married couples is a taboo.
ii. Other Cultural Issues
● Women in church services in India will cover their heads. Please buy a veil that matches all of your outfits. India mission trip is not a social gathering anyway.
● Please take off your shoes and keep them under your chair in Indian church services out of reverence for God.
iii. Wearing Make-up and Jeans/Pants
● To reduce any barriers or offenses toward the Gospel, we must act per the culture of the land we are in. We have to remember that we are responsible for doing everything we can to minister the Evangelium and removing any potential obstacles.
● Be sure to wear long-sleeved clothing in India, and CLOSED TOE shoes.
We can not and must not fetishize the notion of missions with the eternal and spiritual obligations and rewards in mind. Although our hearts overflow within us with the compassion of Christ for harming humanity, there is something we’ll have to hold in the forefront of our minds. We don’t take a leisurely holiday to a luxury island, but an India mission trip is something we look forward to as a change in our lives. Godspeed!
“God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you.” Corinthian 1:6 NIV