Can I tell you guys a secret? This life looks nothing like I planned when I was in seminary. I never wanted to move to North Carolina. I was not interested in church planting. I certainly never planned on combining those two things! I definitely did not see that church plant implosion coming, and I never could have predicted that I’d spend over a year in counseling, be diagnosed with clinical depression, and actually say these words out loud to God: ‘I don’t believe that you love me. I don’t believe you’re good.’
Another thing I didn’t see coming: the furious, relentless, uncontainable perseverance of God in his pursuit of me. I could not (and cannot) outrun that kind of onslaught. God, in his severe mercy, brought about the destruction of everything I called good so that He could be good to me. I think that the One who is by definition good gets to say what good is for me, and His version of good keeps taking me places I never thought I’d go.
Case in point: my seminary degrees are in discipleship and church ministry. Yet I’m sitting right now at my desk in the offices of Global Hope India- a non-profit mission organization. I plan mission trips for a living! While not unrelated to discipleship and church ministry, this was never anywhere near being on my radar. I applied for over 50 jobs between April of 2013 and April of 2015- jobs that were my definition of good. Yet God, again with that severe mercy, closed all of those doors so that I would see the one He opened- the one that He called good.
Like I said, I plan mission trips for a living. As the Project Manager here at GHI, there are multiple hats to wear- and trips is just one of them. I also oversee our donations and donor management, event management, volunteer management, and office management. You read that right … it’s a big job! Thankfully, as part of the volunteer management, we offer internships (both in our Raleigh office and in India). One of the best parts of this job is being able to help people find opportunities to serve inside their giftings, and we can use any gift! I’m able to help people obey the Great Commission in such a way that their gifts are maximized. The result: joy. Christ’s joy in our glad obedience, the joy of the nations- those who’ve walked in darkness have seen a great light!, and our joy in being part of God’s plan to bring all peoples to Himself.
We partake in this joy in three main ways at GHI: church planting, village development, and child rescue. Our partners in India are national pastors who are committed to training church planters. The bulk of these are in rural areas, allowing us to use village development- whether it be a fresh water project, or a medical clinic- as a means of bringing the Gospel to some of the neediest people in India. Half the world’s orphans live in India. A healthy church cannot ignore this reality, so many of our partners have orphanages and schools where children can be cared for, educated, and exposed to the fact that Jesus loves them and died for them. While those are the main areas we focus on, there are numerous opportunities. We don’t even have accurate numbers for the sex trafficking industry for India, but it is reported that there are over 2 million sex workers in Mumbai alone. Multiply that times all the major cities in India, and you’ve got … too many to contemplate. Which is why we are also partnered with organizations that are rescuing women from trafficking and offering gospel-centered restoration services. Medical help, counseling, skills training, education, job placement, and most importantly, the news that Jesus moved Heaven and Earth to show His love for them.
What does this mean for you? Well, for starters, it means that now you know. Our knowledge comes with responsibility to act. This also means there is a local ministry you can be involved in! Whether it be as a volunteer at one of our events or projects, or as an intern here in Raleigh or in India, or as a trip leader or team member, or a child sponsor- there is a place here for you to be about the business of the Great Commission and to use your spiritual gifts. It means you can be about the joy of seeing the people of India come to salvation in Christ!
Our mission is to engage the Church around the world to empower the church in India for the advancement of the Gospel. We’re the product of 17+ years of ministry in India, and we’re a federally recognized 501 C 3 nonprofit organization. We facilitate short-term teams of volunteers and individuals who serve local churches in India. Our indigenous partners leverage these volunteers and their projects for the advancement of the good news of Jesus Christ in India. See more at www.globalhopeindia.org
Samantha lives in Raleigh with the most adorable dog on the planet. When she’s not at work, you can find her in local coffee shops in search of the perfect caramel latte. She loves serving her church body, mexican food, practical theology, post-it notes, and the smell of new books.