Campus Ministry

Rajahmundry, India Summer 2008

Summer Mission Trip to Rajahmundry, India June 2008

India team is welcomed at the home of Pastor Prasad

Tony Beers shares in village church in India

One of the Ignite India churches is visited by our team

Team climbs on motorcycles to visit a very rural church in India

Team ministers to children at an outdoor festival in India

Team member Sarah cuddles with the children of Pastor Prasad and his family

Team member Rachel Utesch Landis poses with Sagar and some of the other youth Ignite leaders in India

Our friend Nigel James, who hosted our mission team in Cardiff, Wales in March of 2006, invited us to visit India with him during the summer of 2008.  And so, here we are.  Nigel had exported his Ignite youth ministry to the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh near the town of Rajahmundry.  In Rajahmundry, Nigel partners with Gateway Ministries and the ministry of our dear friend Pastor Prasad.  Prasad's father and brother and other family members are all in full-time Christian ministry; Prasad supervises over 100 rural churches near Rajahmundry.  He is in partnership with the Christian Band "Third Day" as well through a school on the "Come Together" compound outside of Rajahmundry.  Prasad and Gateway have built many churches in and around Rajahmundry as well as ministering to a local leper colony.  Whenever we take a team to India, we stay in Prasad's home.  You can see the first level of the home in the first image above.  You will notice the beautiful, colorful banner welcoming us to India.  Wherever we went during our week in India, banners greeted us everywhere in the churches where we ministered.  Our brothers and sisters in Christ in India are incredibly gracious and friendly.  Our friend Pastor Prasad is shown on the far right side of the group shot in picture one.  You will also notice the flower leis we are wearing--these were also given to us almost every where we traveled as a sign of respect and welcome.  When we are in India, we spend a lot of time sharing our faith in various church services, sometimes three in one day.  In picture two, team member Tony Beers is sharing his faith story with Prasad translating in a rural church--notice they do not have a building.  Ignite has purposed to build as many churches as they can in India for the congregations networked through Gateway Ministries.  The third picture shows one of those churches; it costs about $10,000 to build one.  Our students got a vision for raising money to build a church in India on this trip.  We raised the money through concession sales with the Allen County Coliseum back in Fort Wayne.  We then sent the money to India, the church was built, and a second mission team dedicated the church in the summer of 2010.  In the fourth picture above, the team is being transported by motorcycle to a very remote village where we shared our faith in a church service.  This village only rarely had seen an outsider before our arrival.  Children are always the focus of our ministry on any mission trip.  In the fifth image above, you see children dressed very colorfully, sitting and intently listening at a kid's celebration at the Come Together Compound.  The school at the compound was not even open yet in 2008--we prayed through the shells of classroom space for the children who would eventually study there.  In 2010, we visited the school full of children being taught--what a blessing!  Team member Sarah poses with two of the children of Prasad's family--one his daughter Evangeline on the right and Angel a niece on the left.  Prasad's wife Sunee is the superintendent of the school at the Come Together Compound.  Finally, in the last photo, team member Rachel Utesch Landis poses with some of the young men who lead the Ignite youth ministry in India.  Next to Rachel is Sagar, a young man who was literally raised from the dead after being electrocuted during an earlier visit of our friend Nigel James.