Blessed Missionaries – India
In 2009, we were seeking the Lord about what we could do for Him here in North Dakota or wherever He would lead us to go. It was our desire to share the message of salvation.
“Our work is to attract minds away from earth to heaven; to take others with us as companions, to walk the path that is cast up for the ransomed of the Lord. The children of the Heavenly King are to move among men, not as citizens of the world, but as citizens of the kingdom above. We are pilgrims and strangers in the world seeking a better country, even a heavenly.” Signs of the Times, August 17, 189l.
In March of 2009, while in the state of Washington, we were asked if we would be willing to go to India and teach for one month. We were thankful for the offer and said we would seek the Lord about it. As we prayed we became certain the Lord was directing and accepted the call.
Frank spent most of the summer preparing for the four class periods each day that he would be teaching in India, as well as Sabbath sermons and daily worship material.
Departing from Seattle, Washington, on September 29th, our wonderful experience in Christian service began. We had never flown abroad; therefore we were anxious about connections and simply being in foreign countries, but the Lord was our Shepherd. London, England, was our first stop. The plane unloaded on the tarmac, and we were bussed to the terminal where we rode a train, ran up escalators, raced along moving walkways, and finally arrived at security. After security, we repeated the many modes of transportation to reach our plane as it was already loading to go to Bangalore, India. In ten more hours we arrived in Bangalore. After arriving, we were required to go through a health inspection in which our temperatures were taken via infrared scanners. We successfully made it through immigration, security and customs. Praise to the Lord was on our lips.
Our contact was not there—panic! But he arrived shortly. We were very tired, but we had a seven-hour journey by car ahead of us. It was our introduction to India. The city in the early morning hours was filled with smells, sights and much noise. Horns were continually honking to let fellow drivers know if they were passing, making turns or traversing the maze of an unheeded four-way stop.
Tamil Nadu, the state in which we would be for the next four weeks, is very lovely and the ride in the country was most pleasant. For us there was so much to see. There were cars, bikes, motor bikes, three-wheel pickups, trucks with their boxes full of people, buses, ox carts, tractors with people and people walking. The ladies were a very pretty sight in their beautiful native dress with a wide variety of color. Everywhere there is poverty. The children with their big eyes watch as you go by. These eyes, we will never forget.
Green Pastures was a welcome sight. It is a beautiful compound. A warm welcome awaited us. The students carried our luggage to an apartment above the chapel that would be our home. It was so nice to clean up and then enjoy a nice lunch with Timothy and Anita Tharasingh. A tour of the facility was provided for us. We retired early and were only awakened for a few minutes as we listened to the students singing in the chapel as they had their worship.
The next morning we enjoyed a walk on the road in front of the school. We did this each day. The country folk were very shy of us. One of the students taught us to say hello in the native language. We were happy when people began to smile and return our greeting.
Worship began each morning at 7:30 in the chapel. The students and staff were such a blessing to us as they sang at worship. “Only Trust Him” was sung at least once a day. These young people truly knew what it meant to trust the Lord. At worship in the morning Frank or I gave a short message. Evening worship was conducted by one of the students. Each student took an evening worship.
The students work each morning before worship. Breakfast is after worship and class begins at 9:00 a.m. The class topic for the month was “Adventist Fundamentals.” The class time was divided into three 50-minute classes with a ten minute break between each class. The last class period was one hour.
We all struggled with the language barrier. Very few students understood English. Kirthika, one of the youngest students, was our translator. When she had to miss several classes and worships, we found that her sister, age sixteen, did a nice job, as well as one of the boys.
Most of the students are poor, but they are very eager to learn. Quite a number of the students came from northern India. Their desire is to learn so that they can work to win souls for the Lord. There were many things about Adventism that they did not understand; but as lessons were presented to them, they began to understand and were eager to learn more. The boys especially liked to question Frank at breaks.
The three girls who did the cooking in the kitchen were such a delight. They came to take classes but were willing to put their education on hold to do the cooking. I enjoyed spending time with them. The rice was cooked on a bamboo fire. They had a two-burner stove and a few kerosene burners. After we left, some new equipment was added to the kitchen.
It was our desire to give the students some treats. I figured out a method of making cookies on two small grills. I was able to make one hundred of these sweet treats. Young people are the same around the world. They like treats. Another day we were able to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, which to them was a huge treat.
Each afternoon and on Sunday mornings the students did their work study. They worked in the gardens, cut grass, cleaned and swept, plus many other tasks.
Sabbath at Green Pastures is truly a high day. The students are so reverent, and they are eager to participate in the service. The angels must enjoy the praise filled worship. Sabbath afternoons are often spent in nature orsome other appropriate activity.
The last Sabbath evening at Green Pastures, the students bade us farewell, with many standing and sharing something they had learned or appreciated accompanied by a Bible verse. All the sharing was special, but two stand out in our memory. Speaking through a translator, one said that she had no mom or dad and that we had become like her mom and dad. The other girl, raised Hindu, came to Green Pastures as a Roman Catholic. She said that she had learned to be a Christian while at Green Pastures. What a wonderful encouragement to all the teachers who taught at Green Pastures in 2009! The program ended with tears and hugs.
The next morning we bade each one goodbye again. We are eager to see these young people again. If not on this earth, we plan to meet them under the Tree of Life.
Our departure from India was filled with many blessings. We met Charles, a Baptist acquaintance of Timothy and Anita, in Salem, India. He was our guide on our trip back to Bangalore. His English is very good. We enjoyed seeing more of India as he took us shopping and out to eat. He rode with us on the train to Bangalore. On the train we sat with a young Hindu couple and their little daughter. They spoke fluent English and were very educated. The next four hours flew by as we shared much. They shared about India and some about Hinduism. We shared about our mission to India and that we were Christians. We also showed them pictures of the United States that we had on the computer. It is our privilege to still share with this delightful couple via the email. We pray that someday they will accept the salvation so freely offered through Christ.
In Bangalore, Charles had rented a nice room for us in a motel owned by Christians. He took us to an authentic Indian restaurant where we ate our food served on a banana leaf with our fingers. Charles asked if we would come and meet his family and pray with his mother who had a stroke, which we did. The mother died after we arrived in the United States. We continue to have email contact with Charles and his family. They have also been the recipients of two Spirit of Prophecy books.
We are so thankful for the opportunity to go to India. We were abundantly blessed.
By Frank and Mimee Roshau.