What We’ve Learned From Our Time Serving in India, Nepal, and Other Countries Around the World
This year is very special: it’s the first year without my dad, Ron Herrod, spearheading all of RHEMA’s ministry and training work in India, Nepal, and other countries around the world. It hasn’t always been an easy journey, but it has been an extremely rewarding one and our missionary work here has not been in vain. One of the “practices” that has helped us keep moving forward in our work may come as a surprise: celebration!
I’m not sure how life is going for you as you read this post, but if you’re anything like me you can easily find yourself over-worked, over-tired, and overwhelmed. Moreover, we hear Scriptures like “don’t grow weary in doing well” and “cast your cares on the Lord” – and while those are true, they sometimes make me feel even more worn down (just being honest). It’s as if the best we can look forward to each day is simply plodding through and surviving.
Well, there are a few other Scriptures I’ve learned to lean into and they have to do with JOY! We’ve all heard that the joy of the Lord is our strength, but do we practice it? I, for one, have not – but everything changed when we finally started making it a practice in devotionals and meetings. A few ways we’ve been doing that:
Praising the Lord in song.
We’ve started getting our praise on! While I absolutely love the slower tempo, powerful worship songs and hymns, I’ve really learned to lean into the power of joy and celebration. One of my favorites of late: No Longer Slaves (Radio Version) – Single by Bethel Music, Jonathan David & Melissa Helser. You can find it on Apple Music here. This song is applicable all around the world, talking about how “I am a child of God.” In fact, I have a video of a RHEMA student actually playing this song on his guitar and can’t wait until you watch it for yourself. It is very powerful.
Recounting His deeds.
So much of the time we lose sight of what God has done because we’re so focused on what we need Him to do next. One of my personal practices has been to keep a “gratitude journal.” We all face continual adversity. It’s very easy to beat yourself up and focus on what’s wrong or missing. Instead, take a few minutes each day to write down what’s going well. Recount the Lord’s faithfulness, and celebrate those good things! I use a Moleskine notebook and carry it with me everywhere. Doing this also prevents me from looking at my phone or laptop before I sleep, or right when I wake up. Try practicing gratitude, just a few minutes a day.
Shining the light on others.
No one succeeds in a vacuum, especially when it comes to building a ministry and reaching the nations and generations with the Gospel. One of the practices we’ve adopted is to “catch people doing something RIGHT.” Have you ever been called into your boss’s office? Chances are a sense of dread came over you as your frantically tried to figure out if you did anything wrong. Well, we’ve flipped that upside down by catching people doing something right – and this has completely transformed the culture of our ministry team! We no longer get bogged down in just “doing the job” – we have adopted a keen eye for noticing the little things that keep us going. Try this one out – whether at work or at home. It results in an incredible shift in the dynamics among your fellow employees or family members.
Looking back, it has truly been an amazing year. Some other highlights (names withheld for privacy):
- “A total of 200 children gathered from nearby Churches [and] with the help of volunteers, some non Church-going children also came. With the help of our teachers, we divided the Children into four groups and we taught them a missionary story, helped them recite memory verses and finally all of them were given a theme Prayer…The program was started by prayer of the local community by a Christian elder. We sang children songs with action, made some Bible Character drawings and we prayed for each child. When [the] invitation was given [to] all the church going children, [they] recommitted their lives to Lord Jesus once again.” -RHEMA Institute (Hyderabad) 2018 & 2019 Graduate
- “I did RHEMA in 2014. It [helped motivate me] to then continue on to do my PDH in Gilgal Bible School and graduated in 2017. Then after, I started my ministry in Andhra and by God’s grace, it was very good. I thank every RHEMA teacher for the impact on my life and my ministry.” -RHEMA Institute (Goa) 2014 Graduate
Finally, I want to thank YOU for your support in time, talent, and resources. We’re so excited about what’s coming next in the ministry here and we can assure you that your investment in this work is reaping incredible returns for the glory of God.
Question: What is one thing you can celebrate starting today? Leave a comment or reply to this message – we’d love to hear from you!