Spring Break: An adventure in the land of India
March 19th, 2014 | Laura Prosapio
I have recently returned from a Spring Break trip to India with eight other female students and Dr. Rob Bartels, a professor in the Social Sciences Department. All nine of us students represented different majors at Evangel, and our unique passions joined together in this trip to a nation halfway across the world. As I reflect upon my time in India, my heart becomes so happy. Through all of our sightseeing and studying, I have learned so much more about God and what an incredible and living God He is.
We started our journey to India with an almost 20-hour flight from Springfield. Expectation built with each hour, though I would have preferred not flying as long as we did (falling asleep in plane seats is quite difficult). It was such an amazing feeling to land in the Mumbai airport, knowing that we had reached our destination. After gathering our luggage, we met our hosts outside the airport about 4am Mumbai time. We settled into our hotel, slept for a couple hours, then woke up to sunlit scenery that we had not seen when it was nighttime.
When I heard rickshaws bustling in traffic, saw palm trees, and noticed people wearing short-sleeved shirts in March, I realized I was not in America anymore. I also noticed the scents that filled the air. Truly, almost everywhere we went carried the scent of Indian spices.
The week that followed comprised the best week of my life thus far.
Almost every moment was filled with learning and discovery. As a group, we visited several temples of various religions. Growing up in a Christian home, I had never been to a place of worship of any other faith except Christianity. Because of my background, it was very foreign to me to be a visitor to these temples and to observe devotees offering their all to a deity unlike the God I serve. At one particular temple, I observed one young woman who was fervently praying to a wooden idol. With enthusiasm in her prayer, I could tell by the expression on her face that she sincerely loved the god she was praying to. I felt such emotion and sadness in my heart knowing that her prayers were falling on ears that could not hear her.
In that moment, I realized anew that our God is the Living God who hears our every single prayer. Though we are undeserving of His presence, still He allows us to walk in His presence every moment we live.
This experience and so many others while in India contributed to the meaning of this trip. I now know how to pray for the people of India because I have seen with my very eyes the needs they have, but I’ve also seen the hope available to them. I’m thankful to have shared such experiences with amazing fellow students and a caring professor. Though I’m finally over jetlag, I know I will never be finished recalling the truly lovely and impactful memories of my spring break trip to India.
Want more? Learn about service trip and study abroad opportunities at Evangel.