(JP’s interview audio starts at 01:25)
Article by Lyndsey Koh at Mission Network News
An all-women’s mission team with Audio Scripture Ministries recently returned from serving in Bangalore, India. Some of the women on the trip were moms, and all had a heart for missions. JP Sundararajan with ASM led the team and says it was a meaningful experience for a few reasons.
First, he explains, “I don’t want people to just come and do something and leave without understanding the culture. So we spent some time in India understanding the different snapshots of India — which includes life in the cities, life in the villages, the different religions that share the same soil in India, seeing how Jesus’ uniqueness applies there, and just kind of falling in love with this place that God loves so dearly.”
Sundararajan adds, “We also got to hear a little bit about the history of our ministry in India, and as pioneers in the field of audio recordings, that was cool to kind of see all the different technologies we’ve used over the years and hear the stories of what God has been able to do with so little in a place that needs so much.”
But a big part of the trip was the connections they were able to make with pastors in India. ASM currently works with hundreds of Indian pastors, and this team of women was able to encourage around 650 pastors over the course of a couple days and give them ASM’s solar-powered digital audio Bibles.
Sundararajan says on their second day of serving, the team met with the smaller group of pastors — around 150 of them. He shares, “What was interesting about this small group of pastors was most of them I had not seen in over 20 years, and 20 years ago we had participated in a project with them where we were able to give them cassette players, if you can even believe that; and these pastors, that is their only tool they have in their communities, so they still use cassette players. So we were able to upgrade their equipment [and] give them our new, latest, solar-powered digital audio Bibles.”
The women also gave out ASM’s Wildlife StoryTellers, which are stuffed
animals with a solar-powered digital StoryTeller loaded with Bible stories for children.
“We give [Wildlife StoryTellers] to kids who come from really traumatized backgrounds. So we were able to minister in a couple of orphanages in South India. As you can imagine when you have a group of moms, that was really both heartbreaking and a beautiful thing to watch these kids light up when they got God’s Word and also a little stuffed animal.”
In addition, the team also visited a village of lepers that ASM has been working with for several years. “Our job was really not even to distribute audio Bibles, not to do anything, except to go and spend time with them. And for me, that’s the part I really enjoy because I feel like these are communities we have established relationships with.”
Mission trips like these with ASM really run a whole gamut of service opportunities. But Sundararajan says he hopes that as Christians and people in India are spiritually encouraged, that team members are encouraged as well — and that ultimately, they leave India changed.
“When you sit and have them tell you their stories, their struggles, their joys, it’s a beautiful moment…. You walk away without just looking at India as a field of inanimate faces. You actually know people, you know their names, you know what they look like, you know their stories.”
Are you interested in going on a mission trip like this with Audio Scripture Ministries? Trips are organized based on expressed interest and group demographics, so Sundararajan says the best way to get started is really just to reach out.
He also asks that you pray. The work isn’t “glamorous”, as Sundararajan puts it, and after teams leave, ASM’s local ministry staff carries on the work. It requires a lot of travel, time, and resource commitments.
“Continue to pray for our staff. I feel like one of the easy things we can do is participate in these distributions, but the truth is we are doing a lot of distributions which stretches our resources quite thin. So what we need are prayers for rest and respite for our staff in India.”
(Photos courtesy of Crista Ballard Photography)
To post comments about this story or any others, please visit our Facebook Page.