By Guest Blogger – Stephanie Blyth

Stephanie Blyth: I’m often asked why missions, and why India. I’m not your typical missionary, and India is certainly not an easy journey. The answer is easy. This is where God has called me to serve and if you were here, you would understand.

For years I ignored His call. Always reasons that really made sense but in my heart I knew I was simply scared and not willing to take that step. For those introverts out there, you surely can relate to the anxiety of stepping out of your comfort zone. After I lost my dad is call got loud and most certainly clear. India was the place. What I was to do there was up to His will.

Romans 12:6-10

According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts: If prophecy,use it according to the proportion of one’s[b]faith; if service, use it in service; if teaching, in teaching; if exhorting, in exhortation; giving, with generosity; leading,with diligence; showing mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without hypocrisy. Detest evil;cling to what is good. 10 Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters.

We all have gifts that have been given to us by God. I am a mother of four very active boys, an engineer in the oil and gas industry, and to top it off, an introvert. I do well in small groups of people and much better if it’s people I know. Anxiety is real and incredibly prevalent in my every day life. But even with these challenges my heart longs to return to this place to use my gift. My gift is to love in whatever way possible. To simply be the hands and feet of Jesus. Through God’s grace, India has a way of breaking down my walls and anxiety. I can come here with a group of women that I do not know and work side by side with them to simply do His work.

So much of this trip I just feel blessed. I am so fortunate to teach science at a slum village school ran by one of the bravest women I know, Mita Singh. The honor felt to simply wash the feet of a woman that is still involved in the trade and listen about what burdens her heart through a translator. There is no judgement. Not by me and not by her (except maybe my paint work on her nails). I crave this time every year where judgment is left behind by women as it is all too common back home. Here we simply sit and enjoy each other’s company and I do my best to show her how much she is loved and valued by such a simple act like a pedicure. The stories are heartbreaking and far too many than there ever should be. One after another I hear of the darkness that surrounds this place. But the JOY…..that is indescribable.

We were honored this weekend to take a group of ladies on a retreat. These ladies are at the forefront of the battle against human trafficking. They are the social workers, the caregivers, the orphanage workers, the teachers, and a variety of other positions that are here giving it their everything to stop modern day slavery and abuse in God’s name. We spent the time with devotions, crafts, and just time together to share our stories and the pain but also the good. There is so much good in such darkness and such beauty in these warriors.

As we ended these two days, we were surrounded by these women to just pray. The feeling of the Holy Spirit that swept over this group and the love felt absolutely filled my tired soul and I hope theirs. While I certainly miss my family, to leave such a place is so incredibly difficult. There is so much need in this City of Joy and so many beautiful people I will miss. I ask that as we close this trip and this blog that your prayers for this place and these people continue. The need is great and I know overwhelming at times for those here for the duration. I also ask for prayers for safe travel and for this team. The mental toll of what and who we leave behind until next year will weigh heavily until our return.