I was only 17 when we took a family vacation to Europe.
Six countries in three weeks.
God used that trip to put a burning passion in my heart for missions and the world.
I went on my first missions trip to Mexico when I was 18.
We mixed concrete and helped build a church.
At only 20, I lived in Israel for 5 months.
My 20s would find me serving with Youth With a Mission.
In 6 years of ministry with YWAM, I would travel to 10 countries.
Then, during our time with Campus Crusade, in my late 20s, Steve and I would travel to Romania and Italy.
For 9 years, God was growing our family. I was pregnant, nursing babies, changing diapers and adjusting to my new life as a mom.
As my kids have gotten older, I have been able to do some traveling again. In the last 2 years, I have been to Rwanda, Tanzania, Haiti, and India.
In all my years of missions work and traveling to 22 countries on 4 continents,
I have never seen hopelessness quite like I witnessed in India.
Reincarnation is the basic belief of Hinduism.
The worship of 330 million deities makes life pretty rough when one knows that they are expected to keep the deities happy!
And the deities need to be happy IF one wants their next life to be a better one.
Hopelessness stems from the Hindu faith system, which keeps the entire nation of India under intense oppression. How does this faith system oppress?
Last year, in Classical Conversations Cycle 1, we learned a history sentence that goes like this, "Hinduism. Founded around 1500 BC, teaches Brahmin is the one great spirit, and that people are divided into castes."
3,500 years ago, the caste system was established. 94% of all Hindu people live in India. That makes India, and it's Hindu people, extremely established in their faith system.
There are four primary castes: Brahmin, the priests; Kshatriya, warriors and nobility; Vaisya, farmers, traders and artisans; and Shudra, tenant farmers and servants. Then there are people were born outside of (and below) the caste system. They are called "untouchables" or Dalit.