India (MNN) — God’s work is a lot bigger than we can fathom. It helps to get the big picture of how He is moving worldwide, especially when it feels like the world is forgetting its Creator.
Cornerstone University is taking a team of thirteen to India this summer to do just that. Gerald Longjohn, Vice President of Spiritual Formation at the university, says, “This will be our fourth Cornerstone trip. We go to Mussoorie and join in a youth camp there and enjoy spending time with the students, spending time with Christian leaders there, and learning about the culture and enjoying the country.”
The Cornerstone team is partnering with Team North India as well as some church groups. Team North India is connected to the Evangelical Alliance Mission.
Longjohn says that at the youth camps, “We’ll be helping out in the worship services; we’ve got several musicians from Cornerstone going. I’ll be involved in leading some of the sessions and helping out with some of the small groups. It’s in both English and Hindi, so [it’s] a dual language and great cultural experience for us.”
These short-term mission trips are often life-changing experiences for the missionaries. Longjohn sees value in establishing something more than temporary with their partners.
“We do a lot of trips, and really our vision and value behind it is that these may be short-term trips but we want long-term relationships,” he says. “So, each of the places that we go to are people that we’ve been working with for years, that we’re taking multiple trips to, that we’re building a long-term relationship with.”
Longjohn continues to explain that these partnerships are truly reciprocal. This fall, the son of the director of their partner in Zambia, and the daughter of the director of Team North will be visiting the campus.
When asked if missions is a priority at Cornerstone, Longjohn says, “Absolutely. Yeah, we feel [that] to equip students to excel as influencers in our world for Christ–which is our mission statement–it’s important for us to be exposed to what God’s doing around the world and to the amazing work that He’s doing through His people.”
With the change in government and growing intolerance of Christians in India, some missionaries might be afraid to travel there.
Longjohn says, “We feel like we’re in good hands with the partners that we work with. We’re in an area that has a very strong Christian presence: a lot of Christian organizations are based in Mussoorie, the town that we’re going to be in.”
More importantly, Longjohn recognizes that God is sovereign over the situation in India. “We’re confident that the Lord’s called us there, that He’s going to watch over us and protect us. And we work very closely with our partners there to make sure that what we’re doing is culturally sensitive and appropriate and respectful of the country.”
As the team prepares to leave, remember them in your prayers. Ask God to protect them, to unite them, and to encourage them. Pray also that they would be an encouragement to the people they are working with in India. Pray that God would continue to strengthen the partnerships that Cornerstone has for missions.