A Heartland Mission Team traveled to India in early December 2010 to support and serve Pastor Paul Varghese and his church. Pastor Paul has been a friend of Heartland for twelve years and faithfully travels to attend our mission conference on an annual basis. The team from Heartland consisted of Pastor Charlie, Mark Shiveley, Edmond Soo, Dan White, James Powell, Jaymes Schrock, and Dave Barton.

The goal of the trip was to be a strength to the work Pastor Paul is doing in the city of Aurangabad which is located in the state of Maharashtra. While in Aurangabad the team was able to minister and hold a pastor’s conference, a youth meeting, evening crusades, conduct a church service, and hold a chapel for a school. The altars were filled at every meeting with people desiring to either make a commitment to the Lord for the first time or renew their devotion to Him. The evangelistic crusades especially saw many respond. Pastor Charlie preached a very clear gospel that required a response of making Jesus the only God and Lord of one’s life. This is extremely important in India as they have many gods and are given to just add Jesus to their list.

Every member of the team was able to share their testimony or give a word of encouragement at some time on the trip. Dan White, the worship leader at HACC, ministered in song and joined the worship team from Pastor Paul’s church in leading worship for the different meetings. One of the highlights for the team and especially touched Pastor Charlie was our ability to share in the ministry of feeding some beggars and giving them gifts of clothing. Pastor Paul and his people do this every Sunday afternoon and it was a very humbling experience.

It was a tremendous privilege to be able to serve and encourage our dear friend Pastor Paul. While our respect and admiration was high for him and his work, this was only elevated by what we were able to see and experience while there. He and his people are wonderful men and women of God who sacrifice every day to be a light in a dark place. Paul’s wife, Lissy, is such a testimony of what a woman of God can do when you give everything you have and are to Jesus. She not only takes care of and nurtures and feeds her own family of five, but has extended her loving arms to embrace another thirty or so young men in their bible college and music team. She does so with a smile that reflects Jesus in spite of the sacrifice required. We have been able to help them by purchasing them a dining set, a refrigerator, and a washing machine. We are also in the process of helping them purchase a new mini-bus. These purchases, while they mean a lot to Paul and his family, seem but the least we can do to support these wonderfully awesome people of God. The Vargheses and their church family truly are the royalty spoken of in 1 Peter 2:9

Dave Barton