By Ryan Beck Turner
This week I will be commissioned as a Global Missions Intern at the General Assembly in Indianapolis. Starting in
September I will be serving Deep Griha in Pune, India for at least a year, maybe two.
I hope by now that Deep Griha is familiar to most of you. For nearly three years our church has been supporting them
in one way or another. In 2006, Central Christian folk supported me as I left to volunteer with them for six months. The experience was invaluable for me and I was able to do a lot of good work for them.
Last spring we continued our partnership with them through a fundraiser. We were able to raise nearly $4,000 for Deep Griha at a pivotal time. When we sent the check they had just found out that their main contributor had passed away. Our support saved lives.
Now that relationship will continue. In my opinion, this is outreach at its best. By now many of have heard the
stories of the people we will be serving. They aren’t anonymous people living thousands of miles away. Many of you know their names and their stories. The people I will be working with have been like family to me. Since you all are part of my family, I think that makes you all related.
It used to be that was how all mission work was done. Individual churches would send a missionary to a community and adopt them as their own. The two communities stood together as brothers and sisters in Christ, sharing in their relative wealth: resources, prayers, and inspiration.
Outreach isn’t quite as direct anymore, but we’ve been blessed. We do have a personal connection. I am your
missionary. I am a product of all the love that you shown me. I will carry with me the heart of service that I have seen
so many times at Central.
Unfortunately, I can’t give you any more details about what I’ll be doing, because I don’t really know yet. I’ll likely be working to forge ecumenical connections in the community in order to unite local efforts to fight the spread of HIV. Honestly though, I won’t really know till I get there. What I can tell you is that Deep Griha is doing big things right now. Their community wide “Wake Up Pune Campaign” has been doing amazing things – bringing together various organizations to raise awareness of the HIV epidemic through street theater, concerts, rallies and educational “boot camps,” for more than two years. I can’t wait to jump in.
This will be the first of many letters you’ll be getting from me. Hopefully I’ll be able to get one out every month. I pray Central Christian Church’s partnership with Deep Griha will continue to grow and feed us all.
To learn more about who I’ll be with for the next year or so, go to www.deepgriha.org.