Tuesday 5 March 2013
During her visit to India late last year, Rachelle Brooks, Godspeak Advocate for Bible Society Australia said, “Despite all of the craziness and the severe poverty, there are people God is using in crazy awesome ways and God is working in peoples’ lives, families and communities.”
In November 2012, Larissa Boon, from Perth, Rachelle Brooks and Marguerite Malan, both from Brisbane, embarked on a four week trip to India as part of the GodSpeak Advocate programme. And while the trip may have concluded these young women’s official term as GodSpeak Advocates, their passion for fulfilling the great commission does not end here.
Together with Jessica Follers, Larissa, Rachelle and Marguerite were the first young people to take part in the GodSpeak Advocate programme. Throughout 2012, they accepted the opportunity – and took up the responsibility – to spread the Gospel worldwide by raising funds and getting involved in Bible Society’s mission projects.
“It’s not just about teaching people to read and write, but teaching through the Bible and sharing the hope of Jesus in that culture,” says Rachelle, testifying to how much the programme offers. The importance of young people being involved and giving testimonies to advocate for mission projects such as the ones in India and Mozambique is key to those involved. “The attitude from young people today is more influential,” says Rachelle.
The three advocates who visited India at the close of 2012 were responsible throughout the year to raise funds for a project in India; a nation considered as one of the poorest in the world. While in India, based in Hyderabad, the three young Australian women visited villages and towns in the region of Andhra Pradesh where the literacy program is run. They assisted with the literacy project, teaching children from the Bible in literacy classes, and preparing lessons, stories, action songs and skits.
Rachelle says, “There are about 2,500 places that have requested a literacy school. The communities and politicians were all backing up the literacy program even if they weren’t Christian because they saw it would make the village better.”
The need for literacy programmes such as these still remain in India. Rachelle says she witnessed such humility with some of the teachers who are currently using their small homes to teach classes.
“They are so humble and welcoming. It’s so little to us, yet they are using everything they have.”
The Advocates were hosted by Bible Society India, and partnered with their work, having the opportunity to teach reading and writing, distribute Bibles, recite Bible stories, lead and teach Sunday school songs as well as serve food in rural communities. Rachelle says her greatest challenge was, “going there and not being able to help more.”
Rachelle reflects how she, Larissa and Marguerite were blown away by the culture and by how many currently worship other gods and animals. “They are all religious in some way; it is kind of a bad thing. A lot of them are following things that aren’t the truth. All of them are quite spiritual and want to believe in something. They are all hungry for something…”
When the people find Jesus, says Rachelle, they give it everything they have to serve Him.
“It has taught me that in their poverty, they are so full on and joyful for God in whatever their situation. We’ve got so many material things here in Australia and we are still not happy.”
You could be a GodSpeak Advocate!
It’s not too late to join the programme! If you are interested, or know of a young person aged between 18-29 who may be:
If you are interested in being a GodSpeak Advocate for 2013 click here.
To contribute to the GodSpeak Advocate programme, donate here.