First-time Richmond missionary reflects on experience in India




Missionary work is not always easy, but it can be rewarding and life-changing. Nikki Thompson, a first-time missionary- just back from India- knows this first-hand.

"We need to do a better job of just giving to others close to us and those also abroad," said Thompson.

This is one of many lessons Thompson recently learned as a first-time international missionary. She went to India with other missionaries of her church, Mt. Gilead Full Gospel International Ministries, back in October. Thompson did not know what to expect, but she knew her two-week assignment: "To fellowship with the people, to encourage them, to pray with them," said Thompson.

That is what she did, all while living without the luxuries of home in an area not as welcoming to Christianity.

"The women there would lose a day's wages to come to the church during the day. And because Christianity is in the minority in religions there, they would come knowing that they wouldn't have the support when they would get home and they would actually be beaten," said Thompson.

"Go out and make disciples of all the nations.That is the great commission. That's what we are charged to do," said assistant pastor Kenneth Mitchell, Sr. Mitchell has accompanied missionaries on trips for almost 15 years. The church sends the missionaries to various destinations – free of charge.

He says these trips bring about change, not only in those being ministered to, but to the ministers like Thompson.

"She can sing. She is highly anointed. But when she went overseas, God took it to another level. To see their gifts being used, it's a great thing," said Mitchell.

Thompson wants to remain on that level, which is why this first trip will not be her last. "I feel the responsibility to do so much more," she said

This year, Mt. Gilead has sent missionaries to eight countries.

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