A team of 9 Brook Hills members just returned home from Northeast India after serving for almost 2 weeks with our ministry partner NeverThirst. Read about the experiences they had while teaching and engaging unreached peoples through a church based health and sanitation program.

Our Team: Rod Anderson, Jessica Baggett, Warren Beason, Tommy House, Jonathan and Andrea Maddox, Tom McCoy, Virginia Ramsey, Catherine White

A team of 9 Brook Hills’ members flew out Saturday, Nov. 12 headed for our final destination, a less-than tourist hotspot and unreached area in India. Because it is not a tourist hotspot, it took us 2.5 days to arrive. After a day of travel, an overnight stay in Delhi, an in-country flight, and a Talladega Superspeedway 3 hour driving experience, we finally arrived at our less than glamorous home for the next 4 nights.


Dirty, grey, and drab streets were packed with pedestrians, bicycles, merchants, cows, goats, and dogs and the sounds of horns and bike bells. The only splash of color in all of the dreariness was the vegetables people were selling to try and earn a rupee to feed their family, as well as the bright sarees that women wear as traditional clothing covering them from head to toe. The smells were unpleasant and poignant and something that stayed zipped up in our luggage even as we travelled back and arrived in America.


Each day we travelled 30 minutes from the crowded city out to unreached villages to serve as the body of Christ from America together with the body of Christ from India. The churches that we worked with overflowed with the fruit of the Spirit - joyful and humble hearts in their service towards us. Our goal each day was to continue to help build trust between the unreached village people and the NeverThirst India staff working through the local church.

Six months ago NeverThirst began the “Adopt a Village” program. The program mission is to equip 30 women in a village to learn about and mobilize their community towards clean water and total sanitation while ensuring spiritual integration through role playing and Biblical story telling. The women are illiterate and therefore oral and visual learners.

We were able to teach women from 7 small villages. Each time we walked into a village, we were greeted with blank stares. The women were timid and shy, uncertain of who we were. Majority have never travelled outside their surrounding area. Lack of resources and transportation other than walking and bicycles make getting anywhere exhausting and difficult.

Imagine dirt and animals and animal waste everywhere so much that you have to pay attention to where you walk. It’s common for villagers to handle waste, animals and work in the fields and not wash their hands before handling their children or food. It’s common for children to play in the dirt and run around, like children love to do, and never wash their hands before eating. Sickness and death is common because of the lack of knowledge of simple things. So we taught simple things. We spent 3 days teaching hygiene, sanitation, and disease prevention always through a translator and one time even through 2 translations.

This video shows two team members teaching on the importance of washing your hands properly to prevent the spread of germs and disease.

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When it was appropriate we told stories from Scripture and presented the Gospel. Because of the women’s deep seeded Hindu or Muslim religion or their husband’s resistance to them coming to the program, NeverThirst and the local church were working to establish a relationship of trust with the women first through teaching sanitation. Our goal was to support their work, not force Jesus on the women and reverse the work that had already been done. The Lord always prompted us when to share and we saw 3 women begin a personal relationship with Christ!

If time permitted after our teaching time, we would interact with the children and the women. Once we began talking with the women, their shyness and timidity would fade and they would engage in conversation. Some expressed their excitement over learning the Hindi alphabet and how to write their name. Some expressed their anticipation over the future coming of clean water as a result of the “Adopt a Village” program. Some expressed that they have learned the importance of praying to God.


Of course that always brought a smile to my face. The Hindu religion is everywhere – the belief in many false gods. It was always a defining moment to have 10 seconds or 1 minute to be able to share there is only One True God. The God who loves, protects, provides, saves, and forgives them. They listened and my prayer is that they will respond to Holy Spirit working in their lives and find Salvation and Hope in the One True God. Worship in heaven will be sweet with the Indian villagers.

Following are 2 statements from 2 team members that sum up the trip very clearly:

Rod Anderson: I am over 50 years old and have never seen the love of Christ and power of the gospel more effectively demonstrated than in the work of NeverThirst and the local Indian church in Northeast India. Even though I had read David Platt's book, Radical, and it had impacted me, this trip literally made the material in the book jump off the pages and will significantly impact the rest of my life. It made clear to me how our materialism and busyness can be a lethal distraction to the power of the gospel in our lives.

Catherine White: How powerful a God we serve that He is able to command the attention of absolutely everyone. Myself and people from across the world, that look completely different than me and have completely different backgrounds, are both drawn to the same Savior and have the same purpose…. to further the kingdom of Heaven.