Melanie Thompson, a veterinary student from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, was given the opportunity to serve on her first short-term trip with CVM to India where she served with India Gospel League.
Melanie was kind enough to answer some questions for us!
Q: What did you learn about missions during your time of short-term service? What did you learn about your hosts’ ministry in particular?
Melanie: I learned that you can’t really ever know what to expect on a missions trip. It is important to offer up the experience completely to God, and to go as His humble servant. I learned that the people I am serving show me just as much about who God is as I hope to show them. I also learned that India Gospel League has a much farther reach than I had anticipated, and that it serves the unreached people of rural India.
Q: What was encouraging and/or surprising to you about short-term missions service?
Melanie: That God is at work! After having moments where I struggled to see how delivering veterinary services to the people in rural India was serving God, I was blessed with a gift! A woman who had attended the church service our vet leader had preached at came to one of our vet camps the next day. She was so grateful that we had come. It was truly a joy to have a few minutes to talk to her and to be able to see that we were sent there for a reason.
Q: What was particularly challenging to you during this time of service?
Melanie: At times, wondering if I really was making a difference, or how serving through veterinary medicine was actually serving God.
Q: What did you learn about the particular challenges facing the local community in which you served?
Melanie: There still remains a lot of brokenness in India. And those who want to give their lives to Jesus also risk having to leave behind their family in some other religions and cultures there. Additionally, with a drought in southern India, not only are the people struggling to have enough food and water for themselves, but for their livestock as well.
Q: How was the local community impacted as a result of CVM’s service in this area?
Melanie: Veterinary camps provided preventative care including vaccinations and deworming. This will in turn improve the health and production of their livestock so the people have more reliable food source. Demonstrating Christ’s love through being “the fragrance of Christ” shows the people how they are valued!
Q: How was your faith impacted as a result of your short-term missions service?
Melanie: To live more intentionally with those around me. One thing I would say I really learned is to be “the fragrance of Christ” in the work that I do. And to treat others in a way that demonstrates I value and love them in the way Christ values and loves each one of His children.
Q: What next steps of faith is God calling you to as a result of this trip? How can CVM support, encourage, and equip you for these next steps?
Melanie: To consider eventually returning on a CVM trip as a veterinary leader (once I graduate!) To support other CVM missionaries, and to share Christ’s love in my day to day work as a veterinary student, and soon to be veterinarian!
A special thank you to Melanie Thompson for allowing us to share in a little piece of her journey to India! May the Lord continue to use this experience to touch the lives of others.
Not able to participate in a short-term trip but have a heart for what God is doing through them? Support CVM’s short-term missions by giving to our short-term missions program!