India, you have been such a blessing.

I have been in India for almost a week, and it has been one of the most heartbreaking, world-wrecking, life-changing weeks of my life. To finally be here after hours and hours of hard work and preparation simply seems unreal.

It wasn’t until Day 3 after some long flights and some unbearable jet leg that I fully comprehended where I was at and what I was going to be doing, encountering and experiencing for the next nine months.

After a few days of training, we were finally sent to our permanent locations for the next month. The long nine-hour bus ride was one that changed my life only a few minutes in.

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As we came to a stop, I looked down out of my window and noticed a man crawling in the middle of traffic with shoes on his hands. I quickly realized that he had no legs and had crawled all the way to our bus as he begged for food. This was so dangerous for this man, but he was willing to risk his life in order to eat that day.

God worked on my heart through this moment. Everything that seemed so big to me now seemed so small. Every problem I have or experience now seemed not so bad. God showed me through this that some situations might be dangerous, some seasons of life may be hard, but I must be willing to risk everything in my life to have one more day to share the love of Christ.

The poverty, the brokenness, the need for Jesus, the depravity, the lost and the hurting are so evident and so near and dear to my heart this month.

Because what we are doing is very illegal in India, confidentiality of people and places is very important. My team and I will be working with village children during school and teaching English.

We had our first day of ministry, and God showed up in so many incredible ways. God captivated my heart through the eyes of so many lost and vulnerable children. So many children were running up to my team and I begging for us to pray over them for healing because they fully understand the power of prayer and Jesus.

People from the village were coming to find us to ask for prayers for healing of their heart, their back, their fathers, their throats, their children. It was such a powerful thing to experience. The Indian culture has such a bold and beautiful faith in Jesus.

Throughout this, I have learned to pray so boldly, to pray big prayers and to pray with so much faith. Our God is a God who has all authority over all things and who can heal someone in an instant. God hears every prayer, big or small. These next nine months, I know I have been called to pray for big things, and I am so excited to see how God honors that and shows me his faithfulness.

India has been incredible. Doing what I love has been incredible. But it has also been hard mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. This journey isn’t going to be easy, and that is something that the Lord has shown me since Day 1 of being here. But I am so ready for the uncomfortability, the heartbreak and the hard times.

Please keep me in your prayers, as this is only the beginning of what’s to come. The Lord is working so fiercely in my heart and my life. I am realizing that these next months may be the hardest yet best months of my life. The next nine months will be trying, but the Lord will stay true through it all.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. The last week has been such a blessing and such a beautiful testimony of God’s faithfulness in my life.

India, you are a sweet, sweet country, and God is working so strongly here.

Keia Blair is a Seymour native who attends Cincinnati Christian University. During her nine-month mission trip around the world, she will be submitting a series of blogs that will appear in The Tribune. Send comments to readersubmit@tribtown.com.