He was the only “elderly” man in line for the roller coasters when we were kids, although anyone that knows him wouldn't consider him elderly. He and his wife took yearly trips around the country in their motor home visiting family and attending important events for their 17 grandchildren and now many more great-grandchildren. I know him as Grandpa, I look up to him as an epic Christian, and just this week he left for his seventh trip to India.
Grandpa (a.k.a., Phil Miller) took his first trip to India in 2003 and has returned to the same school for the last few trips.
"I receive a blessing each time I go. After being at this school in 2009, I am attached to the children and people. I am blessed to see so many want to know more about Jesus.”
He will be doing a variety of things during this 6 month stay, from teaching Bible classes and helping students prepare for baptism to being handyman and landscaper for the school to visiting homes and preaching sermons.
“And I will get to play with the children! Other than that, I won't be doing too much.”
His lifestyle in India is a big adjustment from the way things are done in the states. He enjoys coconut milk directly form a fresh coconut, and sometimes lets the children do his laundry.
“They like the few rupees I give them. They wash it in a bucket and beat it on a cement slab. Sometimes it comes back clean!”Money presents the biggest challenge, wondering where it will come from to pay for flying and doing work there.
“God is good... All the time! He has always provided—even from our meager Social Security/Retirement income. Another big challenge is wondering what Grandma will do while I'm gone. She has been great in saying I could go and our children and grandchildren have been most helpful in taking care of her while I am away.”Grandpa mentioned that being away this year may be harder than others. His adopted sister died the day he left and he wonders if his mother (now 98) might die while he is away.
“When asked, I tell the people in India I do not know if I will ever be able to return again. I have to depend on God to help... with health and money and Grandma's needs and anything else that comes along.”
Trina: WHAT IS ONE SMALL DAILY ACTIVITY YOU DO THAT HELPS YOU LIVE FOR CHRIST?
Grandpa: I look almost every day for something that is mission oriented. We receive several mission appeals every week, and my Facebook and Skype are other ways I am able to connect with mission activity in places I may never visit. But sometimes I can help a little financially and I can pray for the work there.
T: WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO LIVE FOR CHRIST?
G: Without Christ, life has almost no meaning at all. I have known people, some I considered friends, whose life without Christ was of no purpose. They lived, they died. That was it. DONE!
T: WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOU FACE IN LIVING FOR CHRIST, AND HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THOSE?
G: The great temptation is to have a comfortable home, no bills, putter around the house a little and relax -- waiting to die. I see many people who seem to live trying to see how much stuff they can acquire. I won't have much when I die but maybe a few people will be in heaven because I let Jesus use me to help them know Him. I spoke to someone today I had taught in school 35 years ago. A lady. With tears in her eyes she said, "You just don't know how many students you were special to and how you impacted them." If God used me to help a few find His kingdom I have been well blessed.
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT SUPPORTING MINISTRY IN INDIA AND SPECIFICALLY AT THE SCHOOL?
“I believe everyone who says, 'I love Jesus; I am a Seventh-Day Adventist' should, if health permits, go and share the Gospel with people in a foreign land. It will change you.”If you are not able to go overseas yourself, there are still several aspects to ministry in India that need your help. Evangelism is needed to raise up and build churches. The school has many needs. And almost all students need financial help to have Christian education.
E-mail plmiller36 @ gmail . com to find out more. He will help you identify the kind of help you may be interested in providing and point you to how you can send money to that part of the work.