Mission trip to Bangalore, India

Dear friends,

When I was a sophomore in college, I watched a documentary entitled, "Born into Brothels," which documents what life is like for women and their children in the Red Light District of Kolkata. My heart was broken over the evil of human sex trafficking that sadly still occurs all around the present-day world. From that time forward, I longed to go to India. I knew virtually nothing about the geography, culture, or religion of India, but yet my heart was very drawn to the Indian people. Over the past few years, I have studied more about India, and I have known that I want to go to there to serve and minister and share the Gospel, whether in the context of sex-trafficking or something else.

Five years later, I find myself nearing graduation from the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at UTC, and I still can't get India off of my mind. I have learned so many wonderful and amazing things about the human body in my time at PT school. Having the knowledge and ability to, by the grace of God, contribute in small and big ways to healing people, both in body and spirit, has quickly become another passion of mine.

This past summer, I decided that this year, 2014, is the year to go.

Through various conversations with missionary physical therapists, I have learned more and more about the terrible conditions that exist for people with disabilities in countries around the world. Every time I hear about this, it breaks my heart. These people have largely been cast aside by their society, being labelled as useless and without worth. They are often kept in back rooms hidden in the shadows. I long to take them out into the sunshine and hug them and look them in the eye and tell them, "You are made in the image of God. You are worthy of love because of what Christ has done. You are important. You matter." I want to use the skills that I've gained through PT school to give these people access to equipment and knowledge that will improve their mobility, access to society, and overall quality of life. I want these people to see the hope that is in Christ Jesus and experience physical, spiritual, and emotional healing.

From May 25 through June 7, 2014, I will be working with an organization called proVISION Asia, which is stationed in Bangalore, India. ProVISION Asia is an organization of health care workers, social workers, and other volunteers who strive to bring help and hope in the name of Jesus to disabled individuals in Bangalore. 

Here is proVISION Asia's mission and vision statements:

"Many people who struggle with physical or mental disabilities have lost all sense of hope--that life can be fruitful and have meaning. proVISION ASIA serves these friends by offering a hand up, not a hand out and encourages them to recognize and utilize their own abilities, thus empowering them to make a significant contribution to society. We become a bridge between people with disabilities and community resources, specifically serving those in the environs of Bangalore, South India.

OUR MISSION is to inspire hope among people with disabilities by providing an environment which fosters transformation. We encourage the vision of abundant life through practical life-skills training; provision of mobility aids, physiotherapy, job placements, education, computer training; counseling and government advocacy."

While God has opened up a door for me to develop a greater heart of compassion for His people around the world, I would love for you all to be able to share in this journey in several ways.

First, will you please pray for me as I prepare for this trip? Please pray that our mighty and gracious God will prepare me for my time there and bless my efforts as I minister to the people of Bangalore. Please also pray that God would show me what role I can play in the future with ministry in India, whether with physical therapy or fighting against sex trafficking. Please pray that Jesus would give me boldness to speak light into dark places and entrust the lives and souls of everyone I meet to Him who is able to make all things new. Please pray that I would look to the Great Physician and Healer as the source of my strength and power throughout every step of this process. 

Another way you can be involved is to help provide financial support. Would you consider supporting me with a small donation? Whether you feel led to contribute financially, through prayer, or both, I greatly appreciate you and all of your support.

I am so excited and thankful that this trip is coming together "“ I look forward to keeping you all updated and letting you know what amazing things God has been doing and will do while I'm over there!

To learn more about proVISION Asia, click
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Organizer

Katelyn O'Roark 
Organizer
Chattanooga, TN
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