On Justin Miller’s first trip to India in 2015, his team visited several rural villages. One of the first ones he visited had one working well, but when he met the Christians in the village, they were walking more than six miles to get water from the nearest pond. It turns out that Christians were not allowed to use the community well.
Justin works in the irrigation industry, and when he saw what the people were doing for water, it hit him in the gut.
“I thought, ‘How easy is it for me to drill somebody a well, and they have water the next day?” he said. “These people are having to walk 10 kilometers and carry it on their heads, pack satchels and buckets.”
Justin began asking around to find out how much a well would cost and learned it would cost $1200. When he returned to the states, he shared that number with his BFT community group. As a result, they raised enough money to build two wells in rural Indian villages. The youth ministry heard the same story and raised enough money to build a third. The best part is that these Christians are now able to serve and love those who have been persecuting them for their faith by allowing them to use the new wells.
Justin grew up going on family and youth mission trips, but he never thought he would go overseas.
“I often thought, ‘Why are you going over there when there’s so much need right here?’” Justin said. “But that was more of an excuse than anything.”
In 2014, West Jackson’s first India team returned and shared about what God was doing in India and how the church could partner with ministries there. Justin felt the Holy Spirit tug at his heart when he heard their testimony. “I walked down front and told our missions pastor, ‘Next time you go to India, I’m going with you,’” Justin said.
In February 2015, West Jackson sent its second team to India, and Justin was part of the team. He said at first he was worried about safety and leaving his family for 10 days, but those fears quickly went away. “I had friends from college I hadn’t heard from in a long time sending me texts saying they were praying for me,” Justin said. “My nerves went away. I knew I was protected and God’s hand was on us the whole time we were on the trip.”
Justin works for Tennessee Tractor’s irrigation division. He said he immediately felt a connection to the Ho people in India because most of them are farmers. “They’re simple, down-to-earth people,” Justin said. “We speak different languages, but we’re brothers and sisters in Christ.” He said his trips to India have made him realize how blessed he is. These trips have given him a passion to share his blessings with new friends in India and help them share the story of what God has done in his life and for us all in Jesus Christ.
“If you feel even the slightest tug at your heart to go on a mission trip, just do it,” Justin said. “God will take care of you.”