Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Movie Night

Last night was India Movie Night! We had a great time setting up and watching Slumdog Millionaire. I'm so grateful for my volunteers!! Chris made AMAZING gulab jamun, fryums, and paneer. Samantha and Tiffany were great chaiwalas and Mark's missions previews were a total hit. Thanks to everyone who came out on a Monday night! Here's the second preview:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

10 weeks and counting!

So I looked at the calendar and realized we leave for India in 10 weeks!! While this may seem like a long time it feels all too soon. I can't wait to get to Maduari but hope I can get everything that needs to be done before on time. Now that midterms are over my other assignments, term papers, etc feel like a big Spring raincloud. However, the reward at the end of this semester is well worth the effort! 

I've been so encouraged by the support from our family and Vineyard! I don't know how all this would happen without them and the flexibility and understanding of the Samuels in Madurai. They're an amazing family that welcomes my questions and concerns in regards to missions and life. I'm so blessed to call them my extended family :)

On another note the missions team is showing Slumdog Millionaire this Monday night 7pm at Vineyard. We will try our hand at cooking Indian snacks for concessions to raise money for our trip! Anyone is welcome to come! Here's a missions preview our tireless volunteer Mark Lewis made to show before the movie, it's the first of three. I love it and can't wait to see what else he comes up with!



Saturday, March 12, 2011

Missions Model

I've recently started my role as Missions Coordinator at Vineyard Community Church in Lexington. While sharing my heart for India with others and getting people excited in missions is easy for me, leading a team to develop our missions strategy and goals is completely new territory. I am honored that the leadership at VCC trusts me with this role and that God trusts me with this role as well. Trusting myself has been more of a struggle and instead of letting doubt take over I've been spending some time in devotion trying to find direction. This morning as I prepared for our missions team meeting tonight I had a breakthrough and would like to share.

The past few weeks I've been looking through manuals and workbooks for new missions departments to work through. Like so many other times in life, reading someone else's opinion on what God would like us to do--or what they've done with no mention of God being involved--sent my head spinning. Overcome with thoughts of insecurity and inability I decided to forget about the manuals.

The next idea was to wing it, which I abandoned quickly. God definitely can make things happen without our doing but doing our part is an important preparation. Logically, I went to the Great Commission where God directs us to "go and make disciples of all nations." Good advice. But how?

Why not look at how Jesus carried out ministry? Looking through the Gospels I found the following model:

He encouraged others to understand his beliefs by inviting them to come & see. (John 1:37-39)
He focused on the growth of key Christian through building relationships with these people, building them up in their faith to witness to others.  The beautiful part, he chose normal healthy Christians to be the leaders. (John 1:43)
He appointed them to lead others in their community and surrounding areas by equipping them to duplicate his ministry. (Matthew 4:18-20)
He made these leaders his apostles 2 1/2 years after his ministry started. He didn't say I'm the Messiah, Make others believe. He took his time. Allowing the apostles to witness, understand, and practice ministry alongside him. (Luke 6:12-16)
My favorite part--Through this model everyone is given their role in the body of Christ building on their personal strengths. In turn this encourages unity amongst believers (Ephesians 4:11-16)

Crazy to think our NEW methods of facilitating change, developing sustainable programs and encouraging ownership through experience was exemplified by Jesus and the apostles thousands of years ago. Even more encouraging that God knew we would be at this crossroads, confused on how to move forward, and gave us the answer through Jesus' example!

I'm really excited about tonights meeting. While the nerves are still present I am again reminded that my role is a very small part in the big picture and I'm just here to carry out one part that God has graciously shared :)

With Love-

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Online Giving

We are so grateful for all the love and support you've been giving us as we prepare for India!

A quick note. Some people have been trying to give on the Vineyard website and the place to specify your funds is hard to find. 

As you are donating there should be a "Special Instructions" link, if you click on this you will have the ability to type in Worland Missions. If you have any problems feel free to email me JRodge73@hotmail.com or the church info@vineyardlex.com.

Thanks again for helping us make our plans to help those in India a reality!
With Love 
Jessica & Chris

Want to donate now? Copy and paste this link to your browser and look for the "click to donate here" link:

Photo from my last Community Health Workers Training in Madurai 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


As with all trips abroad our plans for this summer continue to develop. I was able to Skype with Richard yesterday and we locked down several logistics and new ideas emerged.

The latest? Chris and I are going to teach a 3 day photo-graphy class!!! In India there is a distinction between photo and graphy. I chuckle every time.

This will be my third photo class in Madurai but with Chris' fresh ideas I think it's going to be the best yet!

Our students will be a mix of fieldworkers who are responsible of taking photos of ministry events. These photos are used as accountability to donors and buzz for future events. Unfortunately, they evoke little inspiration.

We're hoping to have a small class (5-8) so we can cover the basics quickly and practice throughout the city. Getting outside the classroom is a very unorthodox way of teaching but I think our students will really enjoy it. This way the students will get hands on experience and Chris and I will be able to give back to our host!

I'm excited to work on a mutual project with Chris and think this will be an awesome opportunity to get to know some of the Samuel's staff better and get their view of Madurai. I'm hoping we can work a few field trips into the budget. While many of our students have grown up in Madurai they've had little opportunity to enjoy the city. How cool would it be to pay their admission to the Thirumalai Nayak Palace (40 Rs each/90 cents) and organize a picnic in the courtyard!!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Where in the World are the Worlands?

As many of you know God has shared His heart for India with me & this has become my life’s passion. The return trip this summer will be the best yet, as Chris & I travel to India together for the first time!  The opportunity to experience missions together has been a dream since meeting & God has graciously opened doors this year. On May 23 we will go to Madurai ahead of our church mission team to prepare for the Vision Trip. Chris will return home as the team arrives on June 10.
I will lead the team to capture the heart of missions coordinated by a local Indian family. During this time, the team hopes to follow God’s leading & determine our church’s future commitment to India missions. The team will head home on June 25 to share this vision with the entire church.
My plan is to stay behind as a group of local health workers have asked for help. They are concerned about the number of malnourished mothers giving birth to malnourished babies. For the rest of the summer I will facilitate a maternal and child nutrition program. The program will equip the health workers to teach girls of marriage age (15-19) how to have healthy babies through a Biblical perspective of nutrition, home gardening, hygiene & bonding!
We are so excited about God’s call to India as a couple! This summer comes with a lot of responsibility, expense & time apart & we cannot do this on our own. Please pray with us as we prepare for this summer & what God has planned!
Love Jessica & Chris

Help Us Get There
We’ve saved a portion of the cost but need an additional $4,000.
Donations can be sent to:

Vineyard Community Church
1881 Eastland Parkway
Lexington, KY 40505

Or made online via PayPal:

Be sure to specify
“Worland Missions Trip

Stay updated and follow our adventure here!