LAURINBURG — Mobilizing a partnership formed at a youth conference, True Christ Life got its wings in February with a 10-day mission trip to India.
But the trio of pastors behind the fledgling ministry — Springfield Church of God youth pastor Seth Odom, recording artist and executive pastor at Fayetteville’s Destiny Kris Dillard, and filmmaker and Cross Pointe Church associate pastor Jason Watson — say that the journey has only just begun.
In February, they travelled to Punadipadu, a village of about 7,000 people in the Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, India. While there, they offered 15 services to the overwhelmingly Hindu population.
“The poverty in the area was extreme,” Odom said, describing untreated illnesses among the population and tattered state of children’s clothes and shoes. “We went to the slums and preached from a PA system so it echoed throughout the whole village. Where we were preaching, some were outside and people were sitting on the ground on rocks and dirt.”
The mission reached some 1,000 people, among whom the Christian message was well-received. Dozens of listeners would remain after each service for prayer.
“We went with a very simplistic gospel and you could just see hope on peoples’ faces,” Dillard said. “They were encouraged, their lives were changed and they wanted to spread the word and bring other people back to share the good news.”
The True Christ Life members will present to the public a documentary chronicling their trip at 6 p.m. on Saturday at the Geddie Cole Center in McColl, South Carolina.
Odom, Watson, and Dillard hope to raise enough money to return to Punadipadu to install a well in the village.
Watson said that wells in the area are strategically placed for agricultural use, and as a result many people suffer from chronic head and neck pain.
“People walk for miles and miles to get water to fill up these buckets and they haul this water back to their homes for them to use and they do this every day or every time they need water,” he said.
The ministry’s future will be based on performing revivals and organizing youth conferences both locally and abroad.
“We think it’s our call, to not just make it a one-time thing,” said Dillard. “We think that’s what we’re supposed to do for the rest of our lives: share the good news all over the world.”
For more information, visit truechristlife.com
Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-506-3169.