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October 8, 2011
March 15, 2023

In Response to Grace

With its current population of over 1.21 billion people, India is on track to become the world's most populous country by 2025. Greg wants to see a church planting explosion there that would rival what has taken place in China. For someone with such high hopes, washing the feet of the poor in the countryside might seem like too meager of a beginning. But Greg is following the example of humility that Christ displayed for us: "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet" (John 13:14).

Greg was raised in church, but by the time he started school at The University of Texas, he realized he was not living in obedience to God. Originally, his goals were to obtain a degree in computer science, find a good job and pursue what this world has to offer. But at the invitation of a good friend, Greg started attending The Austin Stone and going to a campus Bible study. At that point, God made some remarkable changes in his life.

When asked about the change, Greg states, "I started living in response to grace."

Two years ago, while at a ministry on campus, Greg saw a flyer about a rural foot washing ceremony performed by Christian workers in India for the Dalit–the "untouchables" or those who are "broken to pieces." On this flyer, Greg saw Christians going to these broken and outcast people at the bottom of the caste system, kneeling before them, and humbly serving them.

According to Hindu teachings on caste, only through good karma and the cycle of reincarnation can one escape poverty and desperation. Greg desired to bring the message of grace into this culture, to bring the good news that Christ has delivered us from death regardless of caste, society and our very own sin. He wanted to show the Indian people that the gospel saves and that their value does not lie in which caste their society places them, but rather in what Christ has accomplished for them. Eager to watch God restore the Dalit and transform the nation of India with the same grace that is transforming him, Greg pursued the opportunity on the flyer and went to India to wash the feet of the poor and broken.

After that trip, Greg's longing to serve the Indian people, the poor, the broken and the outcast, continued to grow. When The Stone launched the 100 People Network, Greg saw a direct path to pursue his calling. "I think it is biblical to be sent by your home church," he says. Upon joining the network, Greg found more than support and camaraderie. "It didn't take long for me to understand that God put me in the 100 People Network because he understood that I knew nothing about being a goer, and they were prepared to train people like me," Greg states. "I learned so much about God, serving him and loving him more. Not just that I'm loving him more, but that I'm inviting people to love him."

In a few weeks, Greg will be back in India. However, this time, after the foot washing and preaching events have concluded and the teams have moved on, Greg will remain, serving the people of the town and showing them a life lived in response to grace. He will focus on building relationships, making disciples and planting a church—a church that Greg hopes will be one of many.

Greg has the support of his friends and family. Understandably, his parents are worried, but their joy in Greg's role in God's mission to the unreached overshadows their fears. Greg's concerns about moving to India--how much he may miss country music and fishing—do not compare to his desire to follow Christ's example to take the gospel to the broken. He's excited to see their response to God's grace.

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