Belmont alumna Megan Stephens (’09) returned to campus on Jan. 20 as part of the “Alumni on Mission” series in an event sponsored by the Belmont Ambassadors and the Office of Alumni Relations. Alumni on Mission is an ongoing speaker series featuring Belmont alumni who incorporate mission and ministry in their everyday lives.
“I felt like God wanted me to do missions, but I didn’t know when, where or how,” said Stephens, who studied middle school teaching.
Overcoming safety concerns from her family and the daunting task of raising $12,000, she moved to Siliguri, India in 2009 to home school the 17-year-old daughter of missionaries while looking for opportunities to do mission work herself. She has since become a Young Life representative, working with high school students in the small town, and an English teacher at a local seminary. Stephens continues homeschooling other children in exchange for her rent.
She also shared stories of riding on rickshaws and yaks, using squatty potties, becoming friends with Indian youth and living in a neighborhood with people of diverse economic backgrounds. Most difficult of all, Stephens said, is dealing with continuous spiritual oppression and waking up to 3 a.m. chants while living next to a Buddhist monastery.
“It has been interesting to see an increase in my faith, and also my family’s faith, because they have seen how my life has changed. I have learned more about the Gospel in going and sharing it with people. It’s like my love for Jesus and my Heavenly Father increased like you would not believe,” Stephens said.
She returns to India in February and plans to stay through the summer. Click here to read Stephens’ blog.
“The ultimate goal would be to equip Indian YL Leaders to continue a self-sustaining ministry, one not dependent on me or other foreigners. So while I’m there with the vision to reach high school kids, I’m mainly there to disciple leaders and model this relational ministry for them so they can change the world,” she said. More than 500 million Indians are under age 20; they account for half of the country’s population.