By: Ruth Whorton
ARLINGTON - Originally from India, Lokesh Ganta is a master’s student at Texas A&M Kingsville who came to the United States to study engineering. With many financial obligations, Lokesh was prepared to work all summer to earn tuition money for the upcoming fall semester. Little did he know how the Lord would work in his life to change the course of his summer.
Through Texas A&M Kingsville’s Baptist Student Ministry (BSM), Lokesh was connected with Go Now Missions. Go Now is a Texas Baptists mission sending program for college students supported by the Mary Hill Davis Offering. Lokesh felt called to participate in missions after hearing testimonies from others at his BSM and decided to apply to be a summer impact missionary. Missing the deadline to apply due to procrastination, Lokesh thought he had missed his chance to serve. God had other plans.
The deadline was extended and Lokesh hurriedly submitted his application, knowing he could not miss the second chance he had been given. This leap of faith was accompanied with the knowledge that he still needed to find a way to pay his fall tuition. Shortly after submitting his Go Now missions application, Lokesh was informed of a scholarship opportunity. The Lord, orchestrating all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28), provided a scholarship of $16,000, which is more than he would have made working all summer.
When he received this news, Lokesh contacted his Hindu-believing parents in India. Lokesh shared how he prayed to God to provide money for tuition, and his prayer had been answered. Lokesh remarked, “I can’t deny God in my life.”
Through this experience, his parents saw the provision he received from God. Lokesh recalled his mom’s response to him was, “Your God is amazing.”
As an engineering major, Lokesh originally applied to serve in Houston using his gifts for construction work. When his application was reviewed, the Go Now mission appointing committee felt a tug in their hearts to place Lokesh at Mission Arlington.
Go Now Missions Consultant Brenda Sanders shared, “It made human sense,” referring to sending Lokesh to Houston, “but Arlington makes sense in God’s eyes.” The Lord was faithful to reward this obedience and proved that Mission Arlington was the place He intended Lokesh to be.
At Mission Arlington, Lokesh had the opportunity to work with many ministries. He sorted through donations, prayed with people seeking assistance from Mission Arlington and put on Bible studies for children living in different apartment complexes in Arlington.
God not only used Lokesh to serve Mission Arlington, but He also used Lokesh to share the Gospel with a Hindu man volunteering at Mission Arlington. Unable to work due to a wrist injury, the man’s current employer sent him to volunteer. Lokesh got to know him and his story. Upon learning he was Hindu, Lokesh immediately related due to growing up Hindu himself.
Lokesh was able to share his testimony with this fellow volunteer and tell him how God had changed his life. When Lokesh shared the Gospel, the man accepted Jesus as his Savior.
Through his experience as an impact missionary for Go Now Missions, God taught Lokesh about what it means to fully surrender to Him, that God is the one who opens hearts and how vital it is for those in the mission field to feed themselves daily with the Word of God. He also saw practical ways to translate work done at Mission Arlington to his daily life in Kingsville.
Due to annual support from Mary Hill Davis, Go Now Missions can reduce the cost student missionaries pay to lower than the actual expense of their mission experience. Through giving to the Mary Hill Davis Offering, people around the world are coming to know Christ just like the former Hindu with whom Lokesh shared the Gospel.
Ruth Whorton, a student at Dallas Baptist University, is serving as an intern for Texas Baptists Communications.