A mission to India


Local educator works to bring Christianity, hope to children of India

By Hope Lecchi - [email protected]



Brandon Wallace is pictured with one of the many children he met while on a 10-day mission trip to India. Wallace was one of six members of Cornerstone Baptist Church who made the trip. Most of the work Wallace did was visiting and witnessing in village churches and working with children in Delhi and Chandigarh.


Photos courtesy of Brandon Wallace

Brandon Wallace, left, stands with members of Cornerstone Baptist Church who spent 10 days on a mission trip. Every two years members of the church work with their sister church in India. Pictured far right are Christy and Paul Messhi. Paul Messhi is the pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church in India. The couple’s two children Emma and Caleb are pictured on the front row.


Photos courtesy of Brandon Wallace

Brandon Wallace, a middle school principal at Smithton Schools, stands among some of the children he worked with on a 10-day mission trip to India in late December and early January. Wallace commented that he fell in love with the people of India while on the trip, especially the children.


Photos courtesy of Brandon Wallace

Members of Cornerstone Baptist Church stand with residents who live in some of the impoverished regions of India. Known as the “forgotten people,” Wallace said prior to his trip he had seen poverty before, but there was no comparison to the conditions he witnessed in India. Pictured in the background are two typical homes of the citizens of the “slums.”


Photos courtesy of Brandon Wallace

A young Indian girl, who was thrown in the trash shortly after her birth, stands with the elderly woman who rescued her. Brandon Wallace met the two on his mission trip to India. One of the many stories about the children of the slums of India, Wallace commented that with the help of their faith and an education hopefully the children will escape the slums and the living conditions they face in India.


Photos courtesy of Brandon Wallace

The journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. For Brandon Wallace, of Sedalia, that single step not only led him on a mission trip to India but it led to further strengthening his faith and belief in doing God’s work in service to others.

Wallace, the middle school principal and athletic director at Smithton Schools, spent 10 days in Delhi and Chandigarh, located in the northwestern part of India as one of a six-member missionary group from Cornerstone Baptist Church.

Three students from St. Louis and Hannibal also made the trip.

“This was the first mission trip I have taken,” Wallace said. “I always felt led to do something like this, but never had the courage to before.”

Cornerstone Baptist takes a mission trip to India every two years and, according to Wallace, it was through the encouragement of his pastor, Chris Guffey, and many members of the congregation, as well as his family, who helped to convince Wallace the timing was right for his journey.

The nine-member group left the United States on Dec. 27 and returned Jan. 6.

“I am thankful to my family and my wonderful wife for being a single parent during the holidays,” Wallace said. “I missed them every day but they knew that going was important.

“I wanted to model to my kids that if God leads you in a direction, you trust in Him without question,” Wallace added. “As I continue to grow as a Christian I know it is God’s purpose for us to share Him; it is part of our churches mission to, ‘know God and make Him known.’”

Wallace said the stories he was told about India did not give the reality of the country or its people.

While India’s people have a belief in multiple gods, Christianity makes up only about 3 percent of the population in the country.

“We traveled by train between the two cities which allowed us to really see the landscape of India,” Wallace said. “We also got a good dose of the systematic poverty in India.

“Although many would say the Caste system doesn’t exist anymore, what we saw would tell you differently,” Wallace added “I would say the slums had the biggest impact on me.”

The people who live in the slums are known as the “forgotten people,” according to Wallace, who added that he has seen poverty before, but there was no comparison to what he saw there.

“It was hard to see the children who literally had nothing,” Wallace commented. “We even came upon an older lady who had rescued a little girl whose mother had thrown her in the trash as a newborn.

“This is just one of the many stories about the children in the slums who you know deep down there are no programs, places, for them to go,” Wallace said. “This is their life and will always be their life; you just hope the church, and hopefully an education will help them get out of the slums.”

Most of the work Wallace did was visiting and witnessing in village churches.

He also spent a day in the Chandigarh Baptist School. While there, Wallace said he helped do a school assembly for about 400 students.

“I showed them a video of Smithton School and we did a skit about what God has to offer,” Wallace explained. “It was a great experience.

“The entire school has about 1,200 students and after the assembly I got to spend some time in classrooms and visiting teachers,” he added. “Once again it affirmed for me that kids are kids no matter what part of the world we are in.”

Despite news reports on the difficulty of travel to other countries, Wallace said the group took a direct flight both to and from India.

“We experienced great hospitality there and many were curious about us,” Wallace commented. “As always, they had preconceived ideas of what Americans are like, mainly due to television and social media.

“We tried to give them a true picture of what Americans are about and were very conscious about putting forth a positive image,” Wallace added. “I quickly fell in love with India and its people.”

Wallace characterized the people of India as a very social culture who are rarely seen by themselves.

“Not only because we were in a city of millions, but family and friends are very important to them,” he explained. “I felt my American tendencies by needing some space and quiet, but in their environment, that is not important.

“I really loved that about the Indian people,” Wallace said. “It is most apparent in the way they raise their children and take care of their elderly; they are truly a wonderful, beautiful people.”

Although Wallace works with people on a daily basis, he commented that he entered the trip with a lot of anxiety and worry of the unknown.

He added that prior to the group’s departure he felt he was definitely out of his comfort zone but thanks to the prayers and support of his family, friends and his church family he feels he is ready to return to India someday.

“It’s easy for me to say now, since there has been time between getting back and now, but I would love to go back to India someday,” Wallace said. “There are so many who have mentored me and are responsible for my development as a disciple for Christ; I don’t know what the next adventure will be for me and my family, but I have great people around me who are willing to share their faith with me.

“I, in turn, will share that with others,” he added. “It’s God’s way. How can you turn away from that?”

Brandon Wallace is pictured with one of the many children he met while on a 10-day mission trip to India. Wallace was one of six members of Cornerstone Baptist Church who made the trip. Most of the work Wallace did was visiting and witnessing in village churches and working with children in Delhi and Chandigarh.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/web1_tsd031817india1jpg.jpgBrandon Wallace is pictured with one of the many children he met while on a 10-day mission trip to India. Wallace was one of six members of Cornerstone Baptist Church who made the trip. Most of the work Wallace did was visiting and witnessing in village churches and working with children in Delhi and Chandigarh. Photos courtesy of Brandon Wallace

Brandon Wallace, left, stands with members of Cornerstone Baptist Church who spent 10 days on a mission trip. Every two years members of the church work with their sister church in India. Pictured far right are Christy and Paul Messhi. Paul Messhi is the pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church in India. The couple’s two children Emma and Caleb are pictured on the front row.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/web1_tsd031817india2.jpgBrandon Wallace, left, stands with members of Cornerstone Baptist Church who spent 10 days on a mission trip. Every two years members of the church work with their sister church in India. Pictured far right are Christy and Paul Messhi. Paul Messhi is the pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church in India. The couple’s two children Emma and Caleb are pictured on the front row. Photos courtesy of Brandon Wallace

Brandon Wallace, a middle school principal at Smithton Schools, stands among some of the children he worked with on a 10-day mission trip to India in late December and early January. Wallace commented that he fell in love with the people of India while on the trip, especially the children.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/web1_tsd031817india3.jpgBrandon Wallace, a middle school principal at Smithton Schools, stands among some of the children he worked with on a 10-day mission trip to India in late December and early January. Wallace commented that he fell in love with the people of India while on the trip, especially the children. Photos courtesy of Brandon Wallace

Members of Cornerstone Baptist Church stand with residents who live in some of the impoverished regions of India. Known as the “forgotten people,” Wallace said prior to his trip he had seen poverty before, but there was no comparison to the conditions he witnessed in India. Pictured in the background are two typical homes of the citizens of the “slums.”
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/web1_tsd031817india4.jpgMembers of Cornerstone Baptist Church stand with residents who live in some of the impoverished regions of India. Known as the “forgotten people,” Wallace said prior to his trip he had seen poverty before, but there was no comparison to the conditions he witnessed in India. Pictured in the background are two typical homes of the citizens of the “slums.” Photos courtesy of Brandon Wallace

A young Indian girl, who was thrown in the trash shortly after her birth, stands with the elderly woman who rescued her. Brandon Wallace met the two on his mission trip to India. One of the many stories about the children of the slums of India, Wallace commented that with the help of their faith and an education hopefully the children will escape the slums and the living conditions they face in India.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/web1_tsd031817india5.jpgA young Indian girl, who was thrown in the trash shortly after her birth, stands with the elderly woman who rescued her. Brandon Wallace met the two on his mission trip to India. One of the many stories about the children of the slums of India, Wallace commented that with the help of their faith and an education hopefully the children will escape the slums and the living conditions they face in India. Photos courtesy of Brandon Wallace
Local educator works to bring Christianity, hope to children of India

By Hope Lecchi

[email protected]

Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.

Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.

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