Thursday, February 23, 2012

Our Indian Adventure

Jonathan, Elisa and I (Phil) have been on our India adventure for eleven days now.  It has been a full and enriching time.  The kids are handling the life here remarkably well which is great, especially as Jonathan does not like spicy food!  Everything here includes spice apart from the rice, which there is plenty of.
The first week we were with five people from our church in Hinkley, although I answered a heart cry to visit Mysore and teach on the SBS there.  I was the first guest teacher they have had in the school (only a few weeks left) because it is off the beaten track.  I left the children in the good hands of our church folks and flew 1 hour 20 mins south to Bangalore.  I arrived at rush hour so it took 5 hours to get to Mysore from the airport that evening.
I found a really solid SBS school with mature leaders and a high standard of school.  Although the teaching of Isaiah went well, the times spent with the leaders and staff was very significant.
It seems to have been a time of significant meetings, which is such a wonderful encouragement as I have met some King’s Lodge graduates who express such appreciation of the training they received with us in the UK, as well as others that have been impacted by the Biblical Teaching and Preaching school in this part of the world.  I met one of our key leaders who has led a church planting movement which now has about 100 church planning teams and has seen 100s of churches over these past years, with many 1000s of Hindus coming to Christ.  He was very excited about the potential of the on-line SBS courses I have developed.
On the way back to the airport at Bangalore last week, I met with another TKL SBS/BTPS grad that has now trained about 2000 pastors in the skills of preaching, a great need here as many, many pastors have no formal training.  He is meeting a growing demand.
We have been able to join in with some of the outreaches to the slum areas with Elisa joining at every opportunity.  The ‘evangelism strategy’ is to meet people and pray for them in the name of Jesus.  They then see the answer to these prayers; healing, getting a job, reconciliation in their families, restoration of a marriage etc, and then they become open to hearing about Jesus, and the God of all Gods!  Another eight people from the slum areas were baptised last week.
Both of the children are growing in many ways.  I am so proud of the way they handle the situations they face.  I am humbled as I speak to the SBS students, some with amazing stories.  A Buddhist who came to Christ through a dream, and now leads a number of churches in North India, a former Hindu who was rejected by his family when he declared he was a believer, a pastor who longs to get back to Saudi Arabia to continue his evangelism ministry… What a privilege to be a small part of the lives of this kind of people!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Life in India on their Own

The Hope Community Church outreach team is staying and working with YWAM Lonavala near Mumbai.

A School of Biblical Studies (SBS) is in full swing there and two team members are taking time to teach on their school this week.  Phil will teach Deuteronomyand then Joshua after the team leave, extending his and the kids' time to 2-1/2 weeks in India.

However, when work spread that Phil would be in the country, another SBS in Inda contacted him with a heart-felt plea to come teach them as well.  A miracle of provision came so we could fly Phil to Bangalore on Monday to then have a 6 hour car journey to be with the SBS in Mysore.  He is teaching Isaiah to them for just a few days, then coming back to join the team as it leaves. 

Our seasoned kids are on outreach in slums under Pete and Sally's care until Phil gets back.  Not what we expected ... again ...

Indian First Impressions

Elisa the photographer is in her element, capturing the beauty of people in the middle of the life they know.

Elisa is also writing about what she sees: 

Home School Holidays

No, it's not the children who are on holiday; it's the teacher!

Phil taking Elisa and Jonathan to India created a window when I could take a break from the every day diversity of life.  These moments rarely come in life and we decided I should make the most of it.

I landed at Denver International Airport last night for a 2-week visit for my family, friends and churches here in Colorado.  We counted out that it has already been 20 months since we were here last, and that was feeling too long.
So if you're in Colorado, so am I until the 29th.  Email me!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Taking off to India

A church outreach to Lonovala, India, started it all. 

Last year the team saw amazing fruit from their one week of ministry, and Hope Community Church announced a return trip happening this February half-term.  This morning Phil, Elisa and Jonathan took off to be a part of this outreach!

More details to come, but they're off!

Wisdom in LA

Wisdom literature is what they asked for.  Hebrew poetry, Psalms, Proverbs and Song of Solomon - plus the first few chapters of I Kings to the point where the kingdom divided.  The Chronological Bible Core Course in YWAM Los Angeles brought Phil in for a week of in-depth teaching on their school in January.

Phil was also used as a consultant in on-line learning materials for local church ministry.  The Bible classes that the team offers need accessable materials for the participants to do at home.  Phil was going to show the  leaders how to write their own curriculum; when they saw all the materials available through Phil's on-line SBS they asked to use that instead as he had already done all the work.  Yeah!  We are now blessing churches in Los Angeles as they study the Word!

Phil took Elisa along as a travelling companion.  They had so much fun together and her love for the Lord has been even more rooted in her life.