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!