Thursday, June 20, 2013

Monsoon Season in India

It is now already Thursday and we have only one more day here in Northern India for training. The time has gone by quickly. We had a late start on Tuesday as the rains slowed travel for some in making it to the training site on time. Our trainers come from 14 states in Northern India and the monsoons have come early and with force this year. There is great flooding in some places with many lost or missing. We are thankful that all but one of our students made it here safely. 

We have been so pleased with the students' progress and performance in handling texts well and preaching them well. Our first presentation session was the best I had ever seen. With only a few tweaks the messages were fantastic. I hardly knew how to lead the session! We did talk about a few secondary issues that might clarify our understanding more. The students were overjoyed and we were as well. Great progress has been made in such a short time, and that progress is being proven out in time as the people they train get really good feedback from the congregations that are receiving the new training.

Yesterday was a blistering hot day and oh so humid, it really wore us out, staff and students alike. It has been raining here off and on for several days, although today was sunny most of the time with one brief downpour that created a lake in the yard in front of the training center. Today was a bit better, but I was really tired out with little sleep last night. This is our fifteenth day on the road and we are feeling it.

Our meeting with the CNI Bishop went really well. He was a very warm and friendly man who received us well. He lives in a large house built 100 years ago by the Irish Presbyterians. I did not know such a group existed, but they did a good job here. In the 1970's seven churches joined to create the large CNI church. It seems that the church is on a decline, through moving in some ways  toward more liberal issues and downplaying the bible. But by God's grace, a fine young man who is thoroughly evangelical has now been elected as bishop. Through our friend who has mentored him for 20 years, he is asking us to bring our training to his church. He has well over two hundred pastors and another 200 or so who are being wooed into the church at present. If this goes as well as hoped, it might spread to other dioceses and thousands of pastors might be trained for the first time in how to study and preach the word of God.

Please pray for the Bishop as he has enormous messes to patch up. There are some politics and infighting going on, and the whole operation has been run poorly. There are numerous lawsuits pending against the diocese. In addition, the former Bishop was liberal and led the group in the wrong direction for 17 years. We are all hopeful that our training will bring back confidence in the word of God, and by learning to study it, and as pastors learn to teach it well, congregations will be transformed. Please pray for this project to have great success.

Neighborhood near the Training Center

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