Wednesday, February 5, 2014: We have been in South India for 3 days and are enjoying the warm, almost hot weather. What a contrast to the Midwest! We found our students enthusiastic and well prepared as usual. This is really a special bunch of guys. We have grown to love them so much, and we all talk about how we are "family" now. They are so much fun to work with and are making such strides in grasping the study methods we are teaching them.
Today one of the men said at lunch, "This training has made such a huge difference in all our lives and the way we do ministry. We used to just look at a random passage and see some concept in it that we understood and then preached on that. Now we all are spending a lot of time reading and rereading the text and carefully studying it. We want to understand what the author meant to say and to preach that to our people." I could not have asked for more. Yet I get even more excited to see how they are so enthusiastic about passing the training on to all the pastors in this region of India and beyond. Another pastor said today, "I used to read a lot of other books, but now I am so busy studying the Bible and training others that I do not have time to read a lot of other books."
Tomorrow we will talk strategy with them and try to set them up to train hundreds, and possibly thousands, of other pastors. I cannot imagine the transformation that will take place in these churches in the coming decades.