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India (Uttar Pradesh) July 2017

Uttar Pradesh, India July 14-23, 2017

Serving --- ministries and about 50+ pastors from the area. They have suffered much. They graduated from our basic 9 course training in July 2016 and we begin teaching a series of electives. Course: Marriage and Family (Biblical Theological approach)

Follow along as teachers in the field offer their experiences as they share theological training with local church leaders.

Jul  20th,  2017What is normal?


There is a recently constructed freeway directly in front of our hotel here.  Under the freeway overpass is a tent city of crudely constructed shelters that seems to go on for miles.  As we come and go from the hotel I have been unable turn my eyes away from a particular family living there "under the bridge" with 5 or 6 small children.  As a first time visitor to an Indian city something seems seriously wrong with the sight of this.  Where I am from there are a few homeless people (usually homeless by choice).  This is different... many hundreds (thousands) of families living in squalor because they have no alternative.  I'm also struck by how perfectly ordinary this seems to be to the people who live here.  The busy traffic speeds past this family, with cars and motorcycles sometimes coming within a couple of feet of the very small toddler playing next to the street.  At first I wondered how they could be so oblivious to her and her family.  But after a few short days here the answer is obvious.  It is what people here are accustomed to.  It is the way it is.  The only reason it seems out of order to me, is because I live in a place where the gospel has had a sanctifying influence for several hundred years.  

The pastors we are helping to train this week may be the means by which the gospel expands here.  

Through their labors, by the grace of God, the people here may come to know an increasingly different standard of normal.  These pastors are in a way the hope of India - may the Lord use them mightily.

To God be the Glory for the sake of India!

S. W.

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Jul  19th,  2017The Need for Godly Families is Tremendous


The contrasts of India are striking. There is such a divide between the rich and poor and it is all lumped together into this massive swirling multi-colored cauldron. I say cauldron because everything here is hot. The food is hot and spicy, the days are hot and humid, and our drinks, coffee and tea, are hot even on the hottest of days. And life here does seem to swirl, there is a constant stream of cars, buses, motorcycles, bicycles, tuktuks, rickshaws, and walking people all busily going somewhere. Being in traffic or crossing the road is a bit frightening since cars and motorcycles seem to be coming from every direction at once. As we walked back to the hotel from eating last night, two cars collided, right between two of our team members. The Indian way of solving this is not to call the police, but simply disentangle the cars and continue on as quickly as possible. It is at times a bit of a sensory overload. As I go around this city and think about the statistics I’ve read, where less than 1% here are Christians I’m struck by the need for Christ in this land.

It has been a delight teaching here. The students, most of whom are pastors in the field, are eager to learn more of God’s Word. One of the things they are appreciating about this course in particular, Marriage and Family, is the practicality of it being applied to their personal lives and the lives of their congregations. The need for Godly families is tremendous.

One of the most important aspects of teaching is having a good translator. Someone who doesn’t just translate from English to Hindi, but who also gets concepts and who can portray those culturally to his people. It is an exhausting job for the translator since they have to use a great amount of energy to be constantly thinking how these things can all be brought together, relayed from English to Hindi, understand the word and what word best translates in Hindi, then to understand the concept of the instructor’s teaching, and bring that understandably to the students. Then he must reverse it with any questions from the students. Pray for these men who do this tough work for the building of God’s Kingdom.

It is a blessing to be here.  I am humbled to be used by God in this work.

J. S.


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Jul  17th,  2017Learning Flexibility in India


Don't underestimate. From lift off of the first flight through our first full day of teaching, we've learned that lesson in three distinct ways. What follows is encouragement for future missions teams by way of what we've seen.

First, of course you know you need to be flexible when traveling internationally, but don't underestimate how flexible you need to be. Like, what do you do when the leg of travel that gets you to your destination…just gets canceled?  "Come back tomorrow" is what they said. Now what? Well, work on your flexibility, that's what.

Second, don't underestimate the readiness of brothers and sisters to receive teaching. They may have come from several hours away. They left their families behind for this training, just like you. They want to know about you, about your church, about how you came to faith. They are ready for you and the teaching you are bringing.

Lastly, don't underestimate the deep reliance you will have on your translator. We've seen firsthand that the translator's job is not just to transform words, it's also to translate western ideas into their culture. Of course we are teaching scripture truth, but our ways of presenting those truths can be different and it might take a lot more words to say "When Adam sinned in the fall, he took all mankind with him." Not only does the translator need to have the vocabulary to say that in their language, they also have to make sure the listeners "get it", and clear up any confusion. So, yes, don't underestimate translators, instead, make sure they are being prayed for, encouraged, and thanked,  as much as possible.


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