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Trips

India Winter 2013

Undisclosed Location November 29 - December 9, 2013

Partnering with ---- Ministries, we will be training ~40 pastors and church planting pastors who are from --- ------. They come from difficult situations. ---- Ministries is an outgrowth of a local church in the area. Over 50 church planters have been raised up from the church over the years and many hundreds others from elsewhere in --- ------. They have suffered much over the years – jailings, beatings, houses torched, riots, and police interrogations.

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

Field Notes   India Winter 2013

Dec  7th,  2013Reflections on Our Trip

By Ray

As we prepare to head back to the US I look back on an incredible week…a week that introduced me to many new brothers who are laboring with their fullest commitment for the Lord.  I have a better understanding today what the words “fullest commitment” mean. This week I talked with a brother who has scars on his back from the caning he received when he left the Hindu faith. The caning was administered by his father…who he no longer sees. Another brother told of a recent story about his 13 year old daughter. She would not pray to a Hindu god in class as instructed by her teacher. In anger, the teacher marked her with a mark on her forehead and told the other students never to talk with her or interact with her again. The Lord has undergirded her and allowed her to stand strong. We prayed together for his daughter this week. Many of the brothers (pastors) that I met this week cannot provide food for their families on a regular basis. One gave up part of his small possession of land, half of all he owned, to get his church started. He is one of the brothers that is having difficulty feeding his family. Amidst a week of stories like this, never, not once, did I hear a complaint or tone of distress for their situation. What I heard was gratitude for what the Lord done.

My greatest respect goes to these pastors and their families. These are men and women with a special calling. They are men and women of great, great faith, great courage, great commitment. I look up to them. No one will ever know their names. They will not be famous. They will likely never pastor large churches. Yet, I can’t help but imagine that Jesus looks down at them with a warm, supportive smile knowing that these are sons that He loves greatly and that He is very proud of.

God’s Word will change the world. I have witnessed how TLI is equipping pastors and church leaders to spread God’s Word. TLI is a strategic, effective ministry. Those we ministered to are highly appreciative of your support. Where else can they go to receive training like this? You are equipping them to serve those that the Lord placed under their teaching authority. I perceive that training, like this week’s, will not only give pastors Biblical and theological knowledge, but it encourages them, builds their confidence, and creates a support structure for them through TLI and peer relationships.

God has allowed me to participate in His plan this week. I find great personal fulfilment, great spiritual satisfaction, and a longing to be with these, and other brothers, who are charged with the special responsibility, the difficult responsibility, of sharing Christ’s love in a land with significant spiritual opposition.

I am very grateful to the Lord, and to TLI, for letting me participate in the training activities in North India this week.  May He continue to breathe on this ministry and particularly on those that it supports.

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Dec  6th,  2013The Week In Review

It's Friday evening here in North India and we have now wrapped up our week of teaching. We are praising God for a really wonderful week with these dear brothers! It was a joy to study the Word with them this week. This is a mature group of pastors--most of them have suffered for the sake of the Gospel and as a result have a seriousness about our time together. Again, hearing their stories has been one of the great highlights of the trip for us.

After our last class session, we all met together to talk about the future of the training here. TLI will continue to teach here for the next few years. There are 40+ men who have committed to come for the duration of the course and we presented them all with Hindi study Bibles today. It was a sweet time together as we recounted God's blessings this week, anticpiated what he will do over the next few years, and prayed for his help. Darren Carlson joined us on Wednesday and he spent some time today sharing from the Word and encouraging the pastors towards perseverance. 

We're grateful for your prayers for us this week! God has been good. The other guys on the team will share some reflections in the next day or so. We plan to see the Taj Mahal tomorrow and then head to Delhi for our flights home.

Blessings!

 

David Crabb (for the team)

 

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Dec  3rd,  2013Update From North India: Days 1 and 2

Friends,

Greetings from India! We wanted to provide you with a brief update on our time here and thank you for your prayers for us. 

Despite some delayed flights, we arrived safely Sunday afternoon and spent some time with our host for the week. Under his faithful leadership, hundreds of churches have been planted in Northern India in the last 20 years or so. The Lord has given them a really wonderful new facility that not only houses a church, but also a small campus capable of housing 75+ men for training.

We have around 45 pastors who have come for the training this week. Most of these are pastors of churches in surrounding villages. The vast majority of them are converted Hindus (the same is true of the people in their churches). Their testimonies of conversion are remarkable! It has been a highlight of our time here to hear how God is bringing  people out of darkness and into the light. I never get tired of hearing their stories.

The days are full. We start right after breakfast and typically finish somewhere around 6PM. We are teaching the course "The Attributes of God." One highlight of our time has been the case studies. The pastors are split into four groups of about 10-12 each, but twice a day we gather all together to discuss a case study. Monnie Brewer wrote these "real life stories" that are set in an Indian/Hindu context and relate to the attribute of God we are studying the next session. The discussion on these have been lively and really profitable. 

After the case studies, we split into our groups and study the particular attribute for the day. Thus far we have covered the Introduction, Incomprehensibility, Independence, and Singularity. Tomorrow we will do Unchangeableness and Power. 

We're grateful for your prayers! Please continue to pray for grace and strength for us as we teach. One or two of us have had a little sickness, but so far everyone has been able to teach as planned. Pray for strength for the men as the days are long and full. Pray that the Spirit would work in our midst and use His Word to shape all of us for His glory. 

Blessings!

 

David Crabb (for the team)

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