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Trips

India / Highlands Winter 2015

Undisclosed Location January 10-25, 2015

We will be training pastors in India and a closed country. The pastors we work with serve in difficult situations.

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

Jan  16th,  2015How Sweet and Aweful Is the Place

2015-01-15_15.9f6b36cc5dToday is our last day in the Highlands. This morning the students preached sermons from the Gospel of Mark. The majority of those who preached are demonstrating increased ability to grasp the truth of the passage and communicate it.

This afternoon the team is headed to Pashupati temple, a Hindu temple.

While this has been going on, I have been in the hotel with a fever. As I have been listening to music, I heard Isaac Watts' "How Sweet and Aweful Is the Place."  

1. How sweet and aweful is the place
With Christ within the doors,
While everlasting love displays
The choicest of her stores.

2. While all our hearts and all our songs
Join to admire the feast,
Each of us cry, with thankful tongues,
“Lord, why was I a guest?”

3. “Why was I made to hear Thy voice,
And enter while there’s room,
When thousands make a wretched choice,
And rather starve than come?”

4. ‘Twas the same love that spread the feast
That sweetly drew us in;
Else we had still refused to taste,
And perished in our sin.

5. Pity the nations, O our God,
Constrain the earth to come;
Send Thy victorious Word abroad,
And bring the strangers home.

6. We long to see Thy churches full,
That all the chosen race
May, with one voice and heart and soul,
Sing Thy redeeming grace.
By Isaac Watts (1674-1748). Public Domain.

As you think of the Highlands, pray for God's pity on this nation, that many would come to faith in Jesus Christ in these days. And pray for the pastors who have been trained, that Christ's churches might be full, singing His redeeming grace.

For the team,

Duane

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Jan  13th,  2015A Long Road Traveled

  • 4159 miles from Minneapolis to Amsterdam. Check.
  • 3958 miles from Amsterdam to Delhi. Check.
  • 507 miles from Delhi to Kathmandu. Check (with the bonus of three extra hours in the Delhi airport due to a weather delay).
  • 30 minutes from the airport to our hotel. Check.
  • A twenty taxi ride from the hotel to where we will teach? Not so easy.

Last night we were alerted to the fact that there might be a difficulty to travel to our training site for our first night of teaching. In Nepal, a bandh (strike) was scheduled, which shut down all traffic except motorcycles. Because we have to travel to our students, and our students were traveling from all over the country to our training site, this posed a problem. 

After breakfast, we confirmed that there were no taxis traveling. However, we learned that at least half of our students had arrived for the training. So, we made a decision to walk. The streets were eerily quiet. There were people walking. A few stores were opened. There were even some motorcycles on the streets. But this was nothing like the usual traffic in the city. We saw police out in force to make sure things remained peaceful. They were blocking motorcycles from the main roads (for the motorcyclists' own protection). 

2015-01-13_16.51.46

So, we walked. Downhill and uphill. Through what are normally congested roads. And on dusty backroads. After forty-five minutes, we arrived at the training site with nearly all our students present and eager to get started. We were puffed up with our accomplishment, until we discovered that some of our students had walked three and a half hours to be there. We were all thankful to God to be together and ready to open God's Word.

It was a simple reminder that we are not in control. Nor are we alone. The Sovereign Lord is with us. And He desires to use His Word to accomplish His means. Isaiah 55:8-11 reminds us of God's unswerving commitment to fulfill His Word:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
    and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. 

So, despite the challenge of transportation, we were able to get a good start on our teaching. Pray that God would continue to use the Gospel of Mark to impact these students and their churches, that together we would trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is sovereign over all things--even bandhs.

For the team,

Duane

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