We continue to follow Roger and Glenda in India…
We are now in Bangalore, in the south of India. 89 church planters have come from three states. Because 20 more people than expected came, things became a bit chaotic with the logistics of finding more lodging and another training hall down the street! Never mind, you either learn to be flexible here or you probably won’t come back. Unfortunately, my body is struggling with some kind of bug. I am trusting God to touch me as I rest tonight. Your prayers would surely be welcomed! Glenda has written a summary of our final couple days in Bhopal. Hope you enjoy!
Following the Bhopal training we took the opportunity over two days to see God at work around the city. You may remember that almost 30 years ago an industrial explosion occurred on the outskirts of Bhopal with more than 16,000 killed by poisonous gas. Because of this tragedy one would expect a dusty, depressed and demoralized city. However, there are areas of beauty in the lakes and gardens as well as evident economic growth. More than that, though, we caught glimpses of inspiring growth of the church!
Pastor Amos is the T&M coordinator for Madhya Pradesh. In recent years he has been working closely with Abdul M., training him to be a church planter. Through their ministry, five people were ready to be baptized that day. When we arrived at the church, only two of the five had arrived. One of them, an undergarment salesman, couldn’t come on time because his bicycle tire was punctured. He had been instructed to bring dry clothes to put on following the baptism. He thought he was being asked to bring his merchandise. He bundled up a huge assortment – so much the bike’s tire couldn’t handle the weight! While waiting for him, we interviewed another two candidates who were present. Our co-worker, Jim Hogrefe, pointed out a rat that was near a drain. Soon after I felt little feet scurrying across my foot! Afterwards Jim and Roger made several witty suggestions as to the name of my “pet rat!”
Both of the men who were lovingly baptized by Amos, as well as a farmer who was baptized later that day, were all faithfully discipled by Abdul. He travels several hundred kilometers each month to encourage and train new believers. We are so impressed by this humble, hard-working, dedicated servant of God.
We drove past the remains of the Union Carbide factory on our way to visit a middle-aged couple who now follow Christ. A house church regularly meets at their home. Not long ago they sensed God was calling them to build an “upper room” on top of their existing house so that more people could attend. It will seat over 100, Indian style! Stepping out in faith, they took out a loan and construction is well underway. We were privileged to be asked to help dedicate this room for the glory of God. I am SO thankful to God for the opportunity to have my heart touched by God’s people in this land.