India - 2012


Dates:  July 29 - August 18
Ministry Partner:  Grace Global Partners
Ministry Focus:
  College/Seminary level class instruction

This team will again teach courses to Bible college and seminary students. Our Grace partners have also requested classes to be taught such as English, classes for women on Nutrition, Home Economics, and Spiritual Development. Anyone involved in regular Bible teaching at Grace (or in some other setting) is qualified to teach here. Male team members could be asked to preach during chapel or in Sunday services. There is also a possibility of team members assisting with children's ministry including tutoring, mentoring, and helping with day-to day activities. This ministry is English speaking.

Updated Saturday, August 18
Phone call from Dave

After a fruitful trip that was especially encouraging to our hosts, the India team has arrived home safely, and is grateful for your prayers as they served in Bangalore.

Be sure to mark the date of Sunday, September 16, for our annual GO Team Celebration starting at 6:00pm in the Worship Center.  You will get a chance to hear from the India team, as well as the other GO Teams that served around the world.

Updated Thursday, August 16
E-mail from the team

From Gary
: Today, Thursday, I  have completed my teaching of the Beatitudes.  Tomorrow is their final exam.  Then my work begins as I have to (get to) grade all the papers and give them their final grade in the class.  They will have to first write out from memory the eight Beatitudes.  Then, the second part of the exam, they are to explain briefly what each one means and how they relate to each other.  One of the men in my 4th year class, Ganta, (boy, my spell checker doesn’t like that name) often sits in his chair with legs crossed under him (how can he do that!) and listens to my every word.  After class, he comes up and asks a question about a point I made, or may be one that I didn’t make clear enough.  He has such a strong accent it is difficult to understand him, but he has been keeping me on my toes. 

I’ve gotten to know many of the students – they are great kids.  They are responding more and more in class, which is encouraging because I know they are listening and following with what I am saying.  I could give you a list of all their names, but it would probably throw you for a tizzy.  I may still do that; we’ll see.

Yesterday, August 15th was India’s Independence Day.  There was a ceremony in the yard of the college with a large outline of the country made with colored rock salt in the fashion of the Indian flag.  After a short talk by Timothy and others about the importance of honoring your country, they raised their flag and the singing of the national anthem. Then all the students, many who were dressed in their native costumes were lead in prayer by Dave. It was great to see how much the students, from all over India, loved their country and wanted to see it reached for Christ.

After the ceremony, Dave, Gerry and I with Timothy and Julie and little Silas (7 months old) got in a taxi we had rented for the day.  We first went to the big flower festival.  Now I’ve been to Edwards Air Force Base for an air show that was attended by 500,000 people.  But this flower festival was estimated to have a million people there for that whole week and I think the entire city of Bangalore was there to greet us personally. It was wall-to-wall people. We were there about 3 ½ hours and then went into the downtown area for lunch at Pizza Hut. It was good but Indian pizza just is not the same as good old California Pizza Hut.

From there Timothy lead us walking down narrow streets crowded with people and vehicles.  I think all the people who were at the flower festival followed us to the downtown area while we some shopping. While out shopping one of the things we (the team and our supporters) bought was a new two-burner butane stove for the Children's Home.  The one they have is unreliable, and this will be a great aid to them.  It is great to see a specific need and be able to meet it.  They could also use a refrigerator.  Please continue to pray for the finances of the Home. One of their long-range plans to find a piece of land and a new building that can accommodate up to 100 children.  Timothy and Julie have a goal to be able to house 100 children, more than five times what they have now.  With this land and some more buildings they would like to start a school in which to educate the children and reach the community.   

Today, Thursday, Gerry and I sang a duet of “Sweet, Sweet Spirit” in chapel.  I then gave the lesson.  I suppose the YouTube recording will go viral any minute now.

From Dave: Hi everybody, I  wanted to add a few lines. Yes, we did have a great time at the Independence Day celebration both at the school and in the city. I was over whelmed in the city and the flower festival with the number of people everywhere. As I looked at peoples faces, I saw very few with happy smiling faces.  If I smiled at them about half would smile back. So many lost people in such darkness. It made me proud to be helping Timothy and the college to educate a generation of young people who will go out and share Christ. But we have talked with several students that have shared about how they do not really have the freedom to share Christ. If someone gets offended and complains, the government could try to shut down the school. There have also been students in the past that have been beaten by angry crowds because they were sharing Christ.  

In my spiritual care class, where I am endeavoring to share with them how they can help brothers and sisters in Christ grow in sanctification, the students are growing. Today each student had the privilege of being both a spiritual caregiver and spiritual care receiver. Some for the first time! Today I ministered (odd number in class) to a student who has loss two brothers through death – one on Christmas morning. They still struggle with celebrating Christmas. We have one girl who lost here finance just before they were to get married. I talked with a young man who was struggling with making his devotional life a real thing. Today I talked with a young man whose family wants him to marry this unsaved girl! What is even more difficult --- he wants to marry her! The student’s lives are full of challenges just like ours. It is so great to see them starting to grasp the idea that “even I” can help another believer take one step closer to God.  

It has been great to fellowship with Timothy and Julie and the two kids during meals and in the evening. Tonight we got to spend some time with the kids and celebrate one of the birthdays at the Children's Home. In the past they did not have much, some not even a place to lay their heads, but now they have a home to call their own. Now they have a family! Big one at that, but lots of love, caring and compassion. It is awesome to see how grateful they are for everything they have and is given them. What a privilege to be here and see and get to know them.  

From Gerry: Teaching the students in my 4th & 5th year classes has a joy. All of them seem to really want to learn Romans. They as a whole did very well on the test that I just gave them. They would ask me ask me questions about the verses and we would discuss my attempt to answer. One student in particular, James, explained that he was a pastor for two years at a small church in his homeland and needed to be able to answer theological questions that his congregation would ask him.   Recognized that he was a young man in ministry who needed more instruction and prayer, so he came here to receive further instruction and training.  Please pray for him that he will receive the training he came here for. 

Updated Tuesday, August 14 (2 of 2)
E-mail from Gary

Tomorrow is India Independence Day, so there is no school.  Therefore, I had to squeeze two days of teaching into one.  It was difficult, but I managed to do it.  The afternoon class is a little shorter, so I made the students stay until I finished.  It’s a good class (4th year) and they really respond to my teaching.               

Gerry spoke in chapel this morning, but before he spoke, Timothy took a lot of time dealing with discipline issues.  He was very stern and is displaying good attributes of an administrator.              

This afternoon (about 5:30), Dave, Gerry and I went with Timothy to a “farmer’s market” several miles away where he bought the weekly supply of vegetables and fruit (and catfish) for the orphanage and his family.  It was even crazier than the one I visited with Jamal in Amman, Jordan last year compounded by the cows and dogs that roamed freely.              

Tomorrow will start with an Independence Day celebration at the college.  We will then brave the streets again and go SHOPPING.  We’ll tell you how that goes in our next edition.

Updated Tuesday, August 14 (1 of 2)

On Sunday, we loaded all the children in a bus, which we rented for the day, and went to a different church because the pastor had asked Tim, the president of the college, to use some of the college students in his church.  Tim wanted to visit it to see what kind of church it was before making any commitments, and felt this would be a good time because many of the college students were visiting their home churches this weekend.  New Life Church, a newly planted church from a larger church, is only a couple months old and very small.  However, people were friendly and really loved the Lord, the singing was good and the message was good (what we were able to understand of it, anyway).   Pray for them.  They are meeting in a room at a large Catholic church school.  The children from the orphanage really overwhelmed their Sunday school program.  However, they were very gracious and did a very good job with the children.               

After church we went to the Mall and had lunch at McDonalds – a major treat.  Lunch included a soft-serve ice cream cone.  Yahoo.  After lunch, we went to the Bangalore Zoo.   While Tim and Julie and a couple college girls were herding the children around the zoo, Dave, Gerry and I took a bus tour of the wild animal park portion.  Think “Wild Animal Park” in San Diego without the fences and moats to separate the bus from the animals.  Lions and tigers and bears, O my!  And deer, reindeer, and antelope play.  We got back home about 5.  It was great seeing the kids have so much fun.              

The Sunday evening church service was at 6:30 and Jerry gave the sermon.  He spoke about the battle in the mind and the life of the believer. 

Updated Saturday August 11
E-mail from the team

From Gary:

It’s been a good week despite power outages (frequently), Internet outages (regularly), heat, humidity and rain, howling dogs and cows, monkeys and glow worms and fireflies.  The students have been responding and seem to be receptive.  No one has complained yet that they cannot understand my form of English.  As I have been grading the tests, I wonder if I am really communicating what I want to communicate.  Pray for me as I teach the second half of the Beatitudes next week.  

Friday evening was the baby dedication of Timothy and Julie’s 7 month-old son, Silas.  Dave spoke and later all three of us prayed as we passed the boy from one to another.  Silas was very patient and understanding throughout the entire service.  Today, Saturday was a service of prayer and fasting for the men from 8 to 12 noon.  What a marvelous time it was with prayer, singing, prayer, testimonies and prayer.  It was amazing how fast the four hours went.  Dave and Jerry gave devotionals and I gave a testimony.            

From Dave:
I have had a great week teaching Spiritual Care to the 5th and 3rd year students.  The emphasis in spiritual care is to teach the process of helping a brother or sister in Christ to grow in sanctification in many different areas of life.  The majority of the content – knowledge and facts - are given them in the homework assignments.  During class, we work on the “how to”.  They are shy and act very reserved and are really just kids at heart , but they are beginning to open up and share. They have homework assignments and a five question quiz each day. Most of them understand a majority of English but they still struggle with communication and understanding.  Pray for us this coming week as we work on implementing what we are learning into common everyday practice.            

I was privileged to speak at the baby dedication of Tim and Julie’s 7-month-old son, Silas.  It was awesome to hear how God worked in his birth and preserved his life as the cord was wrapped around his neck and he had to be born with a C-section.  He is a very alert little baby.  Baby dedications are parent dedication services and we had a model mom and dad that have shown their love and dedication to raise children up to live for and glorify the Lord. Please continue to pray for Timothy and Julie now that he has the burden of the college and seminary on his shoulders.  It was great to see his humbleness when some of his plans for the students did not work out the way he had hoped.  He humbly recognized the timing was not right and pulled back from what he had planned.  It has been a blessed experience to meet with them every day and grow in our understanding and appreciation for their love and leadership for the Lord.            

Another awesome experience was the male students fast and prayer time this morning from 8 am till noon. This was lead by Timothy and he did a fantastic job of organizing it with many things to do that really allowed us to spend some very quality time with the Lord individually and as a group. There was a testimony time at the end and some of it was heart breaking as kids shared the challenges and sacrifices they face from family and friends to attend this Bible College. Please continue to pray for these students as they have all the normal challenges a young person would face going to college plus language and cultural challenges because they are Christians.   We have one full week left and ask for your prayers especially as we serve this week that we will be able to develop closer relationships with the students and help them in their walk with God.  

Thanks so much for your support and prayers concerning our ministry here at the school. It is comforting and encouraging knowing we have such a wonderful team of prayer supporters behind us.  

From Jerry:
Thanks for all of your support; I have been teaching the 4th & 5th year students. I am teaching from the book of Romans and they all seem to enjoy it. I am enjoying more than the students, because of their attentiveness and challenging questions. One week has gone by so quickly.   I am looking forward to next week to see what the Lord has in store. Thank you all again for giving me this opportunity.                                                                                                                       

Updated Wednesday, August 8
E-mail from Dave

One of the privileges the team had was to bring 2 extra suitcases filled with special goodies for Timothy, Julie and the children at Maranatha Children's Home. Last night I had the privilege of being present when then children received many of the items sent as a reward for all of them getting very good grades at their year end of school. It was an awesome experience to see their excitement and gratitude of children with each gift. They had such grateful hearts with no jealousy or greed of not getting what you thought you wanted.              

The boys received ball cap as if they were trophy winners. They also received some hand made pillowcases made by one of the ladies in Kindred Couples class. The boys were thrilled and proud to show off their new pillowcases. Another caring lady from Kindred Couples made each of the girls special hand-made hair beret. The girls immediately put them in their hair and strolled about “ Look at me, I am so pretty!”  

Two teenage girls from Grace worked diligently to raise money to buy 10 backpacks, pencil boxes and $ for other items for the children. The backpacks were awarded to the children who had done the best job of taking care of the backpack they had. Their old backpack was passed down to others.   The Christmas in July offering from Kindred Couples was greatly appreciated and received with full heart. This will assure that the children will have a wonderful Christmas come December.  

Another awesome experience in all of this was to watch master mother Julie, teach, train, and entertain all the while smothering them with love and compassion - doing all this as she took care of her own two little precious one with patience and endurance of Job. Timothy was right by her side softly playing his guitar. Together they sang, had devotion and prayer and passed out rewards. The children have been taught love, gratefulness and thankfulness and it is very evident.

Thank you all for the privilege of being here to represent GBC.

Updated Tuesday, August 7
E-mail from the team

It looks like we have FINALLY got this e-mail thing figured out.  I have to stand in the kitchen on one leg with my left pinky finger in the 220 volt socket and pray that the electricity and internet do not go down. 

Anyway, it is now 11:55 Tuesday night.  We have completed two days of teaching at the college/seminary.  The weather is warm, but humid and the classrooms are hot and stuffy.  But we shall prevail. 

Gary preached at the Sunday evening church service on the contrasts between Kings Ahaz and Hezekiah (see Isaiah 7 and 36-38).  Dave spoke at the Monday morning chapel and Jerry spoke at today's chapel.  Gary gets the Thursday chapel.  We will then repeat the chapel schedule next week. 

Gary has had a hard time dealing with the jet lag and the Indian cuisine. He felt better today, but is still struggling with the cuisine.  Remember, it is 12 1/2 hours difference between us, so when it's noon in California, it is 12:30 A.M. here.  

Keep us in your prayers as we teach our classes.  Gary is teaching the Beatitudes to the 3rd year students in the morning session (11:00 - 12:50 with a 10 minute break), and again to the 4th years students from 2:00 to 3:45. Jerry is teaching Romans to the 4th year and 5th year students. Dave is teaching Spiritual Care to the 5th and 3rd year students.  All the classes are co-ed.

Updated Saturday, August 4

The India team was prayed off on their trip to Bangalore yesterday, and we got word today of their safe arrival on the field.  Pray for them as they adjust to the culture and time zone and prepare to teach.