India - Bangalore 2011


Dates:  September 3 – 18
Ministry Focus:  College/Seminary level class instruction

Our Grace team of three teachers will train Indian church leaders at a Bible College and Seminary.  This will include Bible teaching and specialized instruction such as English classes and classes for women on Nutrition, Home Economics and Spiritual Development. Due to the sensitive nature of the situation in India, full names of our team and some details of their ministry (such as their location and the names of our hosts) will need to remain vague

Updated Sunday, September 18
E-mail from Chris

Our journey is ending.  Praise our Lord for so many answered prayers.  Last night we said farewell to each other at the get together in the chapel.  Before going into the chapel we all ate together in the dining hall. The students and the children sang to us. They thanked us for teaching them.  We thanked them for the privilege of teaching them.  We each received a gift from the leadership as a thank you.  P.J. closed with a thank you and prayer.  Then Jody, Brett and I stood at the entrance to the chapel and shook everybody's hand and said good-bye.  We took pictures. 

I cannot thank our Lord enough for this wonderful blessing.  I will miss my students, the school and leadership.  Some of them I will never see again on this earth, but we will all be together someday in heaven.  They will always be in my heart.

Today we are going to downtown to do some shopping before we leave.  We are leaving earlier that I told you.  Jody and I will be leaving the school at 9:00 PM.  Brett will be teaching another week, so please continue to pray for him.  It has been a delight working with Jody and Brett.  They are both godly men who are very knowledgeable in the bible.  The unity on our team has been a blessing.  The unity with the Christians here has terrific.  It still amazes me how as Christians we can go anywhere in the world and have instant unity with our brothers and sisters.  The unity with you is a blessing.

 Your prayers mean so much to me.  Thank you.   I am looking forward to going home to my family and friends.  As the old saying goes, "There is no place like home." God bless you all.

Updated Thursday, September 15
E-mail from Chris

I thought I would share with you 2 homework lessons, one from 3rd year and one from 4th year. Before I do, you need to remember that English is their second language.  Some of the students started learning English when they came to the school.  I cannot even imagine trying to learn the bible in a new language.  

This is a 3rd year student who wrote what she learned after I taught about "The Dignity of the Women's Role". "Today I learn that , even though we are woman, but God use in a different way, sometimes I use to think I am a woman for what will I learn the bible I am not going to be a pastor, but I understand God use woman, God use Esther and she rescue his nation and one thing I learn that from madame's life you love God that way you submit to your husband not because of him but to because of God."

This is a 4th year student who wrote what she learned after the first class on how to study the bible. "I take devotion everyday but many a time I lose patient to read it carefully and I just complete my devotion reading a chapter. But from today lesson I learned that the Bible I read to finish reading the Bible at least once from Genesis to Revelation and pray before reading the Bible so that the Holy-Spirit will guide and lead me in my reading.  Because its not an easy job to understand the scripture we need God's help I need to read it word by word more carefully as a believer I also need to know the Bible background of the book to have better knowledge of the book And also to determine the key verse in the book. Its been a good blessing knowing the better ways to study the Bible."

God is blessing the teaching.  Today I will be teaching the 3rd year students about loving your children.  I will continue the how to study the bible lessons with the 4th year students.  We will be using the computer and learning about the bible study websites. Thank you for your prayers.

Updated Tuesday, September 13
E-mail from Chris
Thank you for your prayers for Brett.  He arrived safely at 2:24 AM.  Praise the Lord.  

The fellowship has been great with our team and our sisters and brothers here.  We have some very profitable theological discussions around the table.  I thrive on these types of discussions. It stretches us to think deep and to encourage one another.

The dear little one's infection is much better and she didn't need stitches.  Thank you Jesus. We played ball with her yesterday before I left to teach.  It was a good work out for me to play with a very active 2 year old. 

Jody played catch with some of the boys in the children's home.  They really liked it.  When they line up as we pass by we high five with each one.  They laugh and giggle when we do it. The other night when they left I told them that I love them and they giggled and laughed.  I can see why our Lord tells us to have the faith of a little child.  They are so loving and open to being loved.

Thank you for your support.  I have wonderful things to share when I get home.  I love all of you too.

Updated Monday, September 12
E-mail from Jody

We've been here at the school for a week now and I've completed my first series of lessons to the 5th year students.  I can tell you that your participation in this effort is very much appreciated and acknowledged by me and those here at the school.  I've gone through the two classes (Grasping God's Word and Christian Leadership Studies) and the students really enjoyed getting this information. 

As you all know, my hearing is always a concern I have in being able to answer questions.  This year, I've handed out 3X5 cards for them to write down their question and it has really been a great success.  It allows them to get what they need and I can better participate in the class room.

I'll be doing these same classes again next week for the 4th year students.  We have one class in the morning (1.5 hours) then the other one after lunch (1.5 hours). 

The weather here has been great, just about feels like California.  Thankfully, this town is on a higher plain than most of the rest of India so we don't have the really humid weather.

Chris is also teaching her classes and they have been going very well also.  The students respond to her teaching very well and appreciate getting such good teaching.

We'll be here through next Friday night, then we board our plane for 20+ hours in the air.  Thank you for your support and prayers; they are very much felt.

I've also been able to see the little ones who've recently come to the school and they just touch your heart with their joy and happiness, in spite of the really bad hand that has been dealt to them in this life.  The ministry here is so critical and powerful.  Thanks again and I'll do my very best to write again.

Updated Monday, September 12
E-mail from Chris
Jody and I started our second week of teaching.  I have the same women this week.  Jody has different students this week.  He had 5th year students last week.  This week he has the 3rd year men and women students in the morning class and the 4th year men and women students in the afternoon class.  He has 66 in one class and 61 in the other.  He will be very busy.

I gave the first test today.  The 4th year students struggled with their test and the 3rd year students didn't.  It is so interesting to read "What I learned Today" because the Holy Spirit highlights different aspects of the lessons to different people.  I cover a lot of material in 1 1/2 -2 hours. They explain in detail what they learned and it is something I taught, but it is different for each woman.  When I teach at retreats and bible studies the same thing happens.  

Brett arrives tomorrow at 12:30 AM.  He will be teaching the 5th year students.

T and J's daughter is doing better since taking the antibiotics.

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice!

Updated Monday, September 12
E-mail from Chris

Today was very different.  T and J's daughter fell last week and cut her forehead.  It was healing quite well until she (2 years old) picked at it.  She woke up in the middle of the night crying that it hurt. This morning her face was swollen from her eyes up.  They had to take her to the emergency hospital, so T and Jody switched preaching times.  Jody lead the service this morning.  He did a terrific job and it was a great help to our host and hostess.  Their daughter has and infection and is on antibiotics.  Tomorrow they go back to see a specialist to see if she needs stitches, so please pray for her.

I spoke at the women's meeting today at 2:00 PM.  It went well.  I taught Hebrews 11 about faith and obedience. I read the homework and I am so blessed that my students are understanding the lessons.  Remember they have an accent to me and I have an accent to them.  The Holy Spirit is causing us to understand each other.

Last year we were praying for the completion of the housing for staff and visiting teachers and this year I am living in it.  Thank you Jesus!  Last year we were praying about starting a children's home and it is a reality this year.  Praise the Lord! Now we are praying for schooling for the children in the home.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 

Updated Saturday, September 10
E-mail from Chris

Today T and J took us on  tiger safari.  At the local zoo they have a live animal park ride.  We saw water buffaloes, deers, bears, lions and tigers.  It was like (except for the rolling rock) being on the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland.  It was an exciting adventure.  

Some of you have asked about J and she is doing fine.  Her pregnancy is okay at this time.  Please pray for her so there will not be any further issues.  She has been keeping a very busy schedule.  The children love her.  

T will  be teaching tomorrow morning and Jody will be teaching tomorrow night. I will be grading papers today. 
Monday with be the first test for my students.

Last night we had dinner with the children on the roof of the building where they live.  It was a picnic on the roof.  You can see the whole landscape of the area from up there.  It is beautiful. I gave the children their night time devotions about Zaccheus.  Then we had a group hug!  We all enjoyed the hugs.

Have a wonderful day of worship on Sunday.  God bless you.

Updated Saturday, September 10
E-mail from Chris

The 4th year ladies really liked learning about Abigail in I Samuel 25.  Most of them had never done a study about her. Then yesterday I did something different - instead of lecturing I portrayed Mary Magdalene.  They were so attentive and it was a nice break from the norm.

Today we finished the women of the bible with Mary the Mother of Jesus.  I was so blessed because as I was teaching I realized spiritual truths that I had never seen before. It is always so exciting when that happens.  It was an answer to prayer.  We pray together in the morning and Jody prayed for the Lord to show us His truth while we were teaching.  He prayed for God to use us and guide us as we taught.

The 3rd year women are very shy, so today after teaching about how God uses trials in our lives, we made a circle of the chairs and the ladies shared how God helped them through their trials.  It was a precious time together. 

I can hardly believe that the first week of teaching is over.  It has been a blessing.  I have learned so much from this experience and from the chapel sermons.  Thank you for your prayers.  God bless you.

Updated Wednesday, September 7
E-mail from Chris

Yesterday we had dinner with a pastor from Orissa, where there has been significant persecution.  He is so humble and kind.  Please keep him and other sisters and brothers from Orissa in prayer.   

Then after dinner we went downstairs to the children's home and the 5 new children were given new clothes.  They were so happy to receive the clothes and the other children were happy for them.  They took their new clothes and folded them so nicely and put the clothes away.  Then there was a contest to see who memorized the longest verse.  This one little girl was so excited to recite her verse and she was the one who recited the longest verse.  

I taught about Abigail in the 4th year class.  It went very well.  I enjoy sharing with the students.  Then this afternoon I taught the 3rd year women about our walk with God.   

Tonight is the prayer meeting. It is similar to chapel except for after the opening prayer, singing and teaching, the women go upstairs into the library and pray and the men stay in the chapel and pray.  

I received the first, "What I Learned Today", assignment.  I was blessed to see that the ladies are understood the lesson.   The fellowship with my sisters and brothers here has been sweet.   

Also, please pray for the father of the wife of the President of our school.  He is in the last stages of prostrate cancer. 

Updated Monday, September 5
E-mail from Chris

Yesterday was a very busy day.  Church was at 10:00 AM.  Ladies prayer meeting was at 2:00 PM (I spoke on "Jesus in the Tabernacle") and church again at 6:00 PM.  It was a blessing.  The jet lag didn't hit until evening church.  I struggled to keep my eyes open. 

We had dinner afterwards with our host and his wife.  I prayed and asked the Lord to help me stay  awake for dinner.  He did and I had such good fellowship with them.  As soon as I got to my room I went to bed.

This morning we had breakfast with them.  The fellowship was so sweet.  I know better how to pray for the school and the country. 

We had chapel at 10:00 AM and then I taught at 11:00 AM until 12:40 PM.  Lunch was from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM.  I taught from 2:00 PM until 3:40 PM.  Both classes went very well.  I taught the 4th year about Mary the sister of Martha and I taught 3rd year about the importance of our testimony.  I made both classes laugh some.  I know this was of the Lord because I am not a very humorous person.  I do pray for humor.  Both classes were very receptive to the teaching.  Praise our Lord.  I was encouraged by two women that were in my classes last year who liked the teaching.  It was so good to see so many familiar faces in the 4th year class.  I had two 5th year students show up in the 4th year class.  I found out later that they weren't supposed to be in my class.  I will miss them.

Today is Teacher Appreciation Day in this country, so tonight the students are putting on a program in appreciation of the teachers at the school.  We will be eating in the cafeteria with the students tonight.  I will have to eat with my hands which is the custom here.  This isn't easy for me.

Jody taught at both church services yesterday.  He taught from Ephesians 6.  He had a good teaching day today too.  He is an excellent teacher of God's Word. 

The Children's  Home (Hostel) has 20 beautiful children ranging from 4-12.  They look happy.  They are learning verses and songs.  I just fell in love with them.  They are well behaved and help on another.  Please pray for the Lord to provide some cooks and assistants for the home. 

Thank you for your prayers.  This is a blessing to serve our Lord here.

Updated Sunday, September 4
E-mail from Chris

I arrived safely.  The trip was great.  On the second flight I got a whole row of seats to myself, so I lifted the seat arms up and laid down and slept in between reading a great book.  I only have 1 1/2 chapters left of "The Cup and the Glory".  

I met the children in the hostel and they are so precious.  I brought a figurine of the armor of God from Ephesians 6 to use in my lesson about the spiritual battle.  The children have been memorizing this passage, so we did a quick lesson about it with them too.  They sang for us.  It was so heart warming.  

The weather is cloudy and cool today:-)  My accommodations are terrific!  I thank our Father for so many blessings.   Thank you for your encouragement.