Well, it’s our last day here in Chennai. The team will split once again as 8 of us head home, 4 of us head to the state of Andhra Pradesh, 3 of us head to Sri Lanka and 1 of us becomes a student here at the Great Harvest Bible College.
Thank you so much for your prayers last night as we traveled to a village “3 hours” away. Indian time is usually much later than real time… And I’m not talking about the legitimate 11 hour 30 minute discrepancy! We actually ran out of gas, as we missed a necessary turn, and had to drive the wrong way down a frontage-like road. No one looked at us funny, as the traffic here is mostly chaos anyway! 🙂 The Lord answered the prayers of his people and a man had some diesel at a single stand on the side of the busy road, which he carried to us. It was enough to get us to the petrol station and we were able to make it to our destination only an hour or two late.
The people at the church were waiting for us and were so welcoming! It was a beautiful church building.. Bigger than most that we have visited, but it was the people who were the most beautiful, as it was evident that many of them were very dedicated believers. The joy of The Lord was plastered on their faces and many we’re hanging on every word that Pastor Ted had to share. They also loved the skit that David and John put on.
It was also encouraging that many of the younger ones had bibles and were well behaved. Everyone wanted photos taken with us, as we were the first missionaries from another place to ever come to their church. It was a blessing to be a part of it, and they fed us very well after the service. They rolled out the mats and we ate on the floor with our hands with our Indian brothers and sisters…. A very spicy meal indeed!
Our last morning teaching and encouraging at the bible college has been such a blessed morning. A pastor and administrator of ATA (Asian theological association), which is an organization that will help pastor Sunny make Great Harvest Bible College an accredited university in India, shared a good word from Genesis 28 about worship.
We also had the women come for a short devotional time where Jillisa and Gracia each shared a song, Kitty and Karen shared their testimonies, and we gave them gifts from the women at church. It was a sweet time of fellowship!
It’s amazing to see what is in store for this ministry as the days and the work and the passion of the leaders and students here press on towards the goal. They are fighting the good fight of faith in every step they take. Pastor Sunny has built a shed on some land that they are hoping to buy for the bible college that is very expensive, but he is doing so in faith as The Lord leads. One of the biggest prayer requests we have in this ministry is that The Lord will provide the rest of the land for a beautiful campus here. There is land available very close to the school that they have purchased a section of, but the rest is needed for the vision to continue on. They are expecting 100 students next year, and need a place for them to sleep, study, bathe, worship and eat. Many things in India are very cheap, but land is not one of them. There are too many people and not much land available for it to be affordable. And for our brothers here who take no compensation for their work, who put everything they have and more into the ministry, it is something they just fully depend on The Lord to provide. We know He will do this, so join in with us in prayer as we wait expectantly for Him to answer.
Tonight we visited the place where all the shirts are made for the garment factory, and soon we will go for one more outreach. The Sri Lanka team: Pastor Ted, Tony and Brenda will not be joining us, as they must leave for the airport shortly. We were sad to leave the bible college, but have been strengthened for what lies ahead for each one of us. Some of us will be seeing our families very soon, so pray for safe travel for all team members. Thank you!