by Ryder Kumar, International Director, STN.
It is indeed a humbling experience for Flory and I to see answers to prayers of His saints during the recent mission’s trip to India. The ministry of meeting people with a purpose, ministering to the saints with a plan and counselling the needy to see His Word penetrate has begun right from the beginning of our stepping the land of India. The first person to whom we spoke about the Gospel is a taxi driver who is a Hindu and never heard the name of Jesus even once. This happened in Mumbai at 3 a.m. while we were on the way from the International airport. This particular incident and the one on the last day in Hyderabad when I spoke to a Muslim girl who also never heard the name of Jesus even once pointed out to the fact that though millions of dollars are being poured out from the Western World to India, there are people who are yet to hear the Gospel for the first time.
Looking back at the historical seminar held at Bethel Church, Lucknow, we are so grateful to WEC, Canada, and so thankful to the loving initiative of Ken Getty the founding member of Bethel Church who was fondly recognized by Bethel church. The leadership at Bethel also applauded the significant and supportive role of Paul Brown and Randy Leinen, displaying heartfelt thanks in the opening remarks by Suresh Mathew, the senior pastor of Bethel Church.
The whole week (Feb 1st thru7th) spent at the Seminar kept the audience under the topic of Church administration. The biblical exposition saturating the hearts and minds focused during the three sessions a day targetted the topics, “The truth about the Holy Spirit”, “The role of Holy Spirit in an individual and Church”, “Exemplary Church” (part One and Two). These sessions have generated great interest in understanding and motivated to seek what is lacking in the church. There was excitement when the study on the qualifications of Pastor/ Elder was taught. The testimonies of people said that the Lord blessed greatly, giving a wonderful opportunity to learn on the subject of “church”. Participants were led to recognize the lacking in the church in India. One participant suggested that Prayer is the solution to help in the critical situation that is confronted. It was also noticed that ‘Very disgraceful and dishonoring situation’ is prevailing in the churches today.
As the elders, deacons and deaconesses attended the sessions with open hearts, there were convictions and confessions. It was humbling to see people recognizing their failures. Sessions each day began with a time of prayer. In fact the conference began with the prayer on our knees. These 30 participants intently and diligently gave themselves to the seminar, and were soaked with the Scriptures.
In the midst of the conference, there were 20 ladies from Lucknow and surrounding churches that met for a one day seminar learning on the topic of “seasons of life” which were focused on “reverence”, “renewal” and “relaxation” explaining how to live a consistent life with and for God. These ladies were greatly encouraged and exhorted. Among the group were ladies who never had an opportunity to attend and be under such teachings. Flory taught in these sessions with some good interactions that developed into relationships and connections. Tears and emotions in the group were signs of these connections.
There was a great sense of God’s presence, leading and protection during the seminar. Answers to the prayers of many dear saints were felt powerfully. The Lord undertook for weather that was very pleasant throughout the week. Bright sunshine constantly reminded us of California’s weather. There were no health issues. All praise and honor and glory to God!
I am so thankful for the opportunity given by God, and for His people who have entrusted this teaching ministry to us. I feel a great fulfillment as the church here in Lucknow appears to be brought on a direction to march forward with decisions in hand to implement. There was unanimity and oneness among the management and church board. Bro. Suresh Mathews who has coordinated the whole seminar did an excellent job in organizing each day’s schedule, providing good food and lodgings for the participants. From time to time He exhorted the participants to respond to God’s promptings. He needs prayers as he confronts many challenges with very critical decisions to make.
Followed by the seminar at Lucknow that ended on the afternoon of Friday, there was a crucial meeting with one of the staff of Bethel on Saturday morning. Meetings like this with individuals kept us occupied until the end of our time. We needed to proceed to Hyderabad the same day as there was an appointment to preach two messages on Sunday. The crowd that numbered between 300 to 400 was spellbound as they listened to the Word. There about twenty decisions for the Lord.
We were able to hold a brief STN board meeting one morning and also meet the Kalapalas.
Accomplishments during this brief trip are certainly an answer to prayers of His people. The ministry is not over. A whole new venue is opened. I have talked to several leaders of Bethel Church since I came back. There are challenges and so prayers are coveted. Pray that those in the leadership that should step down would do so very soon. A full time pastor needs to be appointed. Leadership in STN India needs to be rejuvenated.