Hebrews 11:9-10 “By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”
At the age of 17 I moved from the city of Hyderabad in South India to North India. It was not for pleasure but a step of faith for a purpose. Since then I have made several more moves. The move from Hyderabad to North India led me to many minor moves and two major ones. The third move was the biggest of all – the move from India to the Chicago in the US. The next move from Chicago to California is a move that took place 15 years ago. Perhaps this was the most significant move with the loss my wife of about 25 years. That move brought a church plant that became a church with growth and stability, formation of Shepherding the Nations in the US, and Shepherding the Needy in India, my marriage to Flory, my son’s marriage, two grandbabies and lots more.
Prior to moving to the US, I would jokingly tell people that the US is a land of promise because of its riches. But now as my wife and I move from the US back to India I would say that I feel as if I am an alien and foreigner moving to India. Am I tired of moving? I can hardly wait for my final move – to reach that “city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”
After serving the Lord for over forty years, most of them being in India reaching out to tens of thousands in villages, then being with my son and family for several years in the US, turning to go back to India appears to be the toughest move. While there are those who feel it is not a right decision, a senior pastor in the US recently said, “We would salute you as no one after staying so long in the US would do what you are doing.”
Why did we decide positively on this toughest move?
The reason is not complicated. God who was in control of my life forty years ago is still in control to lead and guide. After much waiting on God, it has become very clear to accept the unanimous decision of International board of STN. Godly men and women that are on the board have prayed and saw the needs of countries such as Pakistan, India and other SE Asian countries.
It is not just the 75 pastors who were graduated recently that need spiritual leadership but there is a cry from all over to have similar equipping training programs in order to combat the challenges that these countries are confronting. So here we are to take up a move to India and not having a property of our own we look for a rented place to live, build up the ministry across the country, visit SE Asian countries and oversee the ministry established by STN International.
Prior to that final move to the “city that has foundation” there are many plans to be accomplished and a goal to see healthy churches planted with the Lord’s enabling. This move gives me an opportunity to be a Pastor to the pastors while my wife Flory labors with alongside me using her gifts and talents.
– By Ryder Kumar International Director, STN International