Dear Prayer Team,
Last year BFF held a marriage training seminar for pastors and their wives in Orissa. They greatly appreciated it!
Praise the Lord! This year we have a double thrust into India.
Pastor Stephen had asked me to come again but other places had already asked me to visit them over a year ago. But God has moved several of the brothers to join me in ministry in India from our church. We thought it best to send a second team to visit Pastor Stephen in Andhra Pradesh state. The need for training is great.
Let me introduce each of these teams.
Team #1: North India
Rev. Paul Bucknell and Brother Keng Lim will head to the northern parts of India on Sept. 7th. They will visit two places, each a challenging place with different languages and close in vicinity to tall Himalayan mountains. Himachal Pradesh and West Bengal are both northern Indian states which borders with the country of Nepal.
Himachal Pradesh has a ministerial school which prepares students to step into full-time ministry with less than a year of training. They have zeal but not much training. They requested we train them in the area of discipleship.
Afterwards Paul and Keng will spend a week intensively training pastors and church planters that rarely have a chance to get together. They live in a small strip of land going up far into the mountains. They have requested the seminar, "The Heart of Discipleship." This training on discipleship is a great need wherever I go. In most cases their generation is the first to be saved and need a great foundation for the future.
Team #2: South India
Pastor Ed Jiang and Brother Philip Chang will form the second team in Vizianagaram coordinated by Pastor Stephen, a national pastor there in Andhra Pradesh. They will hold a training seminar and speak in local churches. The need for training is also great there as the church has grown much in the past years. They also hope to join Pastor Stephen in one of his evangelistic outreaches and continue to build OIF's relationship with Pastor Stephen with a long term view in mind. They hope to leave one week later on Sept 15th.
Due to difficulties of finding a time to go, they together with Pastor Stephen are still trying to firm up their plans (though no plans are firm in India).
Each team will face many of the same struggles. We will never have met those we minister to. They will speak languages and minister in cultures that we are not acquainted with. Cross cultural adjustments, flexibility, faith (many want us to pray for healing and help), and health will be in great demand. Good sleep will often be missing.
We need to prepare God's Word in such a way that the Spirit can wonderfully minister to these pastors and believers. Advanced Discipleship Training's (ADT) focus is to train the Christian leader in three areas of life: their hearts, skills and knowledge of God's Word. Keep these foci in mind as you pray for us.
Will you consider joining us in this ministry?
Needing your prayers
- Concentrated message preparation.
- Finalize speaking schedule and trip details.
- Provision for finances (see below).
- Our families before, during and after the trip. (14 children among us).
- Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit's leading and foreign cultures.
- Pastor Stephen and family (see picture below). He is a busy pastor and has a great vision for training up teams to reach hundreds of unreached villages around the larger city of Vizianagaram.
Pastor Jagannath in West Bengal states, "Sir, all the more, we have already started a prayer group consisting of women who will continue praying for the needs of the meeting, arrangements and bind the forces till the seminar starts."
Since we have two teams this year, our expenses will be up a bit. The highest costs (around $7,500) is transportation related. Security costs are often reflected in high taxes. I am keenly aware of the advantage in having a team partner. The costs are higher but in terms of safety, sanity (often only hearing a foreign language for days), ministry (each team member has his strengths) and growth (share insights and problems), I have deeply recognized the value of Jesus' advice to travel by twos.
Other costs will include seminars, travel assistance for Indian pastors, translation and printing of handouts and booklets.
We tried to find a cheaper accommodation for the pastors' seminar but alternative sites (Hindu) will not permit eating non-veg meals. Total costs should be about $14,000. We have $300. donated so far. That leaves a long way to go in a short time.
Your past prayers and financial support have made a great difference in the lives of these pastors, church planters and other Indian believers. We battle with health, sleep, travel, weather, exhaustion from ministry and trying to present relevant teaching from God's Word.
Will you join our team again this year?
This year's trip is a joint venture between Biblical Foundations for Freedom and the Oakland International Fellowship-OIF (part of the Pittsburgh Chinese Church in Oakland). Funds can be sent to either address. Prayers will be naturally distributed by our Lord. Both are nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3). Tax deductible receipts will be sent out at the end of the year. Write checks to BFF or PCCO (for those going to the church OIF).
Please note on your check or offering:
India STM (short term missions)
3276 Bainton St.
Pittsburgh, PA USA 15212
Contact: Paul J. Bucknell
134 N. Dithridge St.
Pittsburgh PA 15213 USA
Contact: Rev. Ed Jiang
Rev. Paul J. Bucknell
On behalf of the two India teams.
Serving Together for the Glory of God,
Biblical Foundation for Freedom, President
3276 Bainton St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Write to Paul with your comments:
A 501(C)(3) non-profit organization
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