Pray BFF Letter #159
Friday, October 9, 2009
Dear Support Team,
God's work is amazing. Not only did we see the supply of finances come in just several weeks before leaving, but we experienced God's wonderful protection on the trip.There was a flood in the south which many pastors had to travel through. Some lost their houses. But they were there! The attacks of the evil one left a trail of broken items, but we went forward in trust that God would provide. (Click for video.)
An earthquake (6.3 in Bhutan shook Siliguri), eye infections and loud idol festivals could not hold us back from establishing God's leaders. An idol with a loud musical procession passed right in front of our building. We kept on preaching. Even in our weaknesses, we saw God's almighty strength at work in the lives of His people of India.
The heat was difficult to endure, but God gave us strength as we spoke. During two days of each four day seminar, we spoke five, one and half hour sessions with little break. At one point Pastor J.s' voice almost gave out, but we were excited to see how the Spirit enabled us to get through. We just had to keep our eyes fixed on the Lord.
As we look back on the two weeks, we are astounded at how the messages were strongly and deeply embraced. In the first seminar a special communion time followed a testimony time that brought many to a deeper commitment before the Lord. The second seminar was a bit different.There were so many testimonies, that we had to stop them after 12 or so. The pastors were changed. More than 20 came forward in a time of rededication.
There were about 80 attendees in the south and 120 in the north. God was active and working deeply. Only one sister got ill at the very end and needed to be admitted to hospital.
In the south we laid a foundation of discipleship knowledge and skills. In the north we went down deep with the "Reaching Beyond Mediocrity" series.This enables leaders/pastors to overcome problems in their own lives and to help those they minister to. This made the huge difference in their lives, from a sense of oppression and hardness to freedom and joy.
Pastor J. has already received many invitations to teach these things in the churches. This is our hope, that the leaders will catch the vision and make needed changes to enable them to pass on the power of God's glorious, life-changing Word. Our materials are merely a means to meet up with God's Word.
Pastor J. spent a lot of time translating expanded outlines for the two seminars (140 pages altogether?). I do not know how he found time to do it. He got others to help him. He says he grew a lot through the process. In any case, as a result this helps the pastors to use what they learned to teach others.
You might wonder about the computer problems and taping. One program failed to work. I thought it was the computer because several programs had problems, and I couldn't make DVDs. I have not yet had time to check out the last problem but I did find one program that could consistently produce movies by combining the slideshows and the speaking.
So we have all the last seminar and some of the first messages. Fortunately, Pastor J. had a portable hard drive that I could put the movies on. He is going to see if someone he knows can edit the movies. This would save me much time.
I simply cannot go everywhere to train, but if the materials are available over the web, then I do not need to. Yes, maybe only one out of 100 pastors have a computer in India, but they do have cell phones. How long will it be before they can receive movies through their cell phones? The world is changing so fast. Now a movie can be saved in four formats!
Thank the Lord for safety, health, healing and anointing for the India trip for Pastor J. and myself.
God wonderfully strengthened us for long speaking sessions. I felt less tired this time. (I do thank Him for 3 seats in plane on my return flight!).
Many churches have caught the vision of making disciples.
Praise for the heart and faith change in many of these leaders/pastors.
Thank the Lord for watching over my family and home while away.
Pastor J. is getting married on Saturday, Oct 10th (tomorrow) (Picture above). Pray for for hundreds of unbelievers who will attend a church for the first time at the wedding.
Paul still has many followup projects from the trip including editing the Reaching Beyond Mediocrity manual.
Follow-up for Pastor J. and other team members there with the many local churches.
Seek God for the Word to touch the traditional Bengali churches (founded long ago by William Carey) in Kolkata.
Rev. Paul J. Bucknell Biblical Foundations for Freedom, President & Instructor