Pray BFF #115

September 10th-October 6th, 2007

(PDF Format)

Dear Prayer Team,

Emails from India and Malawi

Dear Prayer Team,
This is a consolidation of the individual prayer emails sent from India and Malawi ADT 2007 trip in a pdf file.

Reflections from India

September 11, 2007

Hello from Mumbai! (Bombay, India)
Even after leaving 1 hour late, I still got my connections and reached here well after 1 am.
Now I am off for Vishakhapatam on the east coast.

Tomorrow I will travel about 5 hours through the mountains and lots of S curves to start our first 3 day seminar in Koraput. May God touch the hearts of the people. I need to go!

In Christ's Love,
September 16, 2007

Dear Prayer Partners,
Sunday afternoon India time. We returned from our first seminar last night. I am so glad it was cool out and coming down the mountains because we had the first car that India had! no a/c. But we were behind trucks going downhill so no car sick. I have been feel very well. The mountain weather has been cool and refreshing.

It is a good thing that it was pleasant out for we had 310 registrants. Two couples came 300 km for the seminar. He said no one offers family seminars. Actually, numerous people said this. The people were very encouraged by the messages. Many many came telling the team there that very thing. It was a busy time speaking long messages. Electricity going out a few times for a short time.

One lady came to me in between messages for prayer holding her little boy in her arms. She could not speak English so I just prayed generally for her. Later she came up and had a nearby person to translate. She had marriage problems and wanted to talk more. I was leaving that day (yesterday) so I couldn't. She even wanted to talk on the phone to me in USA. But she couldn't speak English! Her logic was not working because of her desperation. I said that it would be impossible and gave her advice finding a pastor's wife.

About twenty minutes later, Pastor Stephen came up introducing me to this couple. This was the same lady that i prayed for with the child. I wondered what he had to say. As he talked, though, I saw the light in this wife's eyes. Pastor Stephen said that she had come by herself to the seminar. Her husband had earlier ran off with another girl and left this Mom with the five children. He happened to join the seminar just when I was confronting the people with the issue of purity and adultery. He was convicted by the Spirit, repentant and restored in just a short time.
God was powerfully working. No security problems. Good health and weather. It was wonderful.

Tomorrow we go off early to the next site for another similar 3 day family seminar. My prayer is that I would know how to talk about family matters to them. I still need the Spirit's wisdom in great quantities. Thanks for your prayers! God is working.
In Christ's Love,
September 20, 2007

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Oh, we have wonderfully seen your prayers answered! Your prayers and those who pray and fast each day at Pastor Stephen's church all joined together in one great plea to our merciful God.

We met on a beautiful beach side spot (away from publicity) and had no security problems again. Pastor Stephen had planned on 150 to 200 people, but we have had over 300 people. Actual registrants for this one was 252. Many more attended, however, and spilled out on porches and other rooms. People also had to travel more to this spot. A big group came from where I spoke last year, about 5 hours away. We have always helped contribute a portion of the travel fee.

We were glad to see how the pastors and wives could get away. I was down by the beach side talking to some Bible college students, and they said they had never seen the ocean before! So they got rest and joy along with a lot of spiritual food. It was very, very, very difficult not to go swimming in this warm ocean. I think they would have panicked if they had seen me swimming. Most people are afraid of the ocean. The waves looked great but I resisted the temptation. I did not have much time anyway. That would have been at least a 2 hour swim. I did manage two refreshing hour beach side walks.

Everyone could see God's hand at work through the weather. A tsunami was to hit this place a few days before we got there. Everyone was warned by the government to evacuate 2 km near the ocean. This was right on the ocean with huge sand dunes in between. It never came. Major storms were also pushed off and never reached us though they were there not far away from us.
One night as I was thinking of using the sky as an object lesson (300+ people were sitting outside with no bugs and pleasant temperatures (unbelievable) and the electricity went out. It was nice we could all look at the sky without any lights, and then the lights and sound system came back on.

This family seminar was composed of 3 marriage talks (6 hours) in the morning, 2 family in the afternoon and an overview of Ephesians and Song of Solomon at night. People from the not so close village also came for the night session.
Do pray for financial provisions, though. With increased numbers, we wet quite a ways over our budget. We probably need about $2,500 more. Even with the lower US dollar, it still cost per pastor/evangelist or wife only $13.70 for all 562 registrants! What an investment into the families and churches here in Orissa.

We have received a number more of invitations. Further in and further up. But we will let those rest for a while. Now, onto Africa!
My flight leaves in 30 hours via Adis Abba, Ethiopia. I have not really looked at the material. The good side is that I have preached most of it before and have it written out. But it is like a book in tiny print.

I really appreciate how God has been caring for things in India and back at home. I have so much I could tell you about what God is doing in these remote places in India. God's church is alive there and growing. Many evangelists going about on faith, from village to village. We are strengthening the church there so it can live strong for the Lord and finish God's mission into the many unreached villages. Many face types of persecution. But some stories are not so nice to tell.

Please keep praying. I have never before been to Africa. I don't like traveling and do not like being in strange places (even if they have familiar mosquitoes). Despite these things, God has made me quite adaptable and for this I give thanks. I will be speaking on 'Developing a Godly Leader' in these first 2 seminars in Malawi based on Isaiah 53, the example of Christ. May God's Spirit empower me to do justice to such a majestic and humbling chapter as this.

In Christ's Love,
Paul J. Bucknell, Director
Biblical Foundations for Freedom

Reflections from Malawi

September 27, 2007

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We here in Malawi so much appreciate your prayers! God has wonderfully worked through the first seminar. We are off to the second today. We travel 6 hours today to Kasungu in the north and start tomorrow. It will be only two days.

The experience here is incredible. I still can't believe i was in the middle of a dance worship and praise time out in no where. We are already about 1 hour from a city but then we go off the paved road and travel 35 minutes to this village in the middle of no where. The bishop thought it would be more convenient and have the accommodations. I wish there were more men in attendance but this also shows the great need they have of good training. I must agree with them on this. They usually have pastors but no one really knows how to teach God's Word.

I was desperately praying that God would help me know how to teach. They started most sessions with 45 minutes of passionate singing and dancing. About 150-200 in attendance including about 50 children. This is not the typical ideal set up for training godly leaders but the children were good and sat in groups for log periods. Sometimes some would leave early.

After speaking, we would usually sit in the middle of the village for over one hour waiting for the meal to be prepared. I had a wonderful opportunity to observe village life. This was an awesome experience. The people were very nice. They say of themselves that they are a cheerful people. I must agree. It is seen in their driving and meeting with others including strangers.

They responded very positively to the messages. It was like none of them knew about basic spiritual living (flesh vs spirit, etc). I really feel for them. They want more! But I cannot promise.

My sleeping (8:30 (9) pm to 4 am) has been good. A mosquito net in the motel! I am glad only the first night was hot because there is no fans here. Thankfully the second two days were cooler. It is still the dry season but in November come the rains. Eating has been a lot easier for me. Sema (their staple) is easy to eat. I have not had to sift out the 50 pepper balls in the spicy Indian food. (though this time it was much easier in India because the people in North India prepared it. Those in the south thought it was rather dull. I enjoyed it.) Health has been great.

So far my family is fine. I talked (saw and talked) to Linda about six days ago on iChat from Mumbai India. Quite an experience. Perhaps it increased a bit of home sickness.

Thank you for your prayers. God has wonderfully been answering. I am understanding much more the needs of the people here. About 60% of the people were illiterate in the group. Only about 10% had Bibles with them. Keep praying for these spiritually poor people.

Love in the Lord,
Biblical Foundations for Freedom, Director
October 1, 2007

Dear Prayer Partners,
Thank the Lord for keeping us in the Kasungu, Malawi seminar. God's message was greatly appreciated. The weather has been fine. My health has largely been good too. It has been hard to get online to report. We had about 120 people at that seminar. The Lord especially used the Sunday sermon to move the people. A good number came forward to rededicate themselves to the Lord. I stayed comfortable in a guest house.

Today I started the last seminar back in Lilongwe. This is a smaller group of 17 largely men for Scripture Union. It has been a strenuous time teaching (7 hours of teaching) but it has been good.

I will be returning back to the States on Friday. Keep praying that the Lord would use these last two days of teaching. People are being moved and helped in numerous ways through the teaching.

In Christ's Glory,
Biblical Foundations for Freedom
October 4, 2007

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Again, not much time to write here, but the good news is that all is well! I finished the last seminar yesterday. It was a smaller group but because of it I could more easily monitor how God was working in their lives. It was tremendous to see the amazing work of God in their lives. They are so desperate for God's Word much like a dry sponge.

They heard some challenging messages and learned a lot of Bible and devotional skills. They really appreciated it as seen through the testimonies each of them have.

Today is a day off but it is also preparation day. I am returning home tomorrow! I will be at the airport in the morning and get in the US, Lord willing, by later in the next day. I would appreciate the prayers for smooth connections.

Health is good and mosquito net keeps most of the insects out. They say the weather is hot but it is surely not bad compared to the humid India.
Thanks so much for your prayers. This groups greatly appreciates it. They have been saddened by oppressive situations, somewhat financial problems, so these messages brought them back to the Lord.

In Christ's glorious Love,
Reflections from USA - Safely returned
October 6, 2007

Dear Prayer Partners,
After a long flight (actually 6 flights), I finally arrived safely at home (stopping in Zambia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Germany and D.C). I often have had opportunities to share the gospel during the meeting of many people during my travels including fasting Muslims and Ethiopian mystic, but inability to communicate in French or other languages and disinterest kept the conversations on the return trip from being more than a little profitable.

I will get a regular prayer letter out soon, but I wanted to let you know God has wonderfully answered prayers. I am happy to be back! And so is my family!

Thanks so much for your prayers. They were wonderfully felt!

Love in Christ,
Biblical Foundations for Freedom, Director and Instructor
October 10, 2007

Dear Prayer Partners,
I am still settling in. So much to do. Suitcases are away, but 'things' are distributed over my desk and printers. I am trying to spend a bit extra time with my family after being away such a long period as well as get the house ready for the winter. This Sunday I will be preaching a missions sermon at our church.

The main reason that I am now writing is because Google has cut off our website. It might not be a personal decision as they have many automated robots working for them, but whatever the case, our readership is drastically affected during this time. We are down to 1/4th of the readership for four days now. These are the things that often pop up after my return. In any case, it is also an opportunity to thank the Lord. He is sovereign over all and quite able to work things through.

Other than some jet lag in the evening, I have recovered fine. I thank the Lord so much for Linda's faithfulness. She was managing three events this past weekend including my own arrival. Any one of them would have tired me out. Do keep praying for our homeschool schedule. This was not one of the special events!

Keep praying!

Brother Ramesh from our church would appreciate prayer for his father who was pronounced dead but revived. These are hard times. His dad does not yet know the Lord.

In Christ's Love,
Biblical Foundations for Freedom, Director
Phone: (+01) 412-398-4559
3276 Bainton St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212 USA

Serving Together for the Glory of God,

Paul and Linda Bucknell
Biblical Foundation for Freedom
3276 Bainton St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

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