Pray BFF Letter #23
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Field Letters from India and Nepal
Dear Prayer Partners,
October 8, 6:47 am
Prayer from Kolkata
Your prayers are so much felt and appreciated, but we seek your ongoing prayers. I am so thankful for being able to sleep through the first two nights here in Kolkata (Calcutta) India. The seminar has started and have a full room of attentive attendees, though it might become packed today. I feel fresh and feel well. The first two meetings were nicely responded to. The Spirit of God is working and change is starting to take place.
You remember the many struggles against the coordinator’s wife, Pampa. She seems to feel a bit better, and able to sleep through a night. But her struggles and others continue. Early yesterday, Pastor J. discovered that one huge bag of handouts was stolen on the train coming down to Kolkata. He was totally surprised by this, never hearing about something like this. So the little team here had so much work to do to recopy, assemble and ready these translated handouts. He had to go to a number of print shops to be able to quickly get it done.
Several couples, many hours away by train, could not get here due to severe rains. The rain did not seem so bad, but on our way our hired vehicle hit much extra traffic due to flooded roads. The water was up to knees in some places and cars were stalling out. I saw strong current and waves in one place!
After the meeting, eating dinner about 9:30 pm (enjoying the special Chinese noodle dish Pastor J. went out of the way to get for me), he mentioned that one of the couples in attendance just had their son-in-law involved in a fatal accident. This couple was invited to come, though the husband is not quite a believer. They will soon hear this news this morning and return to their family. Please pray that God would overrule and bring His eternal love and speak peace to this family in great need.
It has been a challenge speaking as the Bengali culture is quite shy about speaking about intimate things. Pray for me and Pastor J. the translator. We have our busiest day today with 6 full messages starting early and running into the evening.
Thank you again for your prayers. May the kingdom of God come in its fullness to these pastors and evangelists’ marriages and families.
In Christ’s Majestic Service,
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Prayer from Siliguri
We had a good 80 attentively attend the marriage seminar. We praise God for holding up Pastor J. as he translated for me the whole time - he had a terrible cold and used a bit of simple medicine that I take along on my trip. He still has a bad cough and now on more serious medicine. Keep praying for him. This is the first time I think I came to India and was not seriously bothered by jet lag. I slept a full night (India time!) each evening and not troubled during the day. (I wrote that last night and woke up at 3:30 am today!)
It is hard to believe the first marriage seminar is over. I saw Pastor J. use bare feet while translating on the day with six messages, so I took his cue and removed my shoes which greatly lessened some back pain.
Many of the couples, if not all, were deeply touched. Numerous ones, privately and in public testimony, stated that they wish they had heard this early so they would not have suffered so much. One young person bravely stood up and said, “Now I know how to start my marriage right!” He asked me if I had any advice on finding a wife, but I passed that one on to his pastor!
There were many that were saved there from the Hindu background in the last five years, and the difference from understanding God’s truth in the area of marriage was so clearly seen on their faces: a brightness in their eyes and many moving testimonies on specific ways the God’s Word spoke to them.
Pastor J. And I took a flight together to Siliguri in the north. This city is growing faster than the huge city of Kolkata. After arriving at the hotel, we went on motorbike to Pastor J’s nearby house. It was full of people, some to help Pampa when he was away, his brother and a few others. I finally met their adopted daughter Christianjali
She even let me hold her. We praise God for Pampa’s great improvement. The doctors saw something wrong and adjusted the medicine. Pampa actually slept through the last two nights. She looks fairly well. He showed me the medical report, but it looked all jargon to me.
As we get ready to start the seminar this afternoon, those from other churches are backing off from coming. During the holiday season, churches started having their own meetings. So we might end up with a smaller group. Pray that God would bring all the right ones and give them proper focus. Keep Pastor J’s cold in prayer.
In Christ’s Majestic Service,
Oct 12, 6:30 pm @ Siliguri, India
I wasn't planning to write but the opportunity came.
I better take it. I am now over Pastor J's house; the seminar has ended. We praise God for the 80+ people to attend. We thank the Lord for how He worked in the lives of the couples that attended. Some people couldn't make it but others could. It went well. Pastor J's health was just manageable. He still has his cold and plans to accompany me by a 8 hour train ride to Kolkata.
When at his home here, I saw on the internet that a powerful cyclone (hurricane) is happening just south of us. Originally, it was heading up to Kolkata but now has turned inland and should not affect Kolkata that much.
(Cyclone Phailin, the most powerful storm to take aim at India’s East Coast since 1999).
I am supposed to take a flight to Nepal (two flights altogether) on Monday so pray that the storm does not hinder the train ride or the flights. The flights have a close connection; pray for good connections. I am well except a sensitive stomach and eyes that have been getting infected.
The holidays here have many elaborate fake buildings (put in front of the buildings - a front) with many lights. They will then take these very expensive works down in a few weeks time. This reminds us that the people really need the Light of the World - Jesus.
thanks for praying.
Oct 14, Kathmandu, Nepal
I reached Nepal and watching the many trekkers coming by to head for the hills. Actually, I shouldn't be in a hotel in Kathmandu, though enjoy the reprieve, but in Butwal, Nepal. I missed my second flight yesterday just by minutes, even though my heroic attempts of running the hundred yard dash through a sandy path during heavy rain with a few pieces of luggage (construction being done). The airlines was gracious enough to rebook me because of the long immigration line without cost. I had the wrong telephone number of the coordinator here (off by one number) so couldn't reach him for several hours.
But by God's grace, by taking the 9 am flight, things can get going as planned. That is still unknown, but do pray. The day is still cloudy and raining so the view not too good, though I am on the 6th floor. I can see the city buildings nearby. I am feeling back to normal even with yesterday's workout.
One special nice man, responded to me about where the hotel was, and personally led me across the street (which was not far but I am not used to cross streets where cars come the opposite ways) in the rain to the hotel. He stood by me and even got my hotel room $20 cheaper. Very nice touch when everything else seems to be going wrong. We trust God's greater hand in it all.
I have been able to get a few pictures on BFF Facebook.
Thanks for your prayers.
In His Majestic Service,
Oct 18, Nepal
Thank you for praying. The Nepal discipleship seminar was well received. People have been so kind. We had a good representation from about 25 churches. They were very attentive and appreciative.
I was planning to do a little sight seeing on the way to the airport this morning, to begin my long journey home (five flights), but I pulled my back (from slightly bending over). I cancelled that side trip. But do pray for my back. It hurts a lot when standing, though sitting is fine. I have to walk like an ape to even move. I need to get to the airport in 3 hours.
Thanks for your support and prayers.
- Thanks so much for your prayers!
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