Greetings to our church family;
We have completed the first two parts of what I call the trilogy of our mission. Part one was the conference in Siliguri which went very well. We stayed at a Christian conference centre along with the participants. For three days (Monday – Wednesday) we taught, fellowshipped, and worshipped together. We made some good friends and felt very privileged and blessed. Each of us from the team taught three sessions (one per day) of 50 minutes of content… with translation they were 90 minutes!
We felt well received and in turn learned a lot from these pastors, leaders, and women.
Part two was a time of learning more about the various ministries and projects that Far Corners Ministries has been in partnership with a local foundation led by Shakti…… it was so interesting to learn how they are making such a difference in some local villages with providing training and employment opportunities for people that are so poor and in need of help. They are doing an amazing job helping people fish rather than just giving them fish! We saw a weaving operation in process where women are given employment weaving special scarves and carpets. We saw a poultry operation where they are buying and feeding out chicks for broilers. They are also In the process purchasing sewing machines so women can be taught to be tailors… to sew their own clothing and for others also. There is a small school for young children and a few other initiatives.
A couple of us did some training with a great group of young adults that meet 2 Saturdays per month to be disciples and trained for ministry. We enjoyed and participated in a wonderful worship service on Sunday morning and then the women had a meaningful time of sharing with the women after the service. It is so inspiring to see what God is doing through the work done here in north east West Bengal.
We have also been so impressed with the emphasis on leadership training and especially discipling young men and women for future pastors. They believe if they train up 100 young people, 10 will become pastors.
We have grown to love our translators… especially Biplab, a pastor from Siliguri who has been travelling with us along with Shakti. Their hearts are so full for reaching the lost people of West Bengal. They say there are .06 Christians in the 100,000,000 population of Bengalese. Shiny, who has done much of the women’s translating, does a wonderful job connecting with the women and provides inspirational commentary at the end of each session.
Our challenges are mostly around food. We also find the pace a bit gruelling. We are busy with very little time on our own to recharge. The “Indian stretch time” means we spend a lot of time waiting… this feels quite unproductive to us North Americans!
Please continue to pray for us as we move into the last two days of our second conference as well as for our health and strength to finish well.
Thanks so much… knowing you are praying is very encouraging!
On behalf of Team India 2016,
Bob & Dale Fast