“So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11
God, in His faithfulness and passion for the hearts of men, sends forth His Word across culture, language, and ethnic borders to bless the souls of His people. Last week, Gene took the Bible College students under Pastor John Francis’ care through the Book of Romans, instructing them in the truths of the Gospel and clearing up “problem passages” and issues of false teaching. The Book of Romans is a tough journey to complete in one week—especially through a translator; both teacher and students applied themselves well to the task at hand. These students have been coming into Hyderabad for a week each month over the past year. They are from rural, tribal areas hours from Hyderabad, and the preparation they receive here will help them in their village ministries.
We were able, by God’s grace, to bless the 70 students with blankets for the winter months. On the last day, they were given The Basics book in Telugu, and Gene took them through a class on how to study and use the book to help them prepare lessons of their own. When they thanked us for such gifts, we reminded them that the gifts were not from us but from many gracious believers in America and Australia. The thanks belongs to you!
On the last day of the gatherings, we were joined by 24 of the senior students from Kihoto Theological College in Nagaland. Each year, the senior students are sent out for a hands-on time of ministry to gain experience in mission work. This year, BTBM supported them to travel down to Hyderabad to join with Pastor John Francis in ministry at various churches. These students have never been out of Nagaland before and, though they live in the nation of India, their ethnic background, culture, and language is very different from the rest of India. They will gain much valuable cross-cultural training from this exercise, as well as enjoy the experience of travel outside the remote mountains of Nagaland.
The Naga students blessed us with some beautiful songs, and they gave us the honor of cutting the Christmas cake, looking ahead to Christmas Day and the blessing of the incarnation of our Lord.
Pastor John Francis shared with the group the history of our coming to work with him since 1993. He told us about a note that Gene had sent him some 25 years ago. The note simply said, “Focus on ministry, not on money.”
Pastor John told how, upon receiving the note, he fell down on his knees in prayer and asked God to humbly keep his focus on ministry and not allow him to be distracted by lust or worry for money. The Lord has been faithful to answer that prayer and bless his life, family, and ministry in so many ways.
This is our trip in a nutshell. Once again, we are blessed to see the mighty way in which God’s Word transforms the lives of His children and does not return to Him without succeeding in the matter for which He most powerfully sent it. What a glorious Lord we serve!
We wish you all a blessed Christmas with family and friends!
In His matchless grace,
Gene and Nan