NW India Mission Update Phase 3

Jesus Loves India

We are on the 3rd phase of our trip, traveling with Ted Olsen of Dawn Ministries.

This specific project is a group of people who, until two years ago, had no believers. The photo shows one of the groups of believers that now exist.

An interesting part of this project is the story of believers of Dutch decent in Venezuela who became interested in unreached people groups. A friend put her in touch with Ted Olsen. An interested group of people from her church put together the seed money to fund three teams of local believers who now minister to the tribe.  The two Anglo girls shown came to see the project their mother helped initiate.

NW India 2

Interestingly, this group makes a living by reprocessing cow pies.  The end product is shown in the back ground and sells for a good price since fire wood is harder to come by.

Not all of the people we have had contact with on this trip are impoverished economically. But so many are spiritually without the influence of Almighty God in their lives.

Thankfully we have witnessed and have been a part of seeing some come to Christ in the weeks we have been here.

Tomorrow night when we get on the train, we start the long trip back to USA.  Thank you again for following in prayer.

George – Dean Dye – Bill Crooks

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NW India Team Update

NW India Team 2

Our team (Bill, Dean and George) arrived safely back to North Platte at 3:30 am on Saturday Feb 2nd. We are grateful for the good driving of Bill’s grandson Josh who picked us up from the Denver airport late Friday night.

The NW India team with Ted Olsen includes the man standing next to me who ministers very effectively in a state along the Pakistan border.

Our flight going and coming took us through Dubai on Emirates Airlines. On our brief layover we went on a tour downtown and had our photo taken with some of the locals.

Dubai men

A bit of trivia: the way our airline tickets worked out we actually flew home over the North Pole. We departed the USA out of New York and arrived back in Seattle; technically an “around the world” trip!

flight over pole

Thanks to all who followed the trip including your prayers!

Be3 India Mission Update

George Cheek & Kids

Be3 India Mission Update: George Cheek

Be3 Partners India

Greetings from India!

These photos were taken on the next to last day of our trip in the villages with the Be3 portion of our India trip.

Monty is visiting with the family and neighbors of a devout Hindu family that invited us to stop by and come in as foreigners.  They patiently listened to our presentation and are open to others coming again to visit.

The “family photographer” seldom gets in the photo, so I chose this one taken with the back camera of my cell phone.  So many friendly faces!

The trip has been going very well.  Dozens of people have accepted Christ, and there is a good follow up system with local believers in place.  I will provide more details later. Please pray for us!

Your brother,

George Cheek

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India Update From Pastor Frank

Reaching Indian Unreached Peoples

India Update From Pastor Frank

Most of you are familiar with our Berean Fellowship’s venture in India, the 300in3 Project, through which we partnered with India Campus Crusade to train church-planting pastors in unreached villages in five states spread from north to south.  Luana and I, along with three other couples, recently completed a journey to Global South, as I call it, to encourage and stimulate the brothers and sisters there in their work.  (If you haven’t followed us on this trip, you can still catch up by reading the posts on my blog, www.pastorafrank.wordpress.com.)

Our stateside Berean family has been heavily investing in this project.  Many of you have had the privilege of either going to India to teach the doctrinal module to men in training, or to attend their graduations.  That being said, your church family may or may not be up to speed on the state of affairs of the Berean Fellowship’s work in India.

Luana and I are in the position to rectify this situation.  I am putting together a presentation and challenge about both what is taking place in India and our continuing involvement in meeting the needs of our brothers and sisters there.  Almost all of them are in a “hand to mouth” situation, barely having enough to survive, let alone having anything for medical and other assorted emergencies.  We would be very happy to come to your church to inform your church family about these things.  We want our stateside Berean family to recognize the continuing bond we have with our Indian pastors and families.  The DNA of our Fellowship is present half a world away on the Subcontinent!

We’d be happy to come for a one-time presentation, presentations to small groups, or to be part of a missionary conference/emphasis. Will you pray about this?

To contact us, please send an email to bfcnetwork@gmail.com.

Thank you.

Frank and Luana VanCampen

Pastor At Large, BFC

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What’s Your Middle Seat?

Middle Seat, LORD?

What’s Your Middle Seat?

A Guest Blog Post by Tom Walker

I Thessalonians 5:18 – “In Everything Give Thanks”

Thank you for a middle seat? But LORD, you know that I don’t like middle seats. You made me with big legs and aging plumbing and I DON’T WANT to sit in a middle seat!”

That is a loose rendition of the ongoing conversation that I had with the LORD when we checked in at the British Airways counter in Dallas. You see, for the last 24 hours I had been trying desperately to get online and secure an aisle seat. That is pretty important to me. Having been to India seven times previously, I know how long these international flights can get and to be stuck in a middle seat is not my idea of a good thing.

My frustration mounted as I would jump online and log into AA.com to secure my seat, only to be forwarded to British Airways site where I would get a message saying, “Because your reservation has been made through American Airlines we will transfer you back to AA.com.” I felt like a ping pong ball!  After this happened a half-dozen times, my head was getting dizzy and my temperature rising. Two times I called Customer Service at AA, only to be told that they had sent the seating requests to BA; but, they had not yet been confirmed. ”Secure your seats when you check in at the airport.”

So, I prayed the LORD would work it out since I had done everything I could to secure an aisle seat. That is why when I checked in at the counter at Dallas I was not very happy, and thus the afore-mentioned conversation.

In the moments that followed the Holy Spirit began to ask me, “Can you not trust me in this? Won’t you thank me for a middle seat?” It took a few minutes of listening, but then I was able to pray, “Thank you LORD for seat 47B. I don’t like it, and I don’t particularly care for your sense of humor on this one, but thank you for seat 47B.”

I did it! I gave thanks for something that I did not particularly care for, but I did it. This is progress for me. And do you know something? It really wasn’t that bad. I sat by a Brit who was returning home from training with Snap On Tools and who was amiable, even understanding of this old guy. It’s not natural for us to thank the LORD for the things we don’t like, but it is possible.

What is your “middle seat?” What is the thing that the LORD is allowing in your life today that you don’t particularly like? May I make a suggestion? Give thanks in everything!

Note: We have arrived in Visakhapatnam and are preparing our hearts today to begin ministering to the Andhra Pradesh youth conference. I will be sharing two truths with them today that I am trusting will encourage and challenge them to serve the LORD:

  1. God chose you because He loves you.
  2. God’s will for you can be known.

Thank you for your prayers!

Your co-laborers,

Tom & Janet Walker

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Multiply!

Go Multiply, India!

Berean India Mission Update

“Go Multiply!”

It has been a tremendous trip to India:  the joy of seeing friends, of teaching the youth, of enjoying the beauty of the sunrise over the Bay of Bengal with my wife.  The list could go on and on.  However, if I did not got to do anything other than what I had the privilege of doing the last day of the youth conference in Tamil Nadu it would have been worth the trip.

At times, the ministry in Tamil Nadu has struggled.  Over the ten years that we have been involved, local leadership has changed a half a dozen times.  Some men have gotten discouraged and left the ministry while others have transferred to different areas and ministries.  Of all the men we have trained, we only have 13 pastors remaining.  However, on Tuesday morning I got to pray a prayer of dedication over eight young men that were being commissioned for ministry.  They have been given the title of “lay pastor,” but they represent another generation of Berean pastors to reach the villages and lost of Tamil Nadu.

Jesus made clear to His disciples the task of the church, “going, MAKE DISCIPLES of the nations.”  Yep, this is it.  This is what it is about.  Multiplication!  Jesus was saying the way we evangelize the world is to MULTIPLY!  So, Pastor JD, who I have had the privilege of teaching and encouraging over the last ten years has taken that to heart.  He has trained and equipped three young men to carry on the ministry, to make disciples.  It has not been easy.  In those ten years he has had a mentally handicapped son, who requires constant care.  He had young twins, one of which was electrocuted as a young child.  But when I gave the charge to these three young disciples and commended him for his faithfulness, the joy in his heart and on his face was palpable.

How will India be won for Christ?  Through discipleship.  JD has built several church buildings to minister in.  They give him cred, allowing him to be considered viable in the eyes of the locals.  I concede that, but buildings will not reach India, discipleship will.  Multiply!  That’s what Jesus said.

How will the United States be won for Christ?  Through discipleship.  Who are you discipling?  Investing in?  Pouring what you have learned into?  The command remains, MULITIPLY!

Your brother,

Tom Walker

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Please leave a comment and let us know how God is using your church to raise up indigenous harvest field laborers in other contexts!

Walker India Mission Update #2

An Update By Tom Walker From India

This Is Why We Came

Nearly a year ago Janet and I read a book together called “Granny Brand.”  It was the story of Evelyn Brand who was a missionary to Southeast India.  We laughed and cried as she described her beloved “hill people,” along with the sights and sounds of India.  Last Friday we felt we lived out a part of that story.

We left our hotel after lunch and embarked on a three hour journey to a village church dedication.  The journey was complete with bicycles, motorcycles, cars, buses, trucks, three-wheeled “autos,” cows, sheep, goats, chickens and pigs.  (We had even seen a camel the day before).  That is normal for India, but where the normalcy ended was when we turned off the main road.

We began to wind through the countryside, “jungle,” on a one-lane road.  We began to notice cotton fields, being worked by the village people.  Then we came upon an ox cart filled with bags of harvested cotton.  When we arrived at the village it became abundantly obvious that we were the novelty.  Word spread quickly that there were some white faces within view and people began to come by the vehicle and some were even brave enough to try out their sparse English with a brave “hello,” followed by laughter and antics.  We slowly made our way through the narrow, crowded streets of this village of 3,000 people.  Then on the outskirts of town we saw them.  The people of the church, gathered for the dedication service.

For most of us, it would be a stretch to call this structure a building, let alone a church.  In reality, it consisted of eight concrete pillars, some trees trimmed as supporting beams and several sheets of corrugated tin, completing the roof.  The walls consisted of large pieces of fabric and the ground was covered by an assortment of woven grain bags and tarps for the people to set on.  Now in India no church would be complete without a sound system, despite the fact that the enclosed area could not have been any bigger than 150 square feet.  There was a green ribbon tied across the front opening of the structure, awaiting the arrival of the distinguished guests from the Berean Fellowship in the US.  We were greeted warmly by the gathering of about 35 men, women, and children who had been waiting patiently for our late arrival.  After Janet and I were honored to cut the ribbon, all proceeded proudly into the building and took their places on the floor, while we occupied the places of honor, an assortment of plastic chairs at the “front” of the church.  Fresh flower were hung around our necks and coconut milk was served to us, straight from the coconut!  This was a festive occasion for this small band of believers.

The Lord had impressed upon me that when I brought the dedication address it should be in story form, as undoubtedly many of these simple villagers would be illiterate.  That was the case as only a few possessed Bibles.  I chose as my text the familiar passage where Jesus tells the story of “three lost things,” in Luke 15; a lost sheep, a lost coin, a lost son.  The people sat attentive and captured by the Word of God, communicated orally through a translator.  Knowing looks and heads bobbing in agreement conveyed to me that the stories were part of their culture, communicating truths they were connecting with.  As I sought to be animated and relevant with my illustrations I was observing three men that were standing some distance away, along the road.  Obviously, they were not yet part of this fellowship, but would they be in the days ahead as the believers live out their faith?

Then it struck me.  This is why we came.  This made all the expense, inconvenience, heat and humidity, culture shock, and feelings of being overwhelmed worth it.  As I looked into the faces of these simple, village people, and saw the beaming smile on the face of the young pastor whom we had honored by dedicating “the building,” my heart was moved.  This is why Christ came, to seek and to save the lost.  This is why Granny Brand endured decades of hardship to reach people just like these, nearly a century ago.

Some things have changed in the villages of India over the years.  Some have electricity, cell phones, and indoor plumbing, but the need remains the same.  Men who will brave the challenges of ridicule, prejudice, and threats.  People who will pray and encourage those who go.  People who will give.

For ten years now the Berean Fellowship has been invested in training and supporting men such as this, who in turn will go to the villages with the light of the gospel.  This is my eighth trip to teach, preach and encourage.  But all over again I remembered why we came.  Why you gave.  Why they go.

Tom Walker

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