International Ministries

Happy Birthday!

September 27, 2009 Journal
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Happy Birthday!

A birthday is wonderful day for people all around the world.  On September 22, 2009, there was a birthday of new hope for many Baptist Churches in the state of Andhra Pradesh as almost 75 pastors were ordained in the presence of 1400 of their Baptist pastor colleagues who are part of the Baptist Convention of Telugu Churches (BCTC) in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.  The event took place in the city of Ongole, at the Jewett Memorial Baptist Church, which is pastored by Rev. John Augustine.  That day was also the birthday of Rev. Augustine who turned . . . one year older than he was last year.  It was a glorious day of singing, praising and celebrating the work that God has put before the 1475 pastors.  Betsy and I took part in the ceremonies with a short message and prayer of dedication.  The BCTC is committed to growing the body of Christ and needs more prayer support than ever.  There are nearly one million Telugu Baptists, but over a billion non-believers in India.

"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."  Mt 9:37-38

The need for more pastors is growing, but the schools for training them are few and not always accessible to those who want to be trained.  Men, women and youth are looking for places to study the word of God, so that they might be strong vessels to carry the Word to the millions who still need to hear the Good News.  

After the ordination ceremony, we met with some of the local church leaders. A young woman named V. Suhrulatha, serves as a chaplain for the English language service at the Jewett Church.  She talked with me about a burning in her heart from the Holy Spirit for the need for a seminary/theological school for Telugu Baptists.  There was a young woman doctor who shared the need for simple laboratory equipment in the small clinic run by the church for Ongole’s poor population.  While we talked, a group of about 20 nursing students entered the church.  Their teacher asked us to pray for them.  The students, all young ladies, were excited to learn that Betsy was a nurse and were especially glad to have her pray over them for the exams they were taking.  We were blessed by being able to meet with these people and to hear their joys and concerns.  

These are just a few of the people whom God has sent out and who need your prayers and your support through the World Mission Offering.  Your World Mission Offering gifts allow us to be here in India, provide scholarships for theological students in India, and make it possible to give small grants for medical and educational programs.  Please take time to pray and listen for how God is calling you to help in His harvest field.